I’ve been thumbing through “Now Batting, Number… The Mystique, Superstition, and Lore of Baseball’s Uniform Numbers.”
This book includes listings of the complete rosters of all thirty Major League teams with each player’s number and position since 1929.
It has some typos on player names – that I’ve noticed already. But, it’s a fun book. For instance, who were the men to wear # 51 for the Yankees? Here’s the list:
George McQuinn 1947
Frank Leja 1954-55
Jim Coates 1956
Gordon Windhorn 1959
Pete Mikkelsen 1964-65
Tony Solaita 1968
Ron Klimkowski 1969
Terry Whitfield 1974
Larry McCall 1977-78
Cecilio Guante 1987-88
Don Schultze 1989
Chuck Cary 1989-91
and, Bernie Williams since 1991.
Pete Mikkelsen was a Staten Island native (like myself). If I remember right, no Staten Islander has pitched in more big league games than him.
But, clearly, when the Yankees retire #51 for Bernie, there will be no debate on “They should have retired it for so-and-so first.”