Players Who Wore No. 13

JoeSportsFanSenior Analyst IFebruary 13, 2009

Happy Friday the 13th!  It’s a day where when anything at all that is remotely unusual is immediately blamed on the correlation between the date and the day of the week.  Also, another Friday the 13th remake is coming out today.

It may be a case of just getting old, but it seems like the remakes that they are making now get more and more recent. 

There may be a remake of Dark Knight coming out soon for all we know. Those involved in sports are notoriously superstitious—it is said that Tony LaRussa acts like Jack Nicholson in As Good as It Gets on occasion during games.

Still, some athletes decide to go for the reverse jinx and wear the No. 13.  This week’s Top seven looks at the best and most famous.

7. Omar Vizquel

Vizquel has been unfairly compared to Ozzie Smith. Yes, I am enormously biased, but Vizquel is no Ozzie, not defensively, not offensively. He is one of those players that gets obligatory Hall of Fame mentions simply because he has been a decent player for a long period of time.

Of course, it worked for Jim Rice to eventually get in, so you may as well go for it. 

It must be mandatory for anyone who plays for 12 or more years to at least get mentioned somewhere as a possible HOF candidate—Buster Olney even mentioned Andruw Jones’s credentials if he were to call it quits. 

It’s mind-boggling…these are the people that get mentioned as potential Hall of Famers, but Rickey Henderson can’t get more than 95 percent of the vote.

6. Tazz

He destroyed people in ECW and was teased to come to the WWF for months.  He finally made his debut at the Royal Rumble and handed Kurt Angle his first loss.

This was right towards the end of the peak of wrestling and the WWF, as instead of capitalizing on Tazz’s popularity from ECW fans and the new fans he gained with the win, they had him feuding and getting beaten down by the Big Bossman just a couple of weeks later. That made sense.###MORE###

5. Steve Nash

Nash comes from a long line of South African-born, Canadian-raised, white NBA point guard back-to-back MVPs who were mentioned in songs by Nelly Furtado and Timbaland.

4. Kurt Warner

This spot was going to go to Ollie from Hoosiers but I forgot about Warner.  They do share some similarities though—both were forced into their situations because of unforeseen circumstances: Trent Green’s injury for Warner, a foul out for Ollie.

Ollie’s haircut was similar to Warner’s wife’s former fade.  And if you were to put money on Ollie’s job, it would have to be as a grocery bagger.

3. Wilt Chamberlain

His 100-point game was a statistical outlier for many reasons, but the most amazing had to have been that he shot 28 out of 32 from the free-throw line that night (87.5%), even though he was a 50 percent free throw shooter for his career.

If you flipped heads or tails 28 out of 32 times, you would probably start freaking out (though today you could blame it on the date). It’s also possible the Wilt was the biggest embellisher of all-time. 

Here’s an anecdote—he did commentary on a Globetrotters game way back in the late '80s, and said that when he played they would play in “ice arenas.” What is an “ice arena?” Did they play in Antarctica? Ice skates? I have wondered this ever since.

2. A-Rod

At least he is getting something written about him that has nothing to do with 'roids.  Here’s a question: why did it take Bud Selig three days to come out and say that he “shamed the game?”

Did they literally run focus groups on which words he should use?  Was he waiting to see how high the level of outrage was before he talked? Also, the baseball writers have set quite a precedent with their Hall of Fame votes amongst the steroid users. So does A-Rod not get in now?

Are there going to be only around six players from the last twenty years in the Hall?  Someone needs to figure this out.

1. Dan Marino

He gets the nod over A-Rod for three reasons: he wore the number 13 longer, he was in Ace Ventura, and the You Tube clip of him going insane is one of the top “commentator losing it on live or taped TV” clips of all-time, right up there with Chris Berman and Bill O’Reilly.

The Top 7 is written by Jason Major. He’s eating 13 jelly doughnuts just to celebrate the day’s activities. Email him at jason@joesportsfan.com.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.