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 #30. 76 different players have donned #30 while playing in Chicago, 32 for the White Sox and 44 for the Cubs, who have retired it for two different players.
Signed by the White Sox as an amateur free agent in 1991, Magglio Ordonez made his major league debut wearing #30 on August 29, 1997, going 2-3 in the interleague victory against the Astros at Comiskey Park. He became the regular right fielder for the White Sox in 1998, appearing in 145 games and finishing the year with a .282 average, 14 home runs, and 65 RBIs, good enough to finish in 5th place in AL Rookie of the Year voting. 1999 was a breakout year for Ordonez, earning his first All Star selection and finishing the year hitting .301 with 30 home runs, 117 RBIs, and an OPS of .858.
Ordonez’s hot streak continued in to 2000, putting up a .315 average with 32 home runs and 126 RBIs as the White Sox won their first division title since 1993. While the White Sox failed to replicate their success in 2001, Ordonez kept up his end of the bargain, earning his third straight All Star nod and hitting .305 with 31 home runs, 113 RBIs, and a .914 OPS. 2002 was the his best season to date, setting career highs with a .320 average, 47 doubles, 38 home runs, 135 RBIs, and a .978 OPS while finishing in 8th place for MVP voting and earning his second Silver Slugger award.
2003 was another excellent year for Ordonez. He was named to his fourth All Star team, going 0-1 in his home stadium of US Cellular Field, and finished the year hitting .317 with 29 home runs and 99 RBIs. His 2004 season was on track to match his career norms when, during the May 19 game against the Indians, he collided with second baseman Willie Harris on Omar Vizquel’s popup to right field. Two trips to the disabled list and two surgeries on his left knee later, his season was over after only 52 games. Following the season, he became a free agent and his White Sox career came to an end.
On the north side, Steve Stone was assigned #30 after being acquired from the White Sox in December of 1973. Over three seasons with the Cubs, Stone went a combined 23-20 with a 4.04 ERA. His 1976 season was cut short due to a torn rotator cuff, which he decided to treat with cryotherapy rather than surgery.