Some Rockies numbers are off-limits

The Rockies, still a young franchise, have never retired a number player’s jersey number. Officially, the only one that’s retired is Jackie Robinson’s No. 42, and that’s out of circulation throughout baseball.

But even with a large camp roster, there are two other numbers that the team isn’t giving to anyone.

One is obvious, based on accomplishment. Larry Walker, No. 33, was the franchise’s first major star. He won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1997, and for a time was in the conversation of the best player in the league.

The other decision is based on emotion more than stats in a Rockies uniform.

Pitcher Darryl Kile joined the Rockies in 1998 and went 21-30 with a 5.84 ERA in two seasons before being traded to the Cardinals. He had far more success with the Astros before and the Cardinals after his Rockies stint. However, Kile died unexpectedly of a heart attack on June 22, 2002, in his hotel room in Chicago before the Cardinals were to play the Cubs.

Kile’s No. 57 was issued only once after he left the club, when pitcher Jason Jennings was called up in 2001. Jennings switched to 32 in 2002. Kile’s death was felt by Rockies players who respected him as a person.

1 Comment

…Jackie Robinson’s No. 42, and that’s out of circulation throughout baseball.

Not really. Not yet. Mariano Rivera still wears No. 42 for the Yankees. And, for 2007 and 2008 (and maybe more years), any MLB uniformed personnel was (will be?) allowed to wear No. 42 on April 15, now known as “Jackie Robinson Day.”


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