Cubs Uniform Numbers

2016 Update:  Dexter Fowler #24, #25 with Cardinals

Dexter Fowler left the Cubs to join their NL Central rival St. Louis Cardinals.  He has an interesting story with his uniform number.

Fowler wore #24 with the Cubs, but he can't have that number with the Cardinals since that is retired for Whitey Herzog.  It seems simple to just go to the next number (25) which is the one he chose, but the dilemma, that was Mark McGwire's number when he played for the Cardinals. 

Here is an article about this situation:

Dexter Fowler Uniform Number

This page came to me after a friend of mine mentioned that Matt Garza was given the number 17 for the 2011 season. Hardcore Cubs fans likely know that this was Mark Grace's number with the Cubs (although, I did notice that in Grace's rookie season he did wear #28 before switching to #17).

Grace even kept #17 when he moved on to the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2001 to 2003. So, the controversy here is would the Cubs ever consider retiring Gracey's number? I guess the fact that other players are now wearing indicate that it isn't a strong possibility. But after I looked at this a little closer, I found that only 2 of the current 5 Cubs numbers that are retired were actually used last by the player the number was retired for.

Ryne Sandberg #23 When Ryno retired the Cubs knew that the number would be retired. No Cub player has worn the uniform since.

Ernie Banks #14 When Banks took the number #14 from Paul Schramka in 1953, no Cubs player has worn it since.

Cubs Uniforn Number Trivia:

Which major league manager wore Sandberg's #23 immediately preceding Sandberg's first year with the Cubs in 1982? This is a tough trivia question, but an even tougher one (without cheating, at least), can you also tell me the other number that Sandberg wore in his first major league season in 1981 with the Phillies?

So, since Sandberg and Banks are the only 2 Cubs numbers that were retired immediately after their playing days were over, which Cub Players picked Ron Santo's #10 Billy Williams #26 and Greg Maddux/Fergie Jenkins #31?

Santo's #10
Santo's replacements were sluggers Leon Durham and Dave Kingman among others.

Billy Williams #26
Larry Biitner had the honor of wearing Billy Williams's #26 after Williams left the Cubs (Williams finished his career with the Oakland A's).

Maddux & Jenkins #31 Not many notable names wore #31 aside from Maddux/Jenkins. Davey Johnson wore it in 1978 and old-time great Cub, Stan Hack wore it in 1932.
Stan Hack When I saw Hack only wore it one year, I knew that he had a long and successful career with the Cubs and is on many of the Cubs all-time list in many statistical categories. It made me curious what other number was his primary number. #6 was the number he wore for the majority of his career from 1937 to 1947, but in all Hack wore 8 different uniform numbers (1, 31, 49, 34, 39, 6, 0, 25). That means he shares uniform numbers with Cubs pitchers Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol. I'd be curious to know if there is a story behind all of the various uniform numbers that Hack wore.  


The Hawk, Gracey, Sammy or No One?

The most likely numbers the Cubs might retire one day are
Andre Dawson #8
Mark Grace #17
Sammy Sosa #21
Which do you think should be retired? Another suggestion or do you think none of these players deserve to have their number retired by the Cubs.

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The HAWK (Andre Dawson #8) a five tool player. He could steal bases, throw out runners, get home runs, get RBI's, and great defensively! He was the only …

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Andre Dawson was a tremendous player for the Cubs. He produced at a very high level with the Cubs winning the MVP. He worked hard through many injuries …

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The Number 12

As I was researching this topic, I ran across one number that just seemed to have an interesting combination of players (#12). Shawon Dunston, Mickey Morandini, Dusty Baker and Alfonso Soriano have wore this number for the Cubs. Dunston was sort of a Cub disappointment for being an overall #1 pick in the draft, but he was an exciting player to watch throw with his cannon arm and run the bases with great speed. Morandini was a Cubs fan favorite that just seemed to be a tough, hard-nosed kind of players the fans related to well. Baker started with a big splash in 2003 getting the Cubs so close to the World Series and at the end seemed to be blamed for overworking pitchers, Kerry Wood and Mark Prior and leaving the Cubs in worse shape than he inherited it. Soriano was the high-priced free agent that has not lived up to expectations. I guess the next Cub to wear this number might not want to be a very superstitious guy!!


Starlin Castro and Claude Passeau, a Cubs pitcher back in the 40's had some great seasons with the Cubs and played a big role in leading the Cubs to the 1945 World Series. Turk Wendell was a colorful character that dared to wear this controversial number and Castro took the number (and the roster spot) from Andres Blanco who showed some great defense in his short time with the Cubs.

Cubs uniform Number Trivia Answer:

Jim Tracy, the current manager for the Colorado Rockies, and former Cub back in 1981 wore #23 for the Cubs before Sandberg. I guess you could call him the Cubs version of Wally Pipp!!

Sandberg wore #37 in 1981 with the Phillies. Good thing he didn't keep that number. The list of Cubs who have had that number is plagued with mediocrity, injury woes and Cub Curses (Greg Hibbard, Dan Plesac, Brant Brown and Angel Guzman).

Great Link for Cub Uniform Numbers