The Padres just called up five highly anticipated prospects, and assigned four of them numbers in the 60s and 70s. This reminded me of a post I've been meaning to write for a couple of years, so here we are. I consulted Baseball Reference's compendium of uniform numbers throughout team history and looked up the relevant digits. The list of Padres who have worn number 60 or above has grown considerably over the past few seasons, but is still fairly short at just 21 names, although that will grow to 25 once Hunter Renfroe, Carlos Asuaje, Manuel Margot, and Jose Torres take the field. All 21 are below, with pertinent notes for each.
Kip Wells, 2012 - Three years removed from his last major league appearance, Wells wore 60 for all seven of his starts for San Diego. In his previous 11 seasons he had worn 16, 21, 31, 32 (with three teams), 38, and 40.
Frank Garces, 2014-'15 - This is the only number Garces has worn; all 55 games of his career thus far have come with the Padres.
Chan Ho Park, 2005-'06 - This was Park's usual number; he wore it with the Dodgers and Rangers before joining the Padres, then with the Mets, Dodgers again, Phillies, Yankees, and Pirates.
Nick Hundley, 2008 - Hundley wore this during his first call-up, but was given his more familiar number 4 later in the season. He wore 40 in Baltimore since 4 is retired there in honor of Earl Weaver, but now has 4 again for Colorado.
Mat Latos, 2009 - Like Hundley, Latos was assigned 61 for his debut, then got the number we all recall later that season. Along with the Padres, Latos has worn 38 for the White Sox and now the Nationals; he wore 55 with the Reds, Dodgers, and Angels, and 35 for the Marlins.
Cory Burns, 2012 - Burns wore 61 in all 17 of his games with the Padres, then got 57 for his 10 with the Rangers the following season.
R.J. Alvarez, 2014 - Alvarez had 61 on his back for all 10 of his stellar appearances for San Diego; after going to Oakland in the Derek Norris trade he was given the more respectful 37.
Luis Perdomo, 2016 - Not to be confused for the other Luis Perdomo, who wore 59 for the Padres in 2009 and 2010, this Rule 5 pick has worn 61 all season long.
Steve Fireovid, 1981-'83 - Fireovid was the first Padres player to wear a number over 59 when he came up for five games, four of which he started, in 1981. He was back in 61 during his second taste of the bigs in 1983, when he made four relief appearances. He wore five other numbers in his other four major league seasons with four different clubs: 41 and 44 in six games with the '84 Phillies, 45 in four games with the White Sox in '85, 47 in a career-high 10 games for the Mariners in '87, and finally 29 in his three-game comeback with the Rangers in 1992. In case you weren't mentally adding along, that's six uniform numbers and 32 games in six seasons with five teams, spread out over a 12-year span.
Matt Antonelli, 2008 - After debuting in 62, the Padres' first pick in the 2006 draft got his preferred number 9 for the rest of his September call-up, which proved to be his entire major league career.
Chris Rearick, 2015 - Thus far this is the only number Rearick has worn in the bigs, for a grand total of three innings spread over five appearances.
Jose Dominguez, 2016 - He previously wore 60 in his 14 games with the Dodgers in 2013 and '14, and 52 with the Rays for four outings in 2015.
Andy Hawkins, 1982 - After Fireovid broke the 60 barrier, he was quickly joined by Hawkins. However, Hawkins was just as quickly assigned another, more typical digit; he wore 40 from later in the 1982 season until he headed to the Yankees after the 1988 season. He wore it all three of his seasons there before finishing his career with 15 games split between 41 and 56 with the A's.
Sean Gallagher, 2010 - Gallagher apparently had an affinity for the number 36; he wore it in his rookie season with the Cubs, then in 2008 and '09 with the A's after being initially issued 50. He took 39 when Oakland acquired veteran reliever Russ Springer. It was not available in San Diego, as it belongs to longtime pitching coach Darren Balsley, so I'm guessing Gallagher requested the flipped version. He wrapped up his career wearing 43 for the Pirates; I don't have any theories about that.
Ali Solis, 2012 - Solis wore 63 in all five of his games with San Diego in September, 2012, then wore 43 in his other eight major league games, in 2014 with Tampa Bay. He remains hitless after 10 at-bats, but does have an RBI to his credit.
Jake Smith, 2016 - Smith's journey to the majors is quite an incredible story, so the fact that he has any number at all is quite a feat. Perhaps next year he'll have a lower one here or elsewhere, but either way he'll always be the first Friar to wear the digit Paul McCartney pondered about in his younger days.
Carlos Hernandez, 1997 - After wearing 41 and 26 in his seven years with the Dodgers, Hernandez wore 65 for just part of his first season in San Diego before being assigned the number 9 he's better known for wearing. He finished up his career with 8 on the back of a Cardinals jersey in 2000.
Rodney Myers, 2000-'01 - The lesser-known Padres reliever named R. Myers, he wore 28 and 59 with the Cubs from 1996 through '99. And who wore 28 immediately before him in Chicago? That's right: Randy Myers. Following his two years in a pair of sixes, Rodney switched to 46 in his final season with the Friars before closing out his career with two years in Dodger blue with a red 58 and 46 on the front of his jerseys.
No Padres have donned the digit which is sure to elicit replies on Twitter, but Jesse Spector of The Sporting News wrote a nice article about all of the major leaguers who have worn it.
Buddy Baumann, 2016 - Like Smith and Rearick, Baumann's high number is the only one he has worn so far. If I had to wager, I would guess that it holds some significance to him, as it is the only number in the 70s that has been issued by the club during the regular season. Even if it doesn't mean anything to him, I could see him holding onto it if he moves to another major league team, as it is both pleasing to the eye and distinct, and he won't have to worry about someone else already having it.
Kyle Blanks, 2010-'14 - Blankzilla was given 22 when he came up in 2009 after wearing his height (6'6") and 68 during previous Spring Training camps, but surrendered it upon the request of David Eckstein, who had worn it in Anaheim and St. Louis. Blanks finished 2009 wearing number 8, but gave that up the following season when Yorvit Torrealba came to town. Presumably because he was sick of his number getting repossessed every five minutes, he took 88 and kept it in his subsequent stints in Oakland and Texas.
Paul Clemens, 2016 - He wore this number - complete with the nameplate "Player" - for all of one inning in the middle of a game this year after accidentally slathering pine tar all over the one he started with. Manager Andy Green alerted umpires and asked what they should do, because he didn't want to give the impression that Clemens was trying to load up the baseball when in fact he was just very inept at batting.
This afternoon, the Padres showed what numbers the new guys will be wearing. Manny Margot becomes the first Padres player to wear 70 in regular season play, and Hunter Renfroe and Jose Torres will do the same for 71 and 76, respectively. Carlos Asuaje gets the 63 last worn in 2012. It's presumable that Austin Hedges will wear the 18 which he wore last season, as it was not issued to anyone else this year.
Hanging in a Major League clubhouse for the very first time pic.twitter.com/1nDU1Mqghl— San Diego Padres (@Padres) September 21, 2016