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Indians by the Numbers — #2

Jhonny-peralta-101707-lg_medium

Google Image Search of "Fat Shortstop" yields the above results. ALSO! Juan Uribe.  via www.esquire.com

A #2 By Any Other Name.

Did you know Earl Averill wore #2 for the Cleveland Indians?

I did - until I was informed that it's not THAT Mr. Averill, you know, the Hall of Famer, but his incredibly less-talented son.

Like Pete Rose,Jr., ‘Dougie' was a shadow of his father's playing prowess. In his brief three-year stint with the Tribe, Earl the Younger put up a paltry .216/.310/.365 line. The other Averill tried his hand with the Chicago Cubs and White Sox, Angels, and Phillies, with moderate success. At age 29, he clubbed 21 home runs and put up an OPS+ of 122 with the Los Angeles Angels. Two years later, he was back in Snohomish, Washington doing whatever it is people do in Snohomish.

Since there's no clear-cut best #2 in team history, we'll let the poll do the work. Vote early and often! 

A Brief History

Carl Lind was the first Indian to slip into the wooly confines of uniform #2 in 1929. "Hooks" Lind, who liked to wear women's hosiery under his uniform*, manned the middle infield for the Indians from 1927-1930.

Sadly, he finished 15th in MVP voting in 1928, a year in which he wore no uniform number.

Joe Sewell, brother of Luke Sewell, enjoyed a decent run as the club's shortstop, knocking in over 100 runs in both 1923 and 1924. For nine seasons, Sewell donned #4, until a late switch to #2 is his final season with the Tribe before Sewell became a Jackass at age 31.

Boze Berger let his bat do the talking with a monstrous -3 OPS+ campaign in 1936. Berger quickly shed his #2 for the windy city and #19 for the Chicago White Sox.

Johnny Berardino brought style to the deuce for the 1948 Indians. Sadly, he forgot to bring his bat. "Bernie" blasted 2 home runs in 361 PA for the Tribe, and posted a nifty .187 batting average. In addition to his amazing plate discipline (hey, he only stuck out 38 times in 155 games!), Berardino leads all Indians former #2's in eyebrows.

What happens when you steal 40 bases in 227 at bats? They remodel the ballpark in your playing style! The speedy and exciting Alex Cole made quite a splash for the 1990 Indians, batting .300 and swiping 40 bags en route to a ninth place Rookie of the Year finish. Brass was so impressed by Cole's basepath bravura, they moved the fences out. The alley in left-center moved out from 377 to 390 feet; deep left-center went from 387 to 400 feet; center field moved from 400 to 415 feet; deep right-center went from 395 to 400 feet; and short right-center moved from 385 to 390 feet. Cole and company promptly went out and stole 84 bases (third worst in the league) and won a whopping 57 games. By 1992, Cole was out of town and out of favor.

* - May not be true. 

Tenured Two.

Einar Diaz (1996-2002) was the longest-running Indian to wear #2. For seven solid-to-middling seasons, Diaz manned the backstop and posted a .259/.309/.357 line. Diaz would later prove more valuable when he was sent packing to Texas for a "project" in the Rangers farm system named Travis Hafner.

Jhonny "Fat Shortstop" Peralta, destroyer of infielders, was the second longest to wear the deuce. Jhonny both flashed and flustered in his six seasons with the Tribe.

Two for One Deal.

Carl Lind, Joe Sewell, Hugh Alexander, John Kroner, Ben Chapman, Gee Walker, Al Cihocki, Ray Mack, Eddie Bockman, Doug Hansen, Earl Averill, Marian Coughtry, Jack Rubiszyn, Rafael Santana, Steve Springer, Matt Merullo, Zach Sorensen, Sandy Martinez.

The All-Time List

Carl Lind (1929)

Joe Sewell (1930)

Dick Porter (1931-1934)

Bob Seeds (1934)

Boze Berger (1935-1936)

Hugh Alexander (1937)

Roy Weatherly (1937)

John Kroner (1938)

Ben Chapman (1939)

Gee Walker (1941)

Buddy Rosar (1943-1944)

Al Cihocki (1945)

Ray Mack (1946)

Eddie Bockman (1947)

Johnny Berardino (1948-1950,1952)

Doug Hansen (1951)

Lou Klein (1951)

George Strickland (1953-1956)

Earl Averill (1958)

Randy Jackson (1958-1959)

Ken Aspromonte (1960-1962)

Marian Coughtry (1962)

Jack Rubiszyn (1962)

Brett Butler (1984-1987)

Alex Cole (1990-1992)

Jose Hernandez (1992)

Rafael Santana (1990)

Steve Springer (1990)

Matt Merullo (1994)

Jeff Kent (1996)

Einar Diaz (1996-2002)

Zach Sorensen (2003)

Sandy Martinez (2004)

Jhonny Peralta (2005-2010)

Paul Phillips (2011-current)

 

Up Next: Three's (not) a crowd.          

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