Bobby Valentinelooks at Carl Crawford after a failed bunt attempt. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Unlucky 13

I’m not one to believe in jinxes, curses, Harvey Dent, vampires, or Mitt Romney. There are a lot of things that have hurt Carl Crawford during his time in Boston, but does his number factor into that?

Here are the number 13s in Red Sox history according to

Bob Fothergill      1933

Elden Auker         1939

Reid Nichols        1985

Billy Jo Robidoux 1990

John Valentin       1992-2001

Rey Sanchez         2002

Lou Merloni         2003

Doug Mientkiewicz   2004

Roberto Petagine    2005

Alex Cora           2006-08

Alex Gonzalez       2009

Billy Wagner        2009

Angel Sanchez       2010

Niuman Romero       2010

Carl Crawford       2011

  • Robert Roy Fothergill was nicknamed “Fats” or “Fatty”. Although he only played 28 games with the Red Sox he hit .344 in mostly pinch-hit duty.  During one of his crash diets in 1928, (with the Tigers) Fats bit home-plate umpire Bill Dinneen and commented “That’s OK. That was the first bite of meat I’ve had in a month.”. Fothergill died at 40 after suffering multiple strokes. His 28 games played with the Red Sox were the least he played in a single season.
  • Elden Auker only played one year with the Red Sox, he donned number 13 and his 9 wins were the lowest he had in any full year of his career.

No one wore #13 for a very long time…

  • Reid Nichols never played over 100 games in a season with Boston because he was stuck behind Jim Rice, Tony Armas and Dwight Evans in the outfield. Talk about unlucky!
  • Billy Jo Robidoux was born in Ware, Massachusetts. The 1B/OF/DH signed with Boston when he was 26. He hit .182 with 1 home run and 4 RBI. That was the end of his career.
  • John Valentin was the starting shortstop for the Red Sox from 1992 until 1996 when a prospect named Nomar Garciaparra got called up.  Valentin never saw shortstop again.
  • In 2002 Rey Ordonez played 102 games at shortstop for the Red Sox, he had 16 extra-base hits.
  • Lou Merloni. The “Merloni Shuttle”. Best friends with Nomar. Stuck with EEI. How unlucky can one guy be?
  • Doug Mientkiewicz. How many former players have been sued by the Red Sox?
  • Roberto Petagine. The Red Sox signed Petagine from the Japanese Central League. In that offseason he had knee surgery. He played 18 games and had one home run with the Sox.
  • The Red Sox were ready to hand shortstop to Alex Cora after trading away Edgar Renteria. The team decided to trade for Alex Gonzalez (for the first time) before the deadline.  He took Cora’s position, but not his number, yet. Cora batted .238 with one home run and 18 RBI.
  • Alex Gonzalez. Second time in Boston, the Sox let him walk away at the end of the season. The Red Sox haven’t made the playoffs since.
  • Billy Wagner. Pitched 13.2 innings for Boston, 5 runs scored, rejected arbitration.
  • Angel Sanchez. One game played, zero hits.
  • Niuman Romero was called up to replace Ángel Sánchez, who was traded to the Houston Astros for Kevin Cash. He played 2 games, had zero hits.
  • And finally Carl Crawford. Crawford’s first year in Boston was the lowest .avg, stolen base total, and runs scored of his career. In the offseason he had wrist surgery and is still experiencing discomfort. So far this season, in the 20 games he’s been back, he’s putting up better a AVG, OBP, and SLG than last year. Hopefully last year the jinx of 13 was just a fluke. Although his SLG is much lower batting 2nd, his AVG is 19 points higher and his OBP is over 50 points higher. So maybe he just needs to be batting 2nd?

As we look at these players there hasn’t really ever been a great player that has wore number 13 for the Red Sox. Is there a chance that the number 13 is jinxed after all? No, don’t be stupid!

Tags: Alex Cora Alex Gonzalez Billy Wagner Carl Crawford Doug Mientkiewicz John Valentin Lou Merloni Number 13

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