Enrique Hernández might end up being the last Dodger to wear uniform number 14. Nothing is official yet on the Dodgers’ end, but Gil Hodges getting elected to the Hall of Fame in December satisfies the team’s general criteria for retiring a number.
“We are thrilled that he will finally take his place in Cooperstown alongside the games greats and look forward to honoring him next year,” Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said in a statement on December 5.
Nine of the 10 retired Dodgers uniform numbers are for Hall of Famers, and joining them with plaques down the left field line at Dodger Stadium are Hall of Fame announcers Vin Scully and Jaime Jarrín. The only retired number from a non-Hall-of-Famer is Jim Gilliam, the beloved longtime player and coach whose 19 is retired.
It seems likely that Hodges’ number 14 will soon join that group. Other Dodgers wearing a number that eventually was retired isn’t all that new. Six of the 10 uniform numbers were worn by someone else in between the player retiring and the number getting retired. But Hodges would stand out with a whopping 23 Dodgers wearing number 14 after him, matching the combined total of the other six players.
Retired Dodgers numbers worn before they were retired
|Player||Uniform||Others to wear number|
|Player||Uniform||Others to wear number|
|Gil Hodges||14||23 total (Scioscia, Hernández, Deshields, Carroll)|
|Don Sutton||20||11 (Maldonado, Webster, Randolph, M.Davis)|
|Pee Wee Reese||1||4 (Grabarkewitz, Auerbach, D.Thomas, Weiss)|
|Duke Snider||4||3 (T.Hutton, K.Pasley, B.North)|
|Roy Campanella||39||3 (K.Rowe, H.Reed, Bob Lee)|
|Jackie Robinson||42||1 (Ray Lamb)|
|Don Drysdale||53||1 (Tom Paciorek)|
The two players after Hodges to wear number 14 the longest were Mike Scioscia, who caught more games than any Dodger in history, and Hernández, a utility player par excellence for six years (2015-20). Scioscia wore 14 from 1980-92 as a player, then again in 1997-98 as a coach. The pair hit two of the most famous game-tying home runs in franchise history. Scioscia’s two-run shot in the ninth inning off Dwight Gooden in Game 4 of the 1988 NLCS helped avert a 3-1 series deficit, and Hernández as a pinch hitter tied Game 7 of the 2020 NLCS in the sixth inning, one of his eight postseason home runs with the Dodgers.
The Dodgers first retired numbers on June 4, 1972, when Jackie Robinson (42), Roy Campanella (39), and Sandy Koufax (32) were honored at Dodger Stadium, coinciding with Koufax’s induction to Cooperstown later that summer.
Of the 46 players to wear retired numbers during the interim period, only three made All-Star teams with the Dodgers while wearing that number. Billy Grabarkewitz, wearing Pee Wee Reese’s number 1, was an All-Star in 1970. Willie Randolph, wearing Don Sutton’s number 20, made the midsummer classic in 1989, and Scioscia got the nod in 1990.
Nobody wore the numbers of Tommy Lasorda (2), Gilliam (19), Walt Alston (24), or Koufax (32) after they did. But a number of Hall of Fame Dodgers saw someone else wear their numbers before the team eventually honored them. Four people wore Reese’s number 1, while Duke Snider (4) and Campanella saw three each wear their numbers before it was retired.
Four players wore Don Sutton’s number 20 after he left as a free agent in 1981, then after his return in 1988, seven more Dodgers wore number 20 before he joined Cooperstown a decade later.
Don Drysdale was the first Dodger to wear number 53, and the year after he retired, rookie outfielder Tom Paciorek’s eight games are the only thing preventing number 53 from being a one-player number with the team.
Perhaps the most obscure interim uniform number wearer was pitcher Ray Lamb, who in 1969 wore number 42, the only one to do so with the Dodgers after Robinson.
Lamb made his major league debut on August 1, 1969, and posted a 1.80 ERA in 15 innings over 10 relief appearances over the final two months of the season. He did so wearing number 42, by accident. From Bill Plaschke in the Los Angeles Times in 2019:
He was the first Dodger to wear that number since Robinson retired a dozen years earlier. He wore it for the rest of the 1969 season before the Dodgers’ venerable clubhouse manager Nobe Kawano realized his error and snatched it away.
“I’ve got to have this number back because we’re going to eventually retire it,’’ Kawano said.
“Did I have that good of a year?’’ Lamb said.
Hodges made his MLB debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1943, then after World War II returned to the majors in 1947 and played with the team through 1961 in Los Angeles. After Hodges left, here are the 23 people to wear number 14 with the Dodgers:
Third baseman Ken McMullen (1962), first baseman Moose Skowron (1963), infielder Johnny Werhas (1964-65, 1967), outfielder Len Gabrielson (1967-70), outfielder Von Joshua (1970-71, 1973-74, 1979), catcher Tom Haller (1971), catcher Chris Cannizzaro (1972-73), shortstop Iván de Jesus (1974-76), catcher Mike Scioscia (1980-92 as player, 1997-98 as coach), trivia question answer Delino DeShields (1994-96), utility man F.P. Santangelo (2000), infielder Jeff Reboulet (2001-02), first baseman Larry Barnes (2003), bullpen coach Jim Lett (2004-05), third baseman Bill Mueller (2006), catcher Mike Lieberthal (2007), infielder Pablo Ozuna (2008), shortstop Chin-lung Hu (2008), infielder Juan Castro (2009), utility man Jamey Carroll (2010-11), second baseman Mark Ellis (2012-13), pitcher Dan Haren (2014), utility man Enrique Hernandez (2015-20).