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Indians by the Numbers — #16

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Not So Sweet Sixteen

Never have so many contributed so little to the historical plight of the Cleveland Indians than the collective to wear the number 16. This is a motley crew, to be sure. The dregs of baseball humanity have donned 16 eighty-five largely mediocre times for the Tribe, and only one sincerely stands out from any of the others.

When not running for president, Al "Fuzzy" Smith played multiple positions (RF, 3B, CF, LF, SS, 2B) for the 1955-1957 Tribesman. Smith wore 16 for his best complete season in 1955, when he posted a career-high 133 OPS+, and finished 3rd in the league’s MVP voting. Smith would play two more seasons in Cleveland before being dealt to the White Sox in a trade involving Minnie Minoso.  Smith struggled initially in Chicago before putting together a solid season in 1961 at the age of 33. He would later be dealt to Baltimore and would return to Cleveland for a brief spell before finishing his career in Boston as a pinch hitter.

Smith would be featured in one of the most famous baseball photographs of all time. During Game 2 of the 1959 World Series, Smith chased Los Angeles Dodger Charlie Neal’s fly ball to the wall, only to watch it reach the stands for a home run. In the scramble for the home run ball, a Comiskey Park fan accidentally knocked over his beer, dousing Smith in the process.

Smith would retire and become a Chicago parks manager before his death in 2002 at the age of 73.

The Best of the Rest

Hal Newhouser (1.0 WAR) — Hall-of-Famer "Prince Hal" finished his distinguished career in Cleveland, going 7-2 in 26 appearances for the Tribe in 1954. The following season, Newhouser worked 2.1 innings for the Tribe, and walked 5 (one IBB).

Dwight Gooden (1.6 WAR) — By the time Doc made his way to Cleveland, he was fairly considered washed up, with deteriorating K/9 and K/BB numbers. Gooden posted a 99+ OPS in his two year stint for the Tribe. In 1998, Gooden fininshed 8-6 with a respectable 3.76 ERA and an ERA+ of 127.  Gooden made two postseason starts for the club, working only one-third of an innning against Boston and 4 and 2/3 innings against the Yankees in the ALCS.

Juan Timer

Juan Alberto Gonzalez Vazquez’s return to the Cleveland Indians was a short but somewhat dramatic affair. The slugger previously played for the Tribe in 2011 at the age of 30, putting together a 325/370/590 season with an OPS+ of 148. He finished 5th in AL MVP voting and had a 1.087 OPS in 5 postseason games.

After signing a one-year, $600k deal, Gonzalez was activated in May. In his lone at bat (a routine groundball), Gonzalez tore his right medial hamstring completely off the bone at the knee joint.  The major injury effectively ended Gonzalez’s Major League career and opened the door for future fixture (and current injury-plagued outfielder) Grady Sizemore to take the field for the Indians.

Gonzalez would make repeated comeback attempts, first with the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League, and subsequently with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2008.


The One Year Blunders

George Blaeholder, Johnny Broaca, Hal Kleine, Gene Woodling, Quincy Trouppe, Hank Foiles, Billy Moran, Larry Raines, John Briggs, Jim Mahoney, Tony Martinez, Tom Ragland, Ossie Blanco, Alfredo Griffin, Fred Kendall, Tony Bernazard, Eddie Tucker, Billy Ripken, Jeff Manto, Jhonny Peralta, Juan Gonzalez, Jason Johnson, Jason Tyner, Tomokazu Ohka, and Matt LaPorta all wore uniform #16 for only one season.  

The All-Time List

Clint Brown SP, RP (1930-1935) 56-58, 126 GS 994 IP 4.44 ERA 106 ERA+

George Blaeholder RP, SP (1936) 8-4, 16 GS 134.1 IP 5.09 ERA 101 ERA+

Denny Galehouse SP, RP (1937-1938) 16-22 41 GS, 314.2 IP 4.49 ERA 101 ERA+

Johnny Broaca RP (1939) 4-2 46 IP 4.70 ERA 95 ERA+

Chubby Dean PH, SP (1941-1943) 14-20 39 GS 302 IP 4.08 ERA 85 ERA+; 233/313/244 62 OPS+ 194 OPS+

Hal Kleine SP, RP (1944) 4/26-6/25; 1-2 40. 2 IP 5.75 ERA 58 ERA+ 6 GS also wore #15 this year

Hank Ruszkowski C (1944-1945) 44:9/26-10/1;  228/279/228 50 OPS+ 61 PA

Gene Woodling CF, PH (1946) 188/280/256 55 OPS+ 155 PA

Ed Klieman RP (1947-1948) 8-6 102 G, 21 SV 171.2 IP 2.83 ERA 133 ERA+ only 39 K

Quincy Trouppe C (1952) 11 PA 199/182/100 -18 OPS+

Hank Foiles C (1953) 8 PA143/250/143 9 OPS+

Hal Newhouser RP (1954-1955) 55: 4/24/5/3; 7-2 2.39 ERA 49 IP 156 ERA+

Al E. Smith RF, 3B, LF, CF (1955-1957) (Fuzzy) 55: after 5/3 and before 6/23; 277/380/430 116 OPS+ in 1956 PA; 49 HR; All Star in 55; 3rd in MVP in 1955; led league in scoring in 55 (123 RS); traded with Early Wynn to White Sox for Fred Hatfield and Minnie Minoso

Billy Moran 2B, SS (1958) 58: whole season; 226/262/280 50 OPS+ 279 PA

Larry Raines PR, PH, 2B (1958) 58: 9/10-9/26; 9 PA -100 OPS+

John Briggs RP (1960) 4/22-7/24; 4-2 4.46 ERA 85 ERA+ 36.1 IP; also #32

Johnny Temple 2B (1960-1961)  all season; also wore #1; arrived in Billy Martin trade; 273/341/337/ 86 OPS+ 49 RBI; All-Star in 1961

Jim Mahoney SS/2B (1962) 243/269/419 85 OPS+ 80 PA; also #7

Tony Martinez SS (1963) 4/9-5/25, 9/4-9/27 156/184/184 4 OPS+ 151 PA

Larry Brown SS, 2B (1963-1971) 63: 7/6-EOS; 238/306/325 81 OPS+ in 3392 PA, 5.1 WAR; 71:4/6-4/23

Fred Stanley SS (1971-1972) 5/20-EOS; 220/355/298 81 OPS+ in 175 PA

Tom Ragland 2B (1973) 257/292/306 67 OPS+ in 198 PA

Ossie Blanco 1B (1974) 5/4-6/9 194/326/194 54 OPS+ in 43 PA

Fritz Peterson SP (1974-1976) 74: 4/30-EOS, also wore 30 in 74; 23-25 63 GS 346 IP 4.34 ERA 84 ERA+; arrived in Chambliss deal; sent to Rangers for Stan Perzanowski; 76: 4/16-5/27

Alfredo Griffin SS (1976) 9/4-10/2; 4 PA

Fred Kendall C (1977) 249/283/325 69 OPS+ in 346 PA; arrived in Hendrick trade; left with Eck for Ted Cox, Bo Diaz, Mike Paxton and Rick Wise

Bo Diaz C (1978-1981) 254/287/392 89 OPS+ 588 PA; sent to Phillies in 3 way deal for Lary Sorensen (Cardinals)

Jack Perconte 2B (1982-1983) 241/313/294 67 OPS+ in 282 PA; arrived with Sutcliffe for Jorge Orta; traded to Mariners for Tony Bernazard

Tony Bernazard 2B (1984) all season; also #4; 221/290/287 60 OPS+ in 287 PA (most in #4 I think

Jerry Willard C (1984-1985) all season also #53; 249/318/385 92 OPS+ in 609 PA

Jay Bell SS (1986-1988) from Twins in Blyleven trade; sent to Pirates in Denny Gonzalez trade; 223/288/323 67 OPS+ in 389 PA

Felix Fermin SS (1989-1993) 256/305/298 68 OPS+ in 2248 PA; 0.2 WAR, -1.0 dWAR; ws PTBNL in Jay Bell trade; sent to Mariners for Omar Vizquel

Eddie Tucker C (1995) 5/19-6/24 -33 OPS+ in 27 PA; arrived from Astros for Matt Williams, the other one

Billy Ripken 2B (1995) 9/16-10-1 412/412/765 197 OPS+ in 17  PA

Dwight Gooden SP (1998-1999) 11-10 45 GS 249 IP 4.92 ERA 99 ERA+

Jeff Manto 2B (1999) 6/9-6/28; 200/444/320 97 OPS+ in 37 PA; also #26

Eddie Taubensee C, PH (2001) 2nd tour; 250/315/362 78 OPS+ in 128 PA; from Reds for Jim Brower

Chad Paronto RP (2002-2003) 0-4 35 AP, 42.1 IP 4.89 ERA 91 ERA+

Jhonny Peralta SS (2004) 64 OPS+ in 28 PA; switched to #2 next season

Juan Gonzalez RF (2005) 1 PA

Jason Johnson SP (2006) 3-8 in 14 GS; 5.96 ERA 75 ERA+

Jason Tyner LF (2008) 3PA, 1 G

Tomokazu Ohka RP, SP (2009) 5/30-8/21  1-5 6 GS, 18 AP 71 IP 5.96 ERA 72 ERA+

Matt LaPorta 1B (2009) 254/308/442 99 OPS+ 198 PA .. also #7

Jason Donald 2B, SS (2010-2011) 2010 only: 253/312/378 93 OPS+

 

Statistics and such

Other fun facts, the uniform #16 has been worn 84 times by 45 different players covering 72 seasons of a possible 83 seasons since 1929. Uniform #16 was shared in a season twelve times, 1944, 1955, 1958, 1960, 1963, 1971, 1974, 1976, 1984, 1995, 1999 and 2009. 

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