We recently got an inquiry from a reader who asked about the circumstances around Met coaches Bobby Valentine and Bill Robinson switching uniform numbers before the 1985 season.
You might recall that in 1984, Robinson, then in his first season as the Mets hitting and first-base coach, was wearing No. 26 while Valentine was issued No. 22 until the Mets traded for Ray Knight late in the season. Valentine at that point switched to 28 to allow Knight to wear his customary 22.
By the beginning of 1985, Valentine gave up 28 for No. 2and Robinson moved into 28, a jersey he’d wear for the next five years. No. 26 wasn’t issued agin until Terry Leach arrived in July.
A little bit of research explains Robinson’s preference for 28: He’d worn that number as a player for the best years of his career with the Pirates. It was available with the Mets in ’84 but not until Scott Holman was released at the end of spring training. Holman’s subsequent re-signing as a minor leaguer may have kept the number in near-term mothballs.
Anyone with memories of this situation- – or even why Valentine seemed to prefer No. 2 — is welcome to chime in. Thanks as always for the questions!
In a move practically shouting “see you next spring!” the Mets today disabled John Maine for the second time in a month. The club was noncommital as to who would be taking Maine’s starts from here on out but stands to reason the list of candidates would include Brandon Knight, who made a spot start in late July on the way to the Olympics; Brian Stokes, now working in the Mets’ bullpen; or Jon Niese, the lefty prodigy whose high regard by the Met brass could be the thing that prevents his activation at this time. Should it wind up being Knight — who’s probably due for a September recall anyhow — he’ll have to find a new number: He wore 28 then, which since has gone to Dan Murphy. May we suggest 22? Thanks to MBTN reader Ron, who in the comments section a few posts back reports:
I contacted the Mets and Juan Lopez is now wearing # 62.
Lopez is the bullpen batting practice (thanks, commenter) pitcher whose 56 was usurped byLuis Ayala but is still listed that as such on the Mets roster. Congrats to Mike Pelfrey on another solid game. Beat it, David Newhan. And welcome back to reluctant returnee Luis Castillo, who for now takes Maine’s roster slot.