As you've probably already read or possibly heard Mud Grant announce, Jedd Gyorko has worn 68 for the last time. Upon being officially added to the Padres' roster, Gyorko was issued number 9, becoming the twenty-fifth player to wear it since the team's inception in 1969. Here's a look at the 24 guys who previously wore the number that will be added between the 6 and the 19 above the batter's eye at whatever Petco Park is called in about twenty years, starting with the most recent.
24. Blake Tekotte:
Tekotte wore 15 and 23 in 2011 before wearing 9 for the 11 games he played for San Diego in 2012. I'm not sure what number he wears now because I don't care about the White Sox.
23. Eric Patterson:
The player to be named later in the Adrian Gonzalez to Boston trade, Patterson played 47 underwhelming games for the Padres, batting .180 in 2011 before being released outright.
22. Matt Antonelli:
The since well-traveled infielder wore both 62 and his favorite number 9 in his only season in the majors, 2008. He was issued number 10 the two following Spring Trainings because 9 was being worn by coach Ted Simmons.
21. Brian Myrow:
Myrow had cups of coffee with the Friars in 2007 and '08, batting far below the Mendoza line in both small samples. He appeared as a pinch hitter in 32 of his 33 games with the team.
20. Jose Cruz, Jr:
Cheo wore 9 in 2007, his only season with the Padres, before being released at the trade deadline. He had previously worn 23 with Toronto and Seattle; 22 with San Francisco, Tampa Bay, Arizona, and the Dodgers; and 32 with Boston. All three numbers were unavailable when Cruz signed with San Diego; they were taken by Adrian Gonzalez, Marcus Giles, and Chris Young, respectively.
19. Jack Cust:
Cust wore 9 for all three at bats of his Padres career, a late-season 2006 call-up. No stranger to short stints by that point, Cust had two career at bats as a member of the Diamondbacks and in another season got one at bat with the Orioles. Predictably, his career took off once he left San Diego.
18. Vinny Castilla:
Acquired from Washington for Brian Lawrence before the 2006 season, Castilla wore his familiar number 9 until being released in July. He then hooked back on with the Rockies, where he made his name, but the old Coors Field magic (and/ or whatever other magic may have been in play) wasn't there and that was all she wrote on his career.
17. Jesse Garcia:
An infielder by trade, Garcia got into 16 games with the Padres in late 2005. He hit .167 with two home runs- one off of current Padres starter Jason Marquis.
16. David Ross:
Ross got into 11 games with the Padres in 2005 after arriving in a midseason trade for the legendary J.J. Furmaniak. He was one of six catchers used by the Padres that season; Phil Nevin even started two games behind the plate, six years after his last start as a catcher.
15. Alex Gonzalez:
Like Ross, Gonzalez also only spent 11 games with the Friars, his third of three teams in 2004. He was traded from the Cubs to the Expos earlier in the year as part of the four-team trade that sent Nomar Garciaparra to Chicago.
14. Todd Sears:
Sears wore 9 for a mere 9 games in September, 2003 after coming over from the Twins in a trade for minor leaguer Alex Garcia on 9/9. Sears played one inning at first base and was otherwise used as a pinch hitter.
13. Ron Gant:
Gant wore 9 for the Padres in 2002 after wearing 5 with the Braves, Cardinals, Phillies, Angels, and A's; along with 6 with the Reds and 3 for the Rockies. 2002 was Gant's last productive season; he went back to Oakland the following season and composed a sad swan song that ended with a June release.
12. Alex Arias:
Arias got into 70 games for the 2001 Padres, playing at least 13 games at each of all four infield positions. As for his hitting- hey, did I mention he was versatile defensively?
11. Gabe Alvarez:
Like Gonzalez and Ross after him, the eleventh Friar to wear 11 played only 11 games with the team. Originally drafted by the Padres in the second round of the 1995 draft, Alvarez was selected by Arizona in the 1997 expansion draft and traded the same day along with polarizing third baseman Joe Randa to Detroit. He faltered for parts of three seasons with the Tigers before being reacquired by San Diego, where his career came full circle to its end.
10. Carlos Hernandez:
The last Padres regular to wear number 9 for longer than a season, Hernandez was the primary man behind the plate for the 1998 National League champions. He missed all of '99 with a ruptured Achilles tendon. He came back in 2000 but was traded after 58 games to St. Louis, where he played the final 17 games of his career.
9. Chris Gwynn:
After time wearing double digit numbers with Kansas City and some other team I don't want to think about, Chris ended his career with 81 games in 1996 alongside his brother Tony, wearing number 9 and hitting his most famous double.
8. Scott Livingstone:
After coming over in a May, 1994 trade with Detroit, Livingstone wore 9 that season and part of the next before switching to 8 for the rest of his time in San Diego. He was sent to St. Louis in June, 1997 along with Fernando Valenzuela and current hitting coach Phil Plantier for Mark Sweeney and two others.
7. Benito Santiago:
The best known of all the nines in Padres history, Santiago also wore two other numbers in his time with the team. He wore 10 as a September call-up in 1986 and famously switched to 09 in 1991 because it wasn't obscured by the strap of his chest protector. He went on to play for eight other teams, wearing 09 with the Marlins and 9 again only with the Cubs.
6. Graig Nettles:
Acquired from the Yankees in a trade right before Opening Day 1984, Nettles kept the number he wore in New York. The former Gold Glover had three productive seasons in San Diego, including one last All-Star appearance in 1985, before fading out with the Braves and Expos.
5. Ruppert Jones:
After previously wearing 28 and 22 for the Padres, Jones was issued 9 as soon as it became available for the 1983 season. The 1982 NL All-Star had previously worn 9 in Seattle, where he made his- and the franchise's- first All-Star appearance.
4. Steve Swisher:
The reason Jones couldn't have 9 his first two seasons with the club, Nick's dad wore it in 1981 and '82, just like he had before in Chicago's North Side and St. Louis.
3. Brian Greer:
After one plate appearance wearing 37 in 1977, the eighth overall pick of that year's draft got three trips to the plate with 9 on his back in 1979. Unfortunately, he never got on base in either number and that was the extent of his major league career.
2. Gene Richards:
9 was the third of four numbers Gene Richards wore with the Padres. After being issued 29 in his rookie year of 1977, Richards wore both 19 and 9 in '78 before receiving his familiar 17 prior to the '79 season.
1. Al Ferrara:
Picked thirtieth in the expansion draft, the Padres' first number 9 kept the number he had worn with his last team. He performed well as a regular in the team's first two seasons but couldn't adapt to a bench role in 1971 and was sent to Cincinnati for the amazingly-named Angel Bravo.