Congratulations. You have been selected to take part in the 5oth post of this blog. You receive no monetary prize, just entertainment or information (or perhaps both) as we look at some Major Leaguers who have worn the uniform number 50. Of course a big thank you goes out to all of you have started at my very first post and have continued to follow me up to this point. I hope you have just as much fun reading as I have had in writing. May there be many more to come.
Back to the business at hand:
Sid Fernandez El Sid wore #50 as a tribute to his home state of Hawaii which if you couldn’t figure out was the 50th state to enter the Union. He spent 14 years in the Majors, mostly with the Mets and was death on left-handed hitters. He was an earlier version of Randy Johnson minus the extra ten inches of height, eight MPH on the fastball and stick frame. It was a deliberate, side-arm motion that made the lefty difficult to solve even for right-handed batters. He pitched the most important 2.1 innings in Met history in Game 7 of the 1986 World Series. After Boston jumped out to a 3-0 lead, Fernandez entered in relief of Ron Darling and allowed just a single walk while striking out four as the Mets finally tied the game in the sixth inning before winning the Championship 8-5. Sid finished with 114 wins and a 3.36 ERA to go along with 1,743 strikeouts in 1,866.2 innings pitched.
J.R. Richard There will come a time where I will devote an entire post to James Rodney. Right when I started watching baseball, he seemed to me like the most dominant pitcher of all time. Unfortunately, his career was cut short when he suffered a stroke during the 1980 season. I vaguely remember the picture of him being carted off the field in the Astrodome. I seem to think he attempted a comeback in 1981 that was cut short because of the effects of the stroke. Just think, for half a season, he was on the same staff as Nolan Ryan for the Astros. Can you imagine facing those two on back to back nights? Watch this clip of Richard dominating hitters.
Jay Howell OK, he didn’t wear #50 for his entire career. He did sport the big 5-0 with the A’s and Dodgers, the teams with whom he had his greatest success. He came to Oakland from the Yankees in the big Rickey Henderson trade, totaling 61 saves in three seasons with the team. Howell then landed with the Dodgers in 1988, saving 21 games to go with a 2.08 ERA as Los Angeles shocked the A’s to win the World Series. For his career, Howell saved 155 games and recorded the victory in 58 other contests. He made the All-Star team three times and finished with an ERA under 2.00 twice.
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