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Now Batting, Number...: The Mystique, Superstition, and Lore of Baseball's Uniform Numbers Hardcover – January 1, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

There’s never been anything like this fun, fascinating and totally obsessive look at the facts, stats, history, and secrets behind baseball’s uniform numbers.

Unlike any other baseball statistics book, which reveals only the information about the numbers players put on the board, this revolutionary volume reveals all of the fascinating and little-known meanings and nuances behind the numbers that players wear on their backs. Now Batting, Number... covers a wide range of categories, including “Boyhood Idols” (why players choose certain numbers), “Birthday Babes” (which players have worn the same number as their date of birth), “Caretakers” (inside stories from equipment managers on the selection of players’ numbers), and “ Early Innings” (the history of numbering in baseball).

At the center of Now Batting, Number... is a substantial section listing the complete rosters of thirty Major League teams with each player’s number and position since 1929. Other lists include every retired number listed by league and team, every retired number listed by position, famous players’ numbers and every other player who ever honored them by wearing that number (listed by number), and much more. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

A fun, fascinating, and obsessve look at the facts, stats, history, and secrets behind baseball's uniform numbers.

Did You Know...
  • Carlos May is the only Major League player to wear his entire birth date on his uniform—"May 17"?
  • Bobby Valentine Switched from #13 to #11 while on the Angels after his jaw was broken by a pitch, his leg was broken running into a wall, and a ground ball broke his nose?
  • Al Oliver was the first Major League player to wear #0 in 1978 with the Texas Rangers? He insisted it was an "O" for Oliver, not a zero.
  • If a "Dream Team" was ever assembled of all the great #8's from the Majors it would include: 1B, Willie Stargell, SS Cal Ripkin, CF Andre Dawson, RHP Schoolboy Rowe, and MGR Yogi Berra?
  • Reggie Jackson wore #44 for less than half his career?
  • Pop Haines pitched a no-hitter wearing #18 in 1924?
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal (January 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579125751
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579125752
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,170,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If you're a baseball freak like me you'll appreciate this book. I don't how

this guy got all this information, but some really great stories. He must

have interviewed every equipment manager in major league baseball. As a

major Cardinals fan, I have to say that if Pee Wee Reese and Phil Rizzuto

are in the Hall, this book confirms that Marty Marion should be too!
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Format: Hardcover
Now Batting Number...: The Mystique, Superstition, And Lore Of Baseball's Uniform Numbers by former semi-pro baseball player (where he wore #4) and self-described obsessed fan Jack Looney is a very specialized baseball history that has as its particular focus the numbers on baseball jerseys. Jack explains why ball players were numbered in the beginning of baseball in the latter decades of the 19th century, and follows the evolution of uniform numbering to the serious aspect of baseball that it has become today. Superbly illustrated throughout with full-color photography, Now Batting, Number... is paced with hundreds of anecdotes and "infobits", myths and legends, "insider" stories, and the particulars behind why players choose a specific number, to produce a 560-page compendium that is a "must read" for all dedicated baseball fans, and a seminal contribution to academic and community Sports History reference collections.
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Format: Hardcover
I have to say, I was thrilled when I heard this book was coming out. There are so many holes in my knowledge, I couldn't believe that someone had taken the time to put all of this information together. As soon as I got it home I looked to see if he correctly had some obscure numbers I knew. In all three cases the book was incorrect. There are mutiple errors throughout the team roster section.
Additionally, some the material presented in other chapters barely seem germane to the numbers worn by players on the field.
All in all, quite an undertaking, but I was disapointed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having grown up with baseball, my friends and I are frequently talking about "old" players and invariably, "What number did he wear?" is asked.
This well-researched book gives several ways to answer the questions - by player, by team, by number.. just terrific for solving or settling a dispute.
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Format: Hardcover
It's a good thing this is about numbers, because the words are a nightmare. It's as if no one edited this thing AT ALL. From writing that Connie Mack handled a situation "bazaarly" to referencing Wayne "Gretsky" or longtime Cubs' clubhouse man "Yosh Kimono" (oy), the biggest number in this book might be the number of mistakes in the prose.
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Format: Hardcover
Every baseball announcer and enthusiast should have a copy of this book! Some of the best stats and stories about baseball numbers I have every seen. A truly great book and one that true baseball fanatics cannot do without! Seriously, BUY THIS BOOK IF YOU LOVE THE GAME!
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