Bobby in Disguise

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!


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One comment

  1. Jon Springer says:

    Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 01/04/2010 – 12:00am.
    Wasn’t he a lasorda disciple?

    Submitted by Jon Springer on Mon, 01/04/2010 – 7:19am.
    I think that explains it.

    Valentine wore #2 with LA

    Submitted by Ranjrz5 on Tue, 01/05/2010 – 9:54am.
    Valentine wore #2 with LA when he came up.

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