Athletes are notoriously superstitious. The won't talk about a hot streak for fear of jinxing it. They eat the same meal before each and every game, as if it provides just the right combination of nutrients to guarantee peak performance. They won't change seats during a ninth-inning rally. Blah, blah, blah.
But the superstition surrounding the number 13 doesn't seem to be as big a problem - at least not for some players.
So, if you're not already sick of a day of ubiquitous riffs off Friday the 13th theme, Pattison Ave. sends a Friday the 13th shout-out to 13 Philadelphia players for whom the fear of the number 13 didn't keep them from wearing it.
1. Wilt Chamberlain, Warriors (1959-62) and Sixers (1965-68) center -- OK, it's obvious, but where else could we start? It's Wilt the Stilt. The Big Dipper. That No. 13 jersey has never worked better for an athlete in any sport.
2. Billy Wagner, Phillies closer (2004-05) -- We hate him now (well, maybe we hated him a little while he was here too), but Wagner was a huge addition when he arrived in a trade from the Houston Astros. He had 59 saves in his two seasons here.
3. Tomas Perez, Phillies infielder (2000-05) -- Utility player started 125 games in 2003, batting .265 with 5 homers and 18 doubles. He wore No. 13 in 2000 before switching to his more familiar No. 9.
4. Claude LaPointe, Flyers center (2002-04) -- Had 7 goals and 5 assists in a season-plus wearing the orange and black.
5. George Kenneally, Eagles end (1933-35) -- Was the team captain and player-coach for the newly born Eagles franchise, earning All-Pro honors after the 1934 season.
6. Roger McDowell, Phillies reliever (1989-91) -- Longtime New York Met registered 22 saves and had a 6-8 record for the Phils in 1990.
7. Sal Fasano, Phillies catcher (2006) -- The man who brought Sal's Pals and the handlebar mustache to Philly batted .243 in his only season with the team, chipping in 4 home runs in 50 games.
8. Dan Carcillo, Flyers winger (2008-2011) -- The most recent Philly player on the list, Carcillo scored 16 goals in his three seasons with the Flyers, but racked up 414 penalty minutes.
9. Bobby Wine, Phillies infielder (1960, 1962-67) -- Wine only wore the No. 13 for one season in 1965. He uniform number was 7 for most of his career, including in the 1963 season when he won a Gold Glove at shortstop.
10. Dave Smukler, Eagles fullback (1936-39) -- Led team in passing for three consecutive season before the arrival of Heisman Trophy winner Davey O'Brien. Finished his Eagles career with 1,357 yards passing and 15 touchdowns to go along with 1,099 rushing yards.
11. Lance Parrish, Phillies catcher (1987-88) -- Hit 32 homers during his two seasons with Philadelphia and represented the Phillies in the 1988 All-Star Game.
12. Charlie Hayes, Phillies third baseman (1989-91, 1995) -- Hit 11 home runs and drove in 85 while batting .276 during the 1995 season.
13. Chuck Hughes, Eagles flanker (1967-69) -- We thought it fitting to save Hughes for the No. 13 spot on the list since he came to such an unlucky end. His Eagles career was largely uneventful, but he became the only NFL player to die on the field when he collapsed of a heart attack while playing for the Lions in 1971. For the record, he wore No. 85 in Detroit.
There you have it. Enjoy what's left of your Friday the 13th.
Originally published November 13, 2009.