The magical number 9

Wednesday, February 11 2009 @ 12:43 PM EST

Contributed by: Mick Doherty

Number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9
Industrial output ... Financial imbalance
Thrusting it between his shoulder blades

Ted Williams. Reggie Jackson. Minnie Minoso. Enos Slaughter. Bill Mazeroski. Roger Maris. What do these men all have in common? (No, this isn't a trivia thread, sorry.) Simply -- they are the only men in baseball history to have had the uniform #9 retired by a big league ballclub.

Now, "9" is a magic number in baseball. Nine innings in a game. Nine players on the field defensively -- and nine in the lineup, pre-DH. You get the idea. So in a reverse twist on Dan McIlroy's excellent "Lobby of Numbers" series, let's see what kind of roster we can build strictly of players who wore the uniform #9. (I'm going to need some help here!) ...

First, let's slot the guys already mentioned.

So, to start off with (pun intended) how do we fill out ...

The Starting Nine
** Hall of Famer
* All-Star

Manager: Suggestions?

(Yes, there's a DH. Deal with it!)
2B Bill Mazeroski**
3B Graig Nettles*
LF Ted Williams**
CF Roger Maris*
RF Enos Slaughter**
DH Reggie Jackson**

Minnie Minoso*
Bill Plummer?
Brady Anderson*?



Who else qualifies? After Nettles, off the top of my head, I can only positively think of Plummer, a backup catcher with the Big Red Machine, and Anderson, another outfielder -- though granted, another 50-homer guy to go with Maris. Both are, at best, bench fodder (or in Plummer's case, Bench fodder. Har!) ... who else plays here? And how do we find candidates?