Since today is Friday the thirteenth, I thought I'd write something about all the players who have worn 13 for the Padres over the years. I was wondering if Chris Denorfia was the all-time leader in games wearing the number since the 13s I could recall didn't stick around for long.
Luckily for me, Baseball Reference has made looking up this sort of thing extremely easy. It wasn't that convenient as recently as a few years ago; if one wanted to know this sort of thing they'd have to sift through each year. As it turns out, Denorfia has a commanding lead in games played over the other 16 players who have worn 13 for San Diego. In fact, no one else has even worn it for more than two seasons, a number eclipsed by Norf's four and counting.
Of the 16 Padres previous to Denorfia, only five wore 13 on their back longer than one season. They were infielder Fernando Gonzalez (1978-79), pitcher and sideburn enthusiast Juan Tyrone Eichelberger (1981-82), noted Gwynn-hater Mike Pagliarulo (1989-90), arrogant drunk driver Jim Leyritz (1998-99), and Schilling-killer Ben Davis (2000-01). Davis wore 25 in 1999, taking 13 when Leyritz was traded to the Yankees in the offseason.
The remaining 11 players who wore it in only one season are pinch-hitter Ramon Webster (1971), the awesomely-named Dick Sharon ('75), future manager and clown Bobby Valentine ('77), former All-Star Bobby Tolan ('79), future Cy Young Award winner Mark Davis ('87), one at-bat wonder Todd Steverson ('96), journeyman Jorge Velandia ('97), future drug-aided All-Star Gary Matthews ('03), reliever Antonio Osuna ('04), jack of all corners but master of none Robert Fick ('05), and infielder Oscar Robles ('07).
Before joining the Padres, Denorfia wore number 19 with both the Reds and the Athletics. If you don't know why he wasn't able to wear that number in San Diego, well, I just don't know what to say.