John Beare (@Interstate19Cap) and I have been a pair of chatty Kathys for the last seven months or so, and he is definitely one of the guys who I admire that has a lot more New Era Caps than I do. But, where slight envy comes in, so does knowledge. Having seen a photo of the cap as his avatar on Twitter a few months ago I figured that he, of all people, might know how to find both players’ numbers. Sure enough, he did. Tommy Lasorda played for the Angels in their final season and John happened to have a book by a man named Richard Beverage (awesome name) that had this tidbit inside. Lasorda went 7-10 with a 3.90 ERA, which wasn’t exactly the cat’s meow of his career, but how can you blame a guy who had been moved up and down routinely from the Majors to the Minors throughout his career?
#15- Success!!! After a month-and-a-half of investigating, an answer has finally been brought to light. A fellow member of the Twitter-verse named Nick Parson (@NicholasParson) is the person most responsible for this find. Prior to the discovery, very little hope was left in the search after a trail ran cold with Parson's contact at the library of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Jim Gates. I received a direct message from Nick a few days ago in which he detailed that a member of SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) came across Irvin wearing #15 on his jersey in a program from April of 1957 and relayed the information to Jim about an hour after Jim had told Nick that hope was pretty much lost. Absolutely incredible. I cannot thank Nick Parsons, Jim Gates and SABR enough for making this discovery.
It really blows my mind to think that my dumb little hat markings helped bring a 56-year-old oversight to light. I thought I was just being clever. Wow!