The first player to wear the only even prime number was Marv Throneberry in 1962. Known for his horrific defense, he passed it along to Jimmy Piersall in 1963—another famous character to play for the early Mets teams.
Throughout the history of the franchise, number 2 has been an unlucky one. When Dominic Smith switched to it in 2020, someone should have warned him.
Dominic Smith broke the Mets curse of number 2 in 2020 but it returned in 2021
With a number 2 on his back in 2020, Smith was the team’s MVP in the shortened season. The success didn’t last long. He reverted back to his old ways in 2021, putting in a complete yet unsatisfying year for the team. Thoughts of him being the permanent left fielder or possibly taking over at first base with Pete Alonso moving to a DH role faded.
It wasn’t just Throneberry or Piersall who set the bar for number 2. In 1972, it was the number Jim Fregosi wore for the team. Fregosi famously came over to the Mets in the infamous Nolan Ryan trade with the California Angels.
The number continued to haunt the franchise. When Mackey Sasser forgot how to throw the ball back to the pitcher, there was a number 2 on his jersey.
A few coaches would wear number 2, including Bobby Valentine. You could argue he helped break any curse that the number held. After all, he helped turn the Mets around. The team never did win the big one under his reign so perhaps that was just a tease.
Some promising young players would begin to wear the number in the 2010s. The number 2 belonged to Justin Turner from 2010-2013. He was famously designated for assignment by the organization before signing up with the Los Angeles Dodgers and becoming a whole different kind of player.
Dilson Herrera, a one-time prospect with a lot of hope, would wear it next. He never did reach his potential. Not long after, Gavin Cecchini, another notable Mets prospect, had it as well. Again, Cecchini failed to develop into the player many thought he could become.
I don’t believe in ghosts, conspiracies, or love at first sight. I do believe the number 2, at least with this franchise, is jinxed. For such a lower number to have this many poor outcomes should be a warning for Smith and everyone else. It’s time to unceremoniously retire the number and bury it far away from Citi Field. No one should ever have the misfortune of wearing it again.
Amazingly, Smith had worn number 22 previously. This was the same number World Series MVPs Donn Clendenon and Ray Knight had worn. If he remains in New York, a chance is needed.