#12 Days Until Opening Day

According to baseball-reference.com, fifty players have worn uniform #12 as a Yankee. 

Fifty players... YIKES, that's a lot! 

I thought that #12 might be the most frequently worn number in Yankees history, but I was wrong.  It's not even close.  With 50 wearers, #12 ranks... well, twelfth (you can't make this stuff up) on the All-Time Most Frequently Worn Yankees Number list (a list never heard of or recorded until this very instant). (Editor’s note - well, until last year at this time.)

Here is the All-Time Most Frequently Worn Yankees Number top-10 list:

  1.  #26 (74 players)

  2.  #38 (68 players)

  3.  #39 (65 players)

  4.  #27 (62 players)

  5. #29 (61 players)

  6.  #22 (60 players)

  7.  #17 (55 players)

  8.  #28 (54 players)

  9.  #18 (53 players)

  10.  #34 (52 players)

(I am glad I didn't start this feature twenty-six days before Opening Day, I'd still be listing the 74 Yankees who wore #26...)

Here are some interesting facts about the Yankees uniform #12:

  • FOUR Hall-of-Famers wore #12 while on the Yankees (Waite Hoyt, Herb Pennock, Wade Boggs, and Ivan Rodriguez)

  • Roger Clemens, who it can be argued will someday be in Cooperstown, also wore #12 as a Yankee, but just during the 1999 season.

  • Waite Hoyt only wore #12 for one season (1929).  1929 was the first season the Yankees wore numbers on their uniforms.  With this, the Yankees became the first team to permanently wear numbers on their uniforms.  Hoyt was wearing #11 in 1930 before he was traded to the Detroit Tigers.

  • Herb Pennock wore #12 in 1932 and 1933 after wearing uniform numbers 11 (1929) and 16 (1930-31).

  • Wade Boggs wore #12 for his entire Yankees tenure (601 games from 1993-97).  

  • Ivan Rodriguez wore #12 for his entire Yankees tenure (a grand total of 33 games in 2008).

  • Gil McDougald wore #12 for his entire baseball career, spent entirely with the Yankees.  McDougald was the 1951 Rookie-of-the-Year.  He wore #12 for ten years in a total of 1,336 games.  He is the All-Time Yankees #12 leader in games and seasons.

  • When Ron Blomberg became baseball's first ever designated hitter, he was wearing uniform number 12.

  • When Babe Dahlgren replaced Lou Gehrig at first base in 1939, he was wearing #12.

  • Between 1969 and 1982, uniform #12 was only worn by first basemen (or designated hitters).  These were Ron Blomberg, Jim Spencer, Dave Revering, and John Mayberry.

  • Billy Martin wore #12 in his rookie year (1950).

From baseball-reference.com, the following is the complete list of Yankees who wore #12:

Tyler Wade (2018)

Chase Headley (2014-2017)

Alfonso Soriano (2002-2014)

Vernon Wells (2013)

Eric Chavez (2011-2012)

Eduardo Nunez (2010)

Cody Ransom (2009)

Josh Towers (2009)

Alberto Gonzalez (2008)

Ivan Rodriguez (2008)

Kevin Thompson (2007)

Andy Phillips (2006-2007)

Nick Green (2006)

Tony Womack (2005)

Kenny Lofton (2004)

Clay Bellinger (2001)

Denny Neagle (2000)

Roger Clemens (1999)

Wade Boggs (1993-1997)

Jim Leyritz (1990-1992)

Torey Lovullo (1991)

Carlos Rodriguez (1991)

Alvaro Espinoza (1990)

Tom Brookens (1989)

Joel Skinner (1986-1988)

Mark Salas (1987)

Ron Hassey (1985-1986)

Roy Smalley (1983-1984)

John Mayberry (1982)

Dave Revering (1981-1982)

Jim Spencer (1978-1981)

Ron Blomberg (1969-1976)

Billy Cowan (1969)

Ruben Amaro (1966-1968)

Phil Linz (1965)

Mike Hegan (1964)

Billy Gardner (1961-1962)

Gil McDougald (1951-1960)

Billy Martin (1950)

Ralph Buxton (1949)

Charlie Keller (1945-1948)

Joe Buzas (1945)

Mike Milosevich (1944)

Oscar Grimes (1943)

Buddy Rosar (1941-1942)

Babe Dahlgren (1938-1940)

Jack Saltzgaver (1934-1937)

Herb Pennock (1932-1933)

George Pipgras (1930-1931)

Waite Hoyt (1929)