By The Numbers – 72

In 1929, uniform numbers appeared on the back of baseball jerseys for the first time, thanks to the Indians and the Yankees.  By 1937, numbers finally appeared across all uniforms, both home and away, across both major leagues.  Since that time, 81 distinct numbers have been worn by members of the White Sox, while the Cubs boast 76.

Today, we continue our look at those players, picking our favorite, if not the best, player to wear each uniform number for both Chicago teams with #72.  A grand total of 3 players have donned the number while playing in Chicago, 1 of whom is enshrined in Cooperstown.

When Carlton Fisk joined the White Sox in 1981, #27, which he wore with the Red Sox, was taken, so he switched the numerals around and became the first player in White Sox history to don #72.  12 years later, Fisk left the White Sox as the all time major league leader in games caught, home runs as a catcher, home runs after the age of 40, and most seasons as a catcher.  He was also the career home run leader for the White Sox.  #72 was retired in his honor on September 14, 1997 and he was elected to the Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2000.

Robert Machado gave up his #29 when the Cubs acquired Fred McGriff at the trade deadline in 2001, becoming the first Cub to don #72.  He wore the number for the rest of his Cub career, which lasted until June 9, 2002, when he was traded to the Brewers.

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