Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Serial History: Unlucky 13

It has been a long time since I did a Serial History
As part of the move I have thrown out my old scanner and trying to "scan" my cards just using my phone.  I still have lots and lots of boxes in storage and am only in a temporary landing spot with the inlaws until our new home is settled upon. 

I think the camera scan above came out pretty cool.  It shows off the shine of this
2018 Donruss Optic Carolina Blue
very well.
The back as you can see is serially numbered 13/50

Since it is a Carolina Blue card let's look at some Carolina teams and see who has worn "unlucky" thirteen.

Let's begin with the Carolina Panthers

For the Carolina Panthers there has been only three players to wear #13.  This article discusses Kelvin Benjamin and Ken Walter (punter 1997-2000) and was written in 2017, prior to Jarius Wright playing for the team.  Kelvin Benjamin is eighth all time on the Panthers all time records for receiving yards despite just playing 40 games with the team.  He connected for a touchdown 18 times and had a 53.5% reception rate.

Moving on to the basketball side of things, we have the complicated history of the Charlotte Hornets.  The Charlotte Hornets eventually moved to New Orleans and a new team took over in Charlotte, owned by Michael Jordan.  The team went by the name of the Bobcats until the New Orleans Hornets became the Pelicans.  The Charlotte Bobcats changed their name back to the Charlotte Hornets following the name change started in New Orleans.  The original Charlotte Hornets had some pretty good players on their team and two of them became famous in the original Space Jam (Muggsy Bogues and Larry Johnson).  You can't talk about the original Hornets teams without mentioning Alonzo Mourning, Dell Curry (father of Steph), and Kendall Gill.  
Gill came onto the season in a big way after being drafted 5th overall by the Hornets in 1990.  He made the All NBA Rookie 1st Team and averaged nearly 20ppg as a sophomore.  He would go on to play for several teams over his career including stops in New Jersey, Seattle, Charlotte (twice), Chicago, Milwaukee, Minnesota, and Miami.  He was named to the Charlotte Hornets 30th Anniversary team in 2018.

Another Hornets player to wear number 13 is Bobby Phills.  Phills was the first player to have his number retired by the organization. It was due to tragedy that Phills had his number retired when he crashed his Porsche while driving recklessly over 100MPH.  He was pronounced deceased at the scene and the other party involved in the accident was fortunately able to survive.  In 1996 Phills was named to the NBA All Defense Second Team.  He averaged 11ppg, but was known for his defense.  In 1996, Michael Jordan claimed that Phills was the toughest defender he faced.  Following his death, the Hornets retired number 13.  
Moving to the collegiate side of things we have the North Carolina Tar Heels.  This is the team most likely associated with "Carolina Blue".  Like thr Hornets, the Tar Heels have honored number 13 in the rafters.  However, the jersey number hasn't been retired.  
John "Hook" Dillon was the shooting guard on the team's first Final Four appearance.  He played for the Tar Heels from 1944 to 1948.  He was twice an All-American.

One of the most recent and successful players to wear #13 is Cameron Johnson, currently a member of the Phoenix Suns.
Johnson is a stud! He played only two years at UNC after transferring from Pittsburgh and had the second most three pointers in a season and ranks 18th all time in threes.  He is a versatile defender and can match up against any position.

It doesn't have to have ties to the Carolinas, but who are the players you think about first when you see number 13?  


  1. Dan Marino and Mats Sundin.

  2. Lance Parrish, Alex Avila. Both Tigers catchers to wear #13.

  3. Edgardo Alfonzo will always be the number one number 13 in my heart! Sergei Nemchinov comes to mind, too.