Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Reds to retire Concepcion's #13

On July 28th, the Cincinnati Reds will retire shortstop Dave Concepcion's #13. Since his retirement, no player has donned #13, and now the Reds are making it official. Concepcion was a huge part of the "Big Red Machine" of the 1970s that won back to back World Series titles in '75-'76. By today's standards, his numbers certainly don't seem stellar - .267, 101 HR, 950 RBI, .972 fielding percentage. However, I understand the Reds' logic. He was one of the greatest shortstops of his era and was a fan favorite, and not to mention a 9-time all-star.

His number is being retired as part of a trend. Over the past 5 seasons, the Reds have retired Sparky Anderson's #10, Tony Perez's #24, and now Concepcion's #13, all members of the Big Red Machine. Members of this groups also retired include Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan. Much like the 1982 AL Championship team in Milwaukee, this group of players in Cincinnati is a special bunch that means a lot to the fans and the city. I don't necessarily agree that numbers should be retired ad nauseum - most certainly, Barry Larkin's number will also be retired in the next 5 years, and let's not foget the ongoing Pete Rose controversy. However, with teams with 26 World Championships as the Yankees, or a 130-year history as the Reds have, there is an exception. Eight numbers, not including Jackie Robinson, in the grand scheme of the Reds is not really a lot.

Twins W (15-11)
Brewers W (17-9)
Reds W (13-13)

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