Tag Archive for Tony Clark

Not for Nothing

Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal today makes note of the 13 ballplayers known to have worn No. 0 — and perhaps the 14th, Mets reserve shortstop Omar Quintanilla.

0My first reaction upon seeing that article was to think there must have been more than 13 so far but it checks out at least according to Baseball-Reference.com. Amazinly, two players wore No. 0 as Mets — Terry McDaniel in 1991 and Rey Ordonez in 1996-97 — while Junior Ortiz went on to wear 0 in his post Mets career (Junior was a rare No. 34 position player in orange and blue). There’s actually been more 00s in baseball history than 0s — 19 overall. That group includes Tony Clark, who wore it for the Mets in 2003 — at least until it was pointed out that he was sharing a number that otherwise belonged to Mr. Met.

Clark initially took 00 upon joining the Mets as a late-arriving free agent during 2003’s spring training. With jerseys already assigned, the veteran said he preferred taking 00 to the selections in the 80s that were otherwise available then. Ironically, when Clark switched — to No. 52 — he became the first Met player to appear wearing that number too.¬†Former Met reliever Rick White — a 51 in New York — wore 00 later in his career.

00As for Quintanilla, he explains that like Clark he preferred a number more befitting to his stature and experience — modest as it may be — when he rejoined the team this winter on a minor league contract after seeing his most recent assignment, No. 3, issued to newly arrived free agent Curtis Granderson. What Diamond’s article fails to mention is that the uni switch was the second in as many deals for Quintanilla, who saw his 2012 assignment ¬†of No. 6 issued to Kelly Shoppach and then Marlon Byrd while he was away with Baltimore.

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Clark, Mr. Met Settle Differences

52Tony Clark appeared in Thursday’s doubleheader wearing No. 52, changing from 00, explaining the former belonged to mascot Mr. Met. “A lot of kids have expressed their opinion that there’s only one double-zero in their heart,” Clark said. That may be true today but a uniform number is a recent development for the largeheaded one, who represented for years without one. Clark in the meantime just keeps on making history: He was the first Met player to wear 00 and now, the first to wear 52.

Jeremy Griffiths also made his major league debut Thursday, wearing the dreaded No. 46.

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Clark, Piazza Back

With Mike Piazza having paid his debt to baseball society, the Mets today demoted backup catcher Jason Phillips 23 and welcomed Tony Clark to the active roster for the first time. Clark becomes the first Met ever to wear Number 00.

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He’s Grrrreat!

00The Mets continue to invite new faces to camp. Switch-hitting skyscraper Tony Clark is the most intriguing. Clark is coming off a rotten year in Boston (wearing No. 22) but isn’t too far removed from some good seasons with Detroit (when he wore No. 17). He’d make a nice backup for Mo Vaughn and a dangerous pinch-hitter if he catches on. Feb 23 Update: According to Mets.com (not known for its accuracy) Clark has been assigned No. 00. If that holds, it would be the first double-zero in Met history.Photo courtesy of Ed Tsunoda and Metswiki. More Updates: Esix Snead in No. 1; longshot vet Jay Bell in 44 (Prentice Redman in 82); and Graeme Lloyd in 17. The Mets also announced they’ve invited Donovan “Sunshine Superman” Osbourne to camp and issued him No. 88.

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