The uniform jersey number 13 worn from 1970 through 1988 by Cincinnati Reds shortstop Dave Concepcion will be retired in ceremonies at Great American Ball Park prior to the Saturday, July 28 game against the Chicago Cubs.
At its meeting last week, the board of directors of the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum voted unanimously to retire the uniform number of the Venezuelan native. Each fan attending the 7:10 p.m. game will receive a commemorative replica of a painting that will be presented to Concepcion that day.
“He was the best shortstop of his era and certainly one of the greatest in the history of our storied franchise,” said Reds president and chief executive officer Bob Castellini. “Number 13 deserves to hang next to the uniform jerseys of Bench and Morgan and Perez.”
Concepcion's 13 will be the ninth number retired by the Reds, joining Fred Hutchinson's 1, Johnny Bench's 5, Joe Morgan's 8, Sparky Anderson's 10, Ted Kluszewski's 18, Frank Robinson's 20, Tony Perez' 24 and Jackie Robinson's 42. Concepcion was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 2000.
As the starting shortstop on the Big Red Machine, Concepcion was teammates with Bench, Morgan and Perez under manager Anderson on a club that from 1970-78 went 863-586 (.596) and won five National League West Division titles, four pennants and two World Series championships. The '75 and '76 Reds combined to go 210-114 (.629) and became the National League's first franchise in 54 years to win consecutive World Series titles. Concepcion was named team captain in 1973.
With 8,723 at bats in 2,488 games Concepcion ranks second in club history in both categories behind Pete Rose. Since 1900, he ranks among the franchise's all-time leaders in hits (2,326; 3rd), doubles (389; 3rd), stolen bases (321; 3rd), run scored (993; 5th), total bases (3,114; 5th) and RBI (950; 6th).
Concepcion, 58, was a 9-time National League All-Star, fourth-most in club history (Bench 14, Rose 13, Larkin 12), and his 5 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards are second only to Bench's 9 Gold Gloves. He was the Most Valuable Player of the 1982 All-Star Game, 3 times was a The Sporting News All-Star and twice won Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Awards. He was voted the Reds' MVP in 1981.
“By virtue of his 19-year career with the Reds, a claim to being the best shortstop of his era and his overall place in Reds history, Dave Concepcion richly deserves this honor, one that rightfully is reserved for those very few players whose careers truly represent extraordinary accomplishment,” said Greg Rhodes, executive director of the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum.
Concepcion's 13 will be displayed alongside the others below the press box behind home plate at Great American Ball Park.