BRADENTON, Fla. — It’s a good thing manager Clint Hurdle does not have triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13).
The Pirates’ new, bright yellow workout tops make it easy to spot Hurdle as he moves from field to field at Pirate City. When he mixes with a bunch of players or coaches, you can tell him from behind by the big number 13 on his back.
Thirteen? Who on earth wants that number?
Hurdle wore No. 10 from 1977-81 with the Kansas City Royals. When Hurdle was traded to the Reds in 1982, he asked for No. 10. “They cussed me out and said it was Sparky (Anderson’s) number,” Hurdle said. Hurdle got No. 30. The Reds eventually retired Anderson’s No. 10 in 2005.
“When I was traded again and asked for No. 10, they cussed me out again,” Hurdle said. “So finally I went to the (Mets’) equipment manager and said, ‘What’s a number that nobody wants?’ He told me, 13. I said, ‘Bring it on.’ ”
Hurdle wore 13 with the Mets in 1985 and again with the Cardinals in 1986. He finished his playing career in 1986 with the Mets wearing No. 7.
If Hurdle had taken No. 7 with the Pirates, he might not have worn it for long. It was used by Chuck Tanner, who died last week, and there is some discussion in the front office — and a strong push among the fan base — about adding it to the list of the Pirates’ retired numbers.
Infielder Josh Rodriguez, a Rule 5 pickup who would have to be returned to the Indians if he doesn’t break camp with the Pirates, currently is wearing No. 7.