The Dodgers announced yesterday that it will retire Gil Hodges' uniform No. 14 and that the ceremony will take place June 4 when the Dodgers play the Mets.
It's been a long time since the Dodgers retired a uniform number. The organization, with one exception, does not retire a number until the person who wore it is elected to the Hall of Fame. I think this is the proper way to retire numbers, rather than the "just-because" reasons that several other baseball teams do.
The last time the Dodgers retired a uniform number was on Aug. 14, 1998 when they retired Don Sutton's No. 20. Twenty-four years have gone by since, but, heck, people have been waiting for Hodges to reach the Hall of Fame for a lot longer than that.
So I figured I would revive a blog series that I haven't done in years -- just to continue the whole "what you waiting for?" theme.
This is where I review all the players who have worn a certain number for the Dodgers. Today we're looking at No. 14.
I'll breeze through this quickly. The information on uniform numbers is more easily accessible than it was when I was writing these posts regularly. As a way of introducing it, I'll say that a lot of players who barely registered with the Dodgers have worn the No. 14 since Hodges last wore it in 1961.
Players like F.P. Santangelo, Pablo Ozuna, Larry Barnes (who?), Juan Castro and this guy:
I sure do have a lot of 2008 cards of Chin-Lung Hu wearing No. 14.
Other Dodgers No. 14-wearers since Hodges' time include Dan Haren, Mark Ellis, Johnny Werhas, Tom Haller, Len Gabrielson, Mike Lieberthal, Von Joshua (his second tour), Ivan deJesus, Bill Skowron, Bill Mueller, Jamey Carroll, Chris Cannizzaro, Ken McMullen and Jeff Reboulet.
There are three, shall we say, notable players in L.A. Dodgers history who have worn the number, not as notably as Hodges but still, they wore it proudly.
Enrique "Kiké" Hernandez is the most recent. He wore it from his arrival with the Dodgers in 2015 until his departure in 2020. He produced some really good cardboard wearing that number, although I'd say the number was often obscured because of all the arms and legs in action. Thank goodness for some old-school Heritage.
OK, I don't know how proud Dodgers fans were of No. 14 when Delino DeShields was wearing it between 1994-96, but he is definitely one of the more noticed players to wear it in Dodger blue ... er, red.
However, the most memorable No. 14 after Hodges for the Dodgers is Mike Scioscia. He wore the number from 1980-92, just shy of the length of time Hodges wore it. And he won a couple World Series wearing the number, just like Hodges did.
Here are a couple of card of Hodges in action with the No. 14 prominently on display.
Hodges' uniform retirement will bring the Dodgers to 11 retired numbers, all except Jim Gilliam are in the Hall of Fame.
I'm looking forward to the ceremony. But mostly I'm happy I don't have to write any more "put him in the Hall already" posts.
Have you voted in part 2 of the Cardboard Appreciation the review 5 quest for a new card in the Cardboard Appreciation Hall of Fame? If not, copy the link to vote: https://vote.easypolls.net/628fc6ee5617e80062b0b1dd