Retired Numbers: #5

Six (and one likely future) Hall of Famers are among those honored with the retirement uniform #5. We also have our first executive, Carl Barger, whose favorite player was Dimaggio, prompting the Marlins to retire #5 in his honor. There was also one non-Hall of Famer, one of the most tragic stories in sports.

Willard Hershberger, Cincinnati Reds

The backup to Hall of Fame catcher Ernie Lombardi, Hershberger was filling in for the injured “Schnozz” in July 1940. After the Reds lost games to inferior teams, Hershberger blamed himself and either said or implied that he would commit suicide like his father. Manager Bill McKenchie spoke with the catcher, and believed he was better at the end of their conversation. The next day, however, he was found dead in the hotel bathtub from a slashed throat.

Following his death, #5 was temporarily retired until 1942. In 1967 the greatest catcher in big league history wore the number, and it was retired permanently in 1986.

Johnny Bench, Cincinnati Reds

Brooks Robinson, Baltimore Orioles

Carl Barger, Florida Marlins

George Brett, Kansas City Royals

Hank Greenberg, Detroit Tigers

Jeff Bagwell, Hosuton Astros

Joe DiMaggio, New York Yankees

Lou Boudreau, Cleveland Indians


About JT

Christian. Husband. Dad. 911 dispatcher. Baseball fan. Horror nut. Music nerd. Bookworm. Time Magazine's 2006 Person of the Year.

Posted on December 10, 2011, in baseball, baseball cards and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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