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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Indians Magic Number: 9

Posted By on Sat, Sep 17, 2016 at 10:10 AM

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The Tribe won last night, continuing that trend where they beat the ever-living crap out of the Motor City Kitties this year. Yes, the Indians are 12-1 against their division rivals in 2016 and the only sad part about that is that they won't be there to kick around in the playoffs.

Anyway, the magic number took the beautiful double drop and is now in single digits.

So what's Bob Feller doing here? He's No. 19. We all know that.

Well, he originally wore No. 9 his first year with the Tribe — 1936, when he was 17 years old.

But then he, like almost all other pitchers in baseball history, was eventually given a double digit uniform numbers. Why? It started with the Yankees, of course, who decided in 1929 they'd order uniform numbers based on the order of the lineup (No. 3 for Babe Ruth, for example). That left pitchers outside of the 1-9 and other teams followed suit. While the ordering system of numbers didn't last, pitchers stayed in the double digits. Bob Feller's No. 9 in 1936 is actually a pretty unique exception. The Wall Street Journal has a good history here.

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