Lukas: Single-digit pitchers Snell, Stroman combine for one rare feat

From SABR member Paul Lukas at on April 7, 2017:

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman and Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell combined to do something very rare Thursday. Rare, but not unprecedented.

Stroman and Bell, who started Thursday night’s game for their respective teams, both wear single-digit uniform numbers — No. 6 for Stroman and No. 4 for Snell. According to ESPN Stats & Information, their pitching matchup at Tropicana Field on Thursday night marked the first time two single-digit starters had faced off since Sept. 14, 1941, when Johnny Hutchings (who wore No. 5) of the Boston Braves opposed Johnny Schmitz (No. 7) of the Chicago Cubs.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, there were at least seven other single-digit showdowns in the 1930s and ’40s, including three in 1939 alone involving Cleveland Indians fireballer Bob Feller (who wore No. 9 that season, although he would later become more identified with No. 19) and Chicago White Sox left-hander Eddie Smith (No. 6).

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Originally published: April 7, 2017. Last Updated: April 7, 2017.