I have always been fascinated by jersey numbers. As a kid playing sports, most of my teams were limited to numbers 1-12, with the lower numbers going to the smallest kids and the double digit ones reserved for the bigger kids. When I made my first All-Star team as a nine-year-old (flex), it was the first time I could pick whatever number I wanted. I chose 22 because I liked the look of it, which is a hard thing to explain in words. The reason for the choice had nothing to do with numerology or wanting to be like a certain player I admired, it was purely aesthetic.
In Little League baseball and Boys & Girls Club basketball, I was often stuck with #1 because of my diminutive stature. As such, I wonder if big league power hitters avoid the number because of its connotation as a small dude number. Lou Whitaker hit 28 home runs while wearing the number in 1989, which I’m assuming is the record. Casey Blake also hit 28 home runs for Cleveland in 2004 while rocking #1. (If anyone knows how to do a search for “Most x By Jersey Number in a Single Season”, please let me know in the comments!) Otherwise, the number has mostly gone to svelte, light-hitting infielders like Ozzie Smith, Pee Wee Reese, and Richie Ashburn.
Since their 1977 inception, the Mariners have given the loneliest number to 20 players, none of whom are particularly important pieces of the franchise’s history. Charles Gipson is tied for the longest tenure with #1 on his back, and I always liked Charles Gipson, so he’s earned the photo spot on this quiz. Congratulations to Charles Gipson.
See how many players you can name that donned #1 for the Seattle Mariners.