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‘Hidden between the lines / The unsung hero’

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The headline for today’s entry is a couplet from the lyrics of an old Meat Puppets song called “The Mighty Zero,” which is about that most intriguing of numerals. For some reason I’ve been thinking about zero lately, so I decided to compile a list players who’ve worn zero or double-zero in the major pro sports. Here’s what I have so far (those with asterisks wore double-zero; all others wore zero):

MLB: Don Baylor, A’s*; Bobby Bonds, Cardinals*; Jack Clark, Padres*; Tony Clark, Mets*; Paul Dade, Indians*; Oscar Gamble, White Sox; Curtis Goodwin, Reds*; Cliff Johnson, Blue Jays*; Jeffrey Leonard, Giants, Brewers, and Mariners*; Curtis Leskanic, Brewers*; Terry McDaniel, Mets; Oddibe McDowell, Rangers; Bobo Newsom, Senators*; Omar Olivares, Cardinals*; Al Oliver, multiple teams; Rey Ordoñez, Mets; Junior Ortiz, multiple teams; Joe Page, Pirates*; Franklin Stubbs, Brewers; Brandon Watson, Nats and Reds*; Rick White, Phillies and Reds*.

[There are also several other double-zero MLBers mentioned in Jack Looney’s book, Now Batting, Number…: Jerry Hairston (at the end of his career with the White Sox), Rudy Seanez (for five games with Cleveland in 1991), and Jim Poole (a few games with Texas in ’91). But none of these are confirmed by, which lists uniform numbers for every MLB player. My experience over the years is that Looney’s book has more errors than, but both are definitely fallible. For now, I’m treating these three players’ double-zero status as unconfirmed.]

NFL: Ken Burrough, Saints and Oilers*; Obert Logan, Saints; John Olszewski, Redskins and Lions; Jim Otto*, Raiders; George Plimpton, Lions (preseason only).

NHL/WHA: Paul Bibeault, Canadiens; Martin Biron, Sabres*; John Davidson, Rangers*; Bernie Parent, Blazers; Neil Sheehy, Whalers. (Special thanks to Teebz for his help with these.)

NBA/ABA: Pro basketball appears to be the mother lode for zero-clad players. According to, 46 players have worn 0, and another 26 have worn 00. Interestingly, three players appear on both lists, meaning they wore single-zero and double-zero: Benoit Benjamin (he reportedly wore single-zero with the 76ers in the mid-1990s, but I couldn’t find a photo of that), Mike Bibby, and Eric Montross. To my knowledge, these are the only players in any major sport with this unique distinction.

A few notes:

•  I know that only one MLB team has had a 0 and 00 on the roster simultaneously: the 1985 Blue Jays, who had Al Oliver (0) and Cliff Johnson (00). No NHL or NFL team has ever managed the 0/00 trick. I haven’t yet tried to cross reference those NBA lists to see if single- and double-zero players have ever been teammates. Anyone know?

• Have there been zero-clad soccer players? If so, clue me in.

• As is my frequent habit, I’ve ignored college sports here. If anyone wants to try to document zero-clad NCAA players, in any sport(s), please feel free.

• If you have photos for any of the non-photo-linked names cited above, let’s have a look at ’em.

• I’m also interested in why players have chosen to go zero-clad. I know the stories behind many of the MLB examples, Teebz has filled me in on the hockey backstories, we all know about Gilbert Arenas, etc. If anyone knows more, I’m all ears.

• Although Benito Santiago never wore 0 or 00, I’m sure someone out there is dying to mention that he famously wore No. 09, because he didn’t like his 9 being bisected by the vertical strap of his chest protector. But here’s what’s never been clear to me: Did he not like the way it looked when the strap went over the 9, or did he not like the way it felt? If anyone knows, do tell.

That’s enough zero obsession for today. I’ll probably end up shaping all this info into an ESPN column at some point, so any insights or suggestions are welcome.

+ + + + +

Uni Watch News Ticker: Yesterday I took part in an hour-long radio segment about Native American mascots in sports. You can listen to the full hour here; I join in at about the 20-minute mark, but there’s a lot of good discussion in those first 20 minutes, so I encourage you to listen to the whole thing. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Is the Rays’ fauxback design based on a 1970s soda pop brand? Judge for yourself. ”¦ The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees are looking for a new team name (from Art Savokinas). … Dirt race driver Greg Walters is wearing an Oregon-style metallic helmet. … Todd Radom points out an MLB nickNOB that we haven’t mentioned in our recent discussions: Jason Isringhausen’s TATC jersey. … Some high school engineering students in Wisconsin made a really cool Miller Park-themed grill (from Ryan Connelly). … Brad Paisley wore a Colt McCoy jersey onstage the other day (from Tony Crespo). … Here’s something I didn’t know: R.A. Dickey wore No. 1 in the 1996 Olympics. “Single digits on pitchers always looks weird to me, but for some reason 1 seems less weird to me than 2 through 9,” says Bryan Molloy. “Maybe it’s because my mind has always linked pitchers and goalies, and there are a ton of goalies who wear 1.” … The Missoula Ospreys — the Rookie League affiliate of the D-backs — will wear Ronald Mcdonald House jerseys on June 28 (from Ben Matthias). … Check out the awesome vertical placket lettering and the cool chest insignia on this tremendous century-old photo (big thanks to Dan Cichalski). … Darren Rovell and I are colleagues again. … Just What the World Needs Dept.: “Look at me!” football gloves have spread to high school (from Dave Wilson). … Check this out: a U. of Kentucky cement truck (from Dylan Buell). … “In the first half of Wednesday night’s Sounders/Sporting KC match, Alex Caskey bonked heads with one of SKC’s defenders, ending up bloodied in two different places (plus on his jersey),” writes Markus Kamp. “After bandaging his head Revolutionary War-style on the sidelines, he returned wearing a numberless jersey. Interestingly, they even replaced his black armband that the team was wearing in honor of recently deceased former Sounder Steve Buttle.” … Jake Hurley, the guy who’s trying to get the Rockies to wear stirrups, is looking for help setting up a Kickstarter account. ”¦ The Nashville Sounds wear a different jersey for charity each month. Here’s clubbie Thomas Miller modeling the June jersey, for Habitat for Humanity. “The tool belt is a pretty sweet touch,” says Matthew Leon. ”¦ Disappointing development in Philly on Wednesday night, as Josh Outman pinch-ran and was wearing black socks instead of his usual stirrups (from Jake Hoeffel). ”¦ All of the NBA draft caps can be seen here (from Matthew Gerry Moon). ”¦ A’s catcher Derek Norris made his big league debut yesterday. Interestingly, his catcher’s helmet had a white logo, like the team’s 1993 road cap (from Mike Rowinski and Sam Lam). ”¦ I’ve never been a fan of Hillary Clinton’s fashion stylings, but it’s good to know that she has no purple pantsuits (from Matthew Algeo).

Comments (204)

    Brandon Watson was so unworthy of Bobo Newsome’s number. Except that one time he actually hit a home run. That’s it though.

    Honestly, if the designer of the Rays uniforms didn’t draw some sort of inspiration from that Pepsi design, it’s a FANTASTIC coincidence. I think the similarities are too uncanny for it to be a mere fluke.

    I’m calling “fluke”.

    It seems pretty obvious to me that the Rays’ link is a more-or-less-straightforward repaint of link (road jersey and alt pants) in Rays colors.

    There’s a certain resemblance to a soda package from the period, but every design element can be traced either to the 1978 Padres or to the current Rays look. With the possible exception of the citrusy-sunburst, but that alone doesn’t look enough like Pepsi Light for me to call it uncanny.

    Perhaps Pepsi were the ones that took inspiration from the Padres of that era, just tweaking the colors a bit?

    I get the Padres comparison, and concede it’s a more likely story – but to my untrained eye the Pepsi resemblance is there. Then again I had LASIK surgery done by a guy that went to college in the Bahamas. It’s probably about time my eyes failed me.

    Perhaps Pepsi were the ones that took inspiration from the Padres of that era, just tweaking the colors a bit?

    I don’t see Pepsi Light having anything in common with the Padres’ 1978 uniforms.

    What is it, other than the colors and perhaps the citrusy-sun, that you see in both the Rays’ fauxbacks and Pepsi Light? The letters are both sans-serif, but very different sans-serifs.

    Definite fluke. That lemon design totally generic & the colors are the Tampa Rays palette.

    I think that 0 and 00 are popular for goalkeepers in high school and college soccer – not sure about pros. My sister and her goalkeeper teammates have always been 0, 00, and 1 it seems.

    ‘Til you came along, we counted on our fingers and toes…or sticks and stones…or rocks and bones.

    Also very unusual for Formula 1 cars to be given the number 0, as Damon Hill had in both 1993 & 1994.

    Usually in F1 the reigning champion gets the number 1 on their car. In 1993 reigning champion Nigel Mansell went to IndyCar, while in 1994 the previous year’s champion, Alain Prost had retired.

    Williams – the team both Mansell & Prost drove for – used the numbers 0 & 2 instead of 1 & 2. Prost didn’t want to be a zero (hazy memory on that one, think it’s true) so Hill took 0 and kept it the following year as well. Ayrton Senna took over the number 2, and David Coulthard and Nigel Mansell drove the 2 car after Senna’s death at Imola.

    Michael Schumacher won the 1994 title and the number 0 hasn’t been used since in F1 as far as I’m aware.

    Johnny Olszewski also wore 0 with the Broncos, his last stop in pro football, but I have never unearthed a photo.

    lol, and that particular strip explains the theory that in his case it stands for “Oh-oh.”

    Ironically, Rick, that was the exact reason for Bernie Parent choosing #00 in the WHA. He was quoted as saying that whenever a puck gets behind him, he says “oh-oh”.

    What’s Miller Park doing with the roof open?! I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it like that!

    In 2003, Kerry Robinson of the Cardinals wore 0 and pinch-hit for So Taguchi, who wore 99, in this game in Cincinnati:


    I think Jayson Stark later made an observation about how this may have been the first time a 0 replaced a 99 in a baseball lineup.

    Good one!

    According to, Robinson had previously worn double-zero with the Reds, making him the only MLBer (at least that I know of at the moment) to wear 0 and 00:

    There are a couple of photos of Kerry wearing #0 that you can find in Google images. There is a larger one out there, but when I tried to link it, my virus protector blocked it.


    Kerry Robinson used to wear #13, but in 2002, the Cardinals aquired Jeff Fassero who also wore #13. Robinson switched to #0. To this day, he still wears his #0 jersey at Cardinal functions and signings.


    Soccer you ask, soccer you receive…

    Hicham Zerouali, nicknamed “zero” for obvious reasons, was allowed by the SPL to wear the number 0. I couldn’t find a picture of him in match, but this counts: link,,10284~4257617,00.jpg

    Also in the SPL, Hibernian forward Derek Riordan, being annoyed at his favourite number 10 being taken, took an original twist: link

    But if you wanted a bit closer to home, LA Galaxy keeper Steve Cronin in the MLS went for it: link

    Dick “Mr. Zero” Howard, goalkeeper for the 1970 NASL Champion Rochester Lancers, wore the numeral “0.” Here’s the link to photos- link

    “… The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees are looking for a new team name (from Art Savokinas). … ”

    Miners. Anthracites. Susquehannas.

    They could be called the Coal Crackers. Folks who live in the coal country are often known as such. However, while there is still coal in the ground, the mining industry in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area is but a pale shadow of what it once was.

    I absolutely love that cap, and there’s no reason that they couldn’t use it, regardless of what the name is. The only reason they changed it when they became the Yankees is to cash in on the visuals of their parent organization.

    As far as Santiago, and 09, I caught I could see how a single centered number would feel awful especially on hot days.

    Interesting note while looking at the 0/00 NBA players on Basketball Reference: During the early-mid 50’s multiple players on the Rochester Royals wore number like 03, 07 and 09, as well as 00. Wonder if there’s story behind that.

    “I haven’t yet tried to cross reference those NBA lists to see if single- and double-zero players have ever been teammates. Anyone know?”

    I think I remember reading in a book that it’s not allowed in the NBA to have teammates wear 0 and 00. It pointed out an example with the 96-97 Bulls, when Robert Parish, who always wore 00, joined; thus Randy Brown, who had 0, switched to 1.

    There is an NCAA rule about this. Additionally, the NCAA basketball rules don’t allow any digit greater than 5 (I believe so numbers can be signaled with one hand). I checked the NBA rulebook online and could find no similar rule.

    NCAA basketball rules “The following numbers are legal: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 00, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, and 55. Team rosters can include 0 or 00, but not both.”

    Interesting to note that most rule books don’t specify legal numbers. I think most people think only non-negative integers should be used and usually also less than 100. Other than Eddie Gaedel I don’t think I’ve seen anything else in a major sport, but with club teams I’ve seen pi, i, [square root]2, &c..

    Semi-related, my high school basketball team used to wear even numbers at home, odd on the road. No idea why.

    As a baskeball team statistician from my college days in the 70s, it was accepted practice to see even numbers on the home team and odd on the road. That way, when the ref called the foul, even if you couldn’t see the fingers, if you heard odd number you knew it was on the road team, and even numbers meant the home team. There would be no confusion, because no two players could possibly have the same number.

    They did, pushbutton. Hakeem (then known as Akeem) Olajuwon was link or link

    Some NBA teams did that as late as the 70s. I know Campy Russell wore 20 and 21 for the Cavs.

    Rick Barry wore #2 at home and #4 on the road during his 2-year stint with the Rockets from ’78-80 – Moses Malone was wearing #24, so Barry went with the different numbers as a compromise.

    I remember in junior high, we had reversible jerseys that were white on one side with even numbers and green on the other with odd numbers. So the jerseys in the 20s were 20/21, 22/23 and 24/25.

    We weren’t all born with six fingers on each hand.

    True, but if NBA refs can deal with 0-9, why can’t the college refs? Hell, why not just do like the NFL and mic the ref? Ref hits a button on his belt, “Charging on number 27”, and the whole arena hears it. Absolutely no need for any stupid number rules.

    Don’t mic the ref, but yeah…if the NBA can have numbers above 5, it shouldn’t be that hard for the NCAA.

    Then again, this is the institution that gave us the possession arrow, because they thought their refs couldn’t handle multiple jump balls in a game. So I’m not holding my breath on this one.

    The 0/00 rule in basketball is because the statistical software cannot differentiate between the two since it will use a 0 as a place holder for any single digit number, so 3 looks like 03 to the computer. Hence, 0 and 00 both look like 00.

    If I remember right, when Virginia Union won the Div. II National Championship in the 90s (1992) they had two players – one wearing a 0 and one wearing a 00. I was 14 at the time so I can be mistaken by my youthful memory.

    I’m surprised adidas will manufacture custom receiver gloves for high schools. I would’ve assumed small batch would be cost prohibitive.

    The 87-88 Nets had a 0 and a 00 on the roster,
    but since Johnny Moore only appeared in one game and Orlando Woolridge only appeared in 19, some further research is needed to see if they were ever on the court at the same time.

    You’d think 0 or 00 would be a great number for a great number for a pitcher or goalie. “How many runs/goals are you going to get off me? Zero!”

    I used to have a Benoit Benjamin 00 jersey that I wore in pickup games. Once I get my wiffleball jerseys made, at least one of them is going to have 0 on it.

    Excellent feature, Paul. You’ve been really rolling lately.

    With the elimination yesterday of the noble Czechs, the Euro 2012 tournament survivors are all nation-states representing (more or less) distinct provinces or sub-provinces of the Roman Empire. With one important exception.

    [Well, you might say, wasn’t ALL of Europe within the Roman Empire? No. Czech and Slovak lands weren’t, Russia wasn’t, Poland wasn’t, Ukraine wasn’t, Scotland wasn’t, Ireland wasn’t, Scandinavia wasn’t. About half of today’s Hungary was part of the Roman province of Pannonia, but the dominant Hungarian ethnic group — the Magyars — didn’t arrive in any case until the late 9th Century.

    The old Roman territories still in contention are Iberia (Spain), Lusitania (Portugal), Britannia (England plus Wales), Grecia (Greece), Gallia (France), plus the multitude of Roman regions and islands constituting what we now regard as Italy, from Gallia Cisalpina to Sicilia. Can’t wait for that Gallia vs Iberia game!

    But there is that big important exception: Alemania / Deutschland / Germany. After some sanguinary wins and losses beyond the Rhine, Rome decided that the lands dominated by German tribes just weren’t worth it. The Empire frontier pretty much stood along the western and southern banks of the Rhine and the Danube. And yet Germans played important roles within the Empire, and there was constant traffic over the frontiers. One can even argue that the fall of Rome was basically Germanic soldiers from outside the Empire defeating Germanic soldiers from inside the Empire.

    Don’t bet against the Germans.

    Hate to poke holes in this, but there was no province of Iberia. The peninsula itself was called Hispania (where the modern country name gets its origin), and within that were provinces such as Lusitania, Gallecia (which encompasses modern Galicia and northern Portugal, where my family is from), etc. Even then, Spain wasn’t a homogenous region.

    But you do have to ask yourself “what have the Romans ever done for us?”

    All right… all right… but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order… what have the Romans done for us?

    I remember Bryan Cox wearing a single 0 for the Patriots for one preseason. I haven’t been able to find a picture, but Patriot Pat’s wikipedia page seems to confirm it: link

    Au contraire, mi amigo. For the first time in about 25 years, I can say “I’d wear that” to an NBA draft hat.

    Happy Stirrup Friday! link

    Hopefully the link works. I am having problems with photobucket this morning.

    IIRC, Tony Clark changed from 00 to 52 halfway through the season with the Mets because school children at a charity event made it known that the only member of the team that can wear 00 is Mr. Met

    Why is the Nets draft cap different then every other team? To answer my own question, it’s probably because Brooklyn is the only selling point about that team.

    I wondered this same thing when I saw these hats. Your conclusion is probably accurate though.

    The Timberwolves cap is shortened to Wolves as well. Everyother one is the full name, why the nickname?

    76ers is shorterned to “Sixers” too. Which is funny cause it’s actually longer than the real name!

    With a standardized font there is really no difference between the two blue color schemes of the Grizzles, Thunder, Bobcats, Nuggets, Mavs and to a certain extent the Timberwolves. The NBA really needs to shake up their color palate, I’m glad the Nets went away from blue I just hope their jerseys feature stripes or a logo that makes them more interesting than black and white.

    I count a total of four truncated names on those draft caps: Knickerbockers, Trail Blazers, 76ers and Timberwolves.

    Did anyone else notice in the first set of NBA draft caps that all of the caps have the team nickname enlarged with the location name small with one exception — Your Nets Brooklyns!

    Omar Olivares once said in an interview, that he wasn’t wearing “double zero”, he was wearing his initials.

    Kory Barnett wore 0 for IU basketball from 2009/10 – 2011/12. He started with 30 and then moved to 0. He didn’t play much so I think he gave 30 to another player.


    I made a video for the stirrup project as well.

    Thanks to anyone who can help me with the kickstarter. A little bit of funding will go a very long way.

    – Jake

    I’m double zero in all the rec leagues i play in. It looks awkward in softball, but I really don’t care.

    When i was about 12, Robert Parish left the Celtics and came down to the Charlotte Hornets. The entire city went nuts. An actual hall of famer was on our little old team. Everyone loved him, and I loved how he played. Just a quiet, stern enforcer. After that it was always my number. I love the double zero, first because the extra zero its superfluous, which is fun. Mainly though, no one ever picks double zero, and I love being different and sticking out.

    I see the silver/grey on the Nets draft hat, so i guess the Nets and the Spurs officially have the same color scheme.

    Nets use a lot of gray (not silver) on their merchandise, but that doesn’t make it part of their official color scheme. Unless you’re willing to add it to the color scheme of just about every team in every league.

    Don’t think they’ve specified an official shade of gray, which to my mind would cross the line.

    Great shot of the Harvey Kuenn “HK” patch from 1988 on Leonard’s jersey.

    During the 1987 (?) All-Star Game, Vin Scully said that Jeffrey Leonard was wearing 00 because he was “starting over” as a Mariner.

    There weren’t nearly as many 0s or 00s as i would have thought in the card gallery. Still probably more than the general population.

    Thats awesome! The rays are quickly becoming one of my favorite teams. They seem to just be having fun, which is the point of sports in the first place.

    They seem to just be having fun, which is the point of sports in the first place.

    What? I thought the whole point of sports was separating the winners from the losers & making dough. Er… I mean getting exercise, fair competition & sportsmanship.

    2nd place still is the first loser, tho.

    From the not-too-distant past: I remember when the legendary Yankee Stadium PA man Bob Sheppard announced a player wearing “0” coming up to bat he said only “Zero,” not “Number Zero.”

    Ken Oberkfell seems to have been #55 most of the time when coaching with the Mets, but he also wore #0:


    I love #0. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be worn more often, and I’d really like to see someone take it on the Yankees so that there are more than just two single-digit numbers left (and they’re probably going to retire #2 for Jeter when he’s finished).

    Many Japanese teams assign both 0 and 00 to players without them asking for them. When rosters aare ordered by number, 00 comes before 0 in general. This isn’t going to go away, because the “junior varsity” minor league team has the same uniforms as the big club and can’t share numbers. Each team controls up to 70 players, so all the players get numbers from 0 (00) to 69 and the coaches get the 70s, 80s, and 90s, as do sudden acquisitions.

    Now here’s where things really get amazing. Until recently, staffers like bullpen catchers, BP pitchers, and other on-field staff like conditioning coaches and interpreters and scorers and the like would get whatever was left over — usually the 90s — but they often edged up into the 100s. An alternative was to hand out numbers 01 to 09, which the Seibu Lions have done, and which the Yomiuri Giants did last year.

    But just two years ago, the league began a system of “developmental players” who can appear only for the minor-league club and have special (low-paying) contracts. These players *have to* have link. All the teams gave them 100, 101, 102…, shoving the staffers up to the 110s or 120s, except for the Chunichi Dragons, who gave their developmental players numbers in the 200s.

    And the Yomiuri Giants have so many coaches and other staff — they’re by far the richest team in the league — that they started assigning numbers over 100 even to the more visible major league dugout coaches. So here’s what they did: they put all their staffers in the 200s, and gave all their developmental players link.

    Yes, click on that link and feast your eyes on players wearing 005, 007, 009, and 023 in actual game action. Minor league games are now link, with a mixture of unwanted numbers in the 50s and 60s (like MLB spring training) and unthinkable numbers in the, uh, double-oughts.

    I’m just waiting for 000 to be assigned. If Omar Olivares’ middle name also starts with an O, he shuold come over here and wear it.

    I agree on 0, but not 00. Never liked needless leading digits on a jersey, especially when the number is considered different to the one without the lead.

    Yes 2 will be retired and Torre wore 6 so eventually 0 will be the only single digit choice for Yankees.

    According to current NHL Rule 9.2, “Sweater numbers such as 00, ½ (fractions), .05 (decimals), 101 (three digit) are not permitted.”

    This is why Kevin Weekes wore 80 on a few NHL teams because it closely resembled 00, a number he wore coming up in the Juniors. link

    While Weekes may have wanted to wear #00 due to wearing it in junior, his reasoning for #80 is, in my opinion, pretty weak considering his career.

    He wore #1 in Florida when he broke into the league in ’97-98 after the league instituted the “no zero” rule due to a change in their stats-tracking software. He then wore #35 in ’98-99 with the Canucks for two seasons before switching to #80 with the Islanders in ’00-01. He also wore #80 for Tampa Bay, Carolina, and the Rangers, but his plan was killed in New Jersey.

    In his final two seasons in the NHL with the Devils, they employed a 1-40 number scheme for all players except for exceptional players (Gilmour and Mogilny, for example). Weekes wore #1 there as well.

    So to recap, eight of his 13 NHL seasons saw him wear #80. That’s not exactly “I want this number” demands.

    Furthermore, he was only a starter in three seasons while wearing #80 – ’00-01 with TBay, and ’02-03 and ’03-04 with Carolina. If a backup goalie asks for a weird number, the vast majority of NHL training staff would probably say “who gives a damn” and give them whatever number they want. After all, who cares about what number a backup goalie has?

    I do recall Weekes wearing #00 for the Detroit Vipers of the old IHL.

    Can’t find any photographic evidence, which might be a good thing, since, good god, their unis sucked.


    Anyone else notice that the Nets cap has Brooklyn larger than Nets? They seem to be the only team doing that. I wonder if this will be just for one year as they make their transition or if it will be a consistent choice.

    It seems to me that they did it because (here in NY, anyway), that people will buy almost anything that says ‘Brooklyn’ on it. I’ve seen so many people wearing Brooklyn Nets shirts and caps, and that’s the only logical reason I can think of.

    According to, McDowell wore 0 with the Rangers, too, but haven’t much luck googling a photo.

    First name that came to mind for me was Greg Ostertag.

    Found photos that he wore both 0 (link) and 00 (link) while at UKansas.

    He also wore 00 for both Utah (link) and Sacramento (link).

    Otto Orf, longtime GK for the Cleveland Force/Crunch indoor soccer team, wore #00 to represent his own initials (link) just like Omar Olivares did.

    Let’s not forget NASCAR, which has 00 David Reutimann…

    And had 0 Mike Bliss in 2005, when his sponsor was NetZero…

    Many drivers have utilized a first-digit zero, so there is a 1 and an 01. You can see all the histories here:

    The one I always remember is the episode of Seinfeld where they made fun of George for acting like Coco the monkey, and his softball jersey was 00, for “ooh-ooh-aah-aah.”

    Mike Bliss in the 0 NetZero car joins the Dick Trickle (among others)in the Phillips 66 car #66, Hut Stricklin in the Heinz 57 #57 car, and the Jack Daniels #07 car in the category of car numbers directly relating to sponsors.

    And Dave Blaney’s #93 (sponsored by Amoco Ultimate…93 being a reference to the octane)?


    Too bad Hendrick Motorsports did not/wasn’t chosen to promote a certain live-action movie of a Japanamation classic (using the 43 was a missed opportunity of mammoth proportion):


    When 00 was an option for my high school basketball team, that was the first and only number I wanted. I wanted it because of how unique it was, maybe that is why current players wear it? Little did I know it would be a very close estimate to the total number of minutes I played that season…

    Interesting thing about Derek Norris’ helmet. It is made by Wilson link

    I noticed it in spring training, but didn’t think it mattered because he was not going to be in the majors. Rawlings makes the official helmets of MLB, so by using a Wilson helmet Norris may be wearing an illegal helmet…The players that wear the “hockey style” masks can only wear maskes produced by All Star because they have the official license.

    Yadi Molina, who wears Rawlings catchers gear wears the All Star mask, and Buster posey, who wears Under Armour gear, also wears the All Star mask – so I’m fairly certain that is the only hockey style mask MLB allows.

    Ah…I Never knew that Pierzynski was wearing the Wilson helmet. I hadn’t seen it being used in the majors…Must be because
    a) I try to avoid watching the American League
    b) I try to avoid watching WGN telecats that have Ken Harrelson broadcasting
    c) I dislike AJ Pierzynski and don’t pay any attention to him whatsoever.

    as i remember, in the 90’s randy brown of the bulls used to wear 0, but when they signed the chief, who wore 00, he had to change his number to 1. wgn explained that (at least at that time) the nba had a rule against a team having both a 0 and a 00.

    Brown was allowed to wear 0 in the preseason. He switched to 1 when the regular season started.

    So it was a uniform malfunction, but when the Oriole’s Miguel Tejada lost the 1 from his 10 he played part of a game as number 0.


    Rick White also wore 00 for the link as well as his link with the Pirates, both of which preceeded his stints in Cincinnati and Philadelphia. He wore link with the Buccos in the mid-1990’s.

    As for Pepsi Light, my parents told me about that drink. Wasn’t the more recent Diet Pepsi Twist similar to that?

    link that Arizona will be throwing back to “the color that shall not be mentioned” in a couple of months.

    I really liked the create-a-fauxback idea for expansion teams that was kicked around yesterday. I think the Diamondbacks would be a great subject. So many design possibilities yet their unis have basically looked like POS since their inception.

    Looking over their history, I think the only one that I remotely like is the pinstriped sleeveless with the big A on the chest. That and their TATC with the snake wrapping around. Otherwise, visually lame.

    I don’t know why Arizona keeps throwing back to that shitty uniform. Yeah I know they bought their World Series title with that scheme but come on, it’s not that old. It was only 6 years ago they dropped it.

    I grew up in Lexington, and there’s a whole fleet of those cement trucks there. For a while there I assumed it was a standard design for cement trucks.

    Glorious pic of Benito Santiago in the teal top/helmet combo. That’s right in the wheelhouse of my childhood. Still have my all teal giveaway kids catcher’s helmet from 1994, sits on my desk. *memories*

    LeCharles Bentley tried to wear 00 for the Browns but the league denied his request:


    It was, I assume, in honor of Jim Otto, who was also “honored” by the artist Matthew Barney several times over — in a 1992 piece called OTTOshaft and this:


    I’m sure there have been dozens in college basketball over the years, but as an Illinois fan, I remember a player named Victor Chukwudebe who wore “00”. The combination of his name and distinct number made for very a unique jersey. Can’t find a rear shot with his name, but here’s the front.


    Kentucky’s cement mixer has nothing on Charlotte’s! link My buddy took that while driving, so excuse the inverted logo. I love that cement mixers in town that aren’t even building the new football stadium on campus have Niners football tanks (is that what you call them?).

    Also, double zero: Kevin Weekes.

    How could you do a piece about 0s and 00s and forget [ Willie Mays Hayes]?

    sorry, I still have no clue how to put links in comments

    [[ Maybe this will work?]]

    Just finished the 1st half of the Germany-Greece Euro match. ESPN commentator Ian Darke mentioned that #19 for Greece Papastathopoulos’ last name is too long for the back of his shirt, so they use his first name: Sokratis.

    I wonder if the recent Poland v Greece game has the record for length of names:

    Poland: 1-Wojciech Szczesny; 20-Lukasz Piszczek, 13-Marcin Wasilewski, 15-Damien Perquis, 2-Sebastian Boenisch; 16-Jakub Blaszczykowski, 7-Eugen Polanski, 11-Rafal Murawski, 8-Maciej Rybus; 10-Ludovic Obraniak; 9-Robert Lewandowski

    Greece: 1-Kostas Chalkias; 15-Vasilis Torosidis, 8-Avraam Papadopoulos, 19-Sokratis Papastathopoulos, 20-Jose Holebas; 2-Giannis Maniatis, 21-Kostas Katsouranis, 10-Giorgos Karagounis; 18-Sotiris Ninis, 17-Fanis Gekas, 7-Giorgos Samaras

    The story behind Oliver and Johnson wearing 0 and 00 for the 1985 Blue Jays is a pretty simple one. They picked up Johnson for September, his usual number 44 was taken by Jeff Burroughs and 0 was taken by Oliver, so he took 00.

    Paul (well, and anyone facinated with the number zero):

    Every read this?


    “Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea”

    HIGHLY recommended!

    I have that book, and love it!

    If you liked that, invest in George Ifrah’s “Universal History of Numbers”. Get the hardcover and put it on your coffee table!

    At the risk of semantics, is the change anything more than a re-coloring? I don’t even think the font changed one bit.

    The “Charlotte” isn’t floating above the rest of the logo anymore but aside from that it’s just been recolored. They also have a new jersey design below the logo though.

    Jevon Crudup wore #0 for Missouri in the early ’90s. I only know this because my Detroit Pistons drafted him in 1994 (late Round 2), and I could have sworn he wore #0 for Detroit in exhibition games, but he went on to play in Europe instead (which is why there is no official record of him ever wearing #0 for the Pistons).

    Nine WNBA players have worn 0 (two current) and twelve have worn 00 (one current).

    Of note: Olympia Scott wore 0 for six different teams.

    Alana Beard switched from the #20 she had worn since college to #0 this year when she signed with the Sparks. Kristi Toliver is #20 for LA. Beard said “Limitless. That’s why I chose to wear No. 0. If you Google, ‘the meaning of the No. 0,’ the way it is described really resonates with me.”


    Johnny “Zero” Clement wore 0 (and maybe 00) for the Steelers in the late ’40s.

    All this talk about zero’s has made me wonder, like LarryB above: who were the first players to wear 0 and 00 in each sport? Was there a “zero barrier” – a point when players who asked to wear 0 or 00 started to be taken seriously?

    Interesting to see that NFL players in the 40’s were wearing 0’s. Did we determine who the first MLB player was to go 0? And did people take notice at the time?

    And regarding the Rays “invented” throwback – someone somewhere wished they’d just wear the original uni’s and posted link Does the road uni in this pic look light green? Did we almost have a “powder green” road uni in 1998? We know they played the first few seasons with a grey road uni.

    It could just be shitty lighting that makes the guy on the left look like he’s wearing green. Or did the Ray’s start out with a light green road uni, then backtrack to grey? And why? Did the devil make them do it?

    Let’s not forget the 00 on the side of Dastardley and Muttley’s car on Wacky Races!

    Sadly no zeroes in football. We’ll never be seeing it in the NFL, but college needs it badly. Then again, what Division 1A needs it numbers deep into the 120s.

    In the last season and a half, 0 made a resurgence in the Arena Football League. In 2010 I don’t think there were any, but now the number belongs to one kicker, at least one reciever, and one defensive back.

    Never though Id see a Meat Puppets reference or the original Zero Skate company logo, good call!

    Also, Ive never been a county fan, but Brad Paisley and I hail from the Wheeling WV area and it disturbs me to see him in a Browns jersey…..

    “Leskanic, primarily a setup man with the Rockies from 1993 to ’99, was shipped to the Brewers for pitcher Mike Myers. Upon joining Milwaukee, he decided a fresh start was in order. He gave up uniform number 16 (worn in honor of boyhood hero Dwight Gooden) and asked for number 99. He was denied–because it belonged to the bat boys. “Embarrassing,” he says, smiling. “I must be pretty bad.” He now wears 00.”
    -Sports Illustraded, 3/25/01

    Ruth Riley was a NCAA Final Four MOP wearing 00 for Notre Dame and a WNBA Finals MVP wearing 00 for the Detroit Shock. She’s also worn it for Miami, San Antonio and (now) Chicago in the WNBA.

    Although I’ve known Ruth for almost a decade, I realize that I have no idea why she wears that number.

    You said Outman was pinch running? Maybe he gets lazy with the stirrups on days when he isn’t pitching.

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