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Mets/Cubs Pitching Matchup Ties Uni-Numerical Record

Faaaascinating matchup of starting pitchers in the first game of Saturday’s Mets/Cubs twinbill, as Marcus Stroman (No. 0) faced No. 99 (Taijuan Walker). I’m not sure if this has happened before — I feel like it probably has, although I’m not 100% certain of that — but it at least ties the mark for the largest gap between uni numbers for a pair of starting pitchers.

“Wait a minute,” you might say, “what about No. 00 and No. 99? Wouldn’t that be the largest possible gap?” I suppose you could make that argument, but I disagree. In my mind, zero is lower that double-zero.

And here’s another tidbit from that Mets/Cubs game: Mets reliever Adam Ottavino, who wears No. 0, appeared later in the game, so both teams had a zero-clad pitcher. I’m pretty sure that’s never happened before in the same game. Unfortunately, Stroman had already been taken out by the time Ottavino entered the game, so the teams didn’t have zero-clad pitchers in the game at the same time. That’s a distinction they can shoot for in mid-September, when the Cubbies are scheduled to play a series in New York.

Comments (23)

    Other than it being pretty cool for someone like Jim Otto (link), I hate “00” as a number. Add a “1” to “1” and you get “11” — double zero doesn’t have that same effect.

    I don’t feel “00” = “100” anymore than I feel it equals “0”. Just don’t use it, IMO

    Is 00 a real number or an imaginary number? I wonder what Descartes would say? ;-)

    There were a handful of games in 2013 and 2014 when Ottavino (wearing No. 0 for the Rockies) and the Dodgers’ Brian Wilson (wearing No. 00) pitched in the same game. In at least two of these games, they were in the game at the same time.


    I saw you tweeted this, but last week the Mariners had four consecutive player numbers hit a homer in the same game (#26 Adam Frazier, #27 Jesse Winker, #28 Eugenio Suarez, #29 Cal Raleigh). First time that’s ever happened for the Mariners, and another fun numerical oddity.

    Two numbers I’d never wear if I was an athlete (and I’m not!): 0 or 1.
    Don’t like the idea or look of either one.


    I wore #1, but only as a goalie, as it is customary in some sports and still almost mandated in other sports. But I agree with you on the #0. Or #00. Or #69 for that matter. Don’t be That Guy.

    In 1980, Bobby Bonds wore 00 when he played for the St. Louis Cardinals. When asked why, he allegedly said, “If I ain’t 25, then I ain’t nuthin.”

    Bonds also played left field for St. Louis so his uniform number/position/name entry on a scorecard was 00 7 Bonds

    Paul, I use a news reader to alert when something has been posted at Uni-watch and I notice that it’s no longer working. Are you going to re-activate the RSS feed?

    I know that in the nba you can’t have a number 0 and a number 00 on the same roster. Does that apply to the mlb?

    Actually, that is false. Lots of NBA teams have 0 and 00 on the same roster. Here, read this:

    As for MLB, I’m not aware of any such restriction.

    As Paul mentions in the article, in NCAA and US high school basketball, you can have 0 or 00, but not both. That is likely what you are thinking of. This makes it easier for the official to flash the number to the scorer for who committed a foul.

    In college basketball, I believe the mechanic is for officials to flash both digits simultaneously. When I officiated high school basketball, we did each digit separately using the same hand, so the refs shouldn’t mixup 25 and 52.

    I don’t know how NBA officials do it, except that it appears they only do a single flash regardless of the uniform number.

    I remember when Al Oliver was asked why he took the the number zero, with the Expos I believe, and he replied: Its not a zero. Its an “O.” As in the letter O. I always thought that was kinda badass.

    Three other MLB players have worn zero because their surnames began with “O”: Junior Ortiz, Rey Ordoñez, and Adam Ottavino.

    And Omar Olivares wore “00” for the Cardinals and Phillies in the 1990s because of his initials

    The Japanese minor/developmental leagues offer many opportunities to beat Stroman and Walker’s record: link is way ahead of Taijuan, and link pitching even to a number 99 would do it easily.

    They in fact require three digits on these players. The major and minor teams share a set of numbers (and uniforms), so in general players have 0 to 69 and coaches have 70 and over, with sudden acquisitions put wherever there is room. In the 1990s, teams started giving out numbers over 100 to people like batting practice pitchers and bullpen catchers, and they did the same for ‘developmental players’ who worked out at their academies but weren’t on the roster.

    In the mid-90s the Hiroshima Carp brought pitcher Robinson Checo from such an academy all the way to the big club, and he link, becoming the first-ever three-digit pitcher, and I’m sure he pitched to many batters numbered 0 through 6 that year.

    The league decided that three digits was too much and they were banned in NPB games after that; Checo’s number dropped to link. But we can still see three digits in the minors and in training camps!

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