Originally Posted by MrCinatit
Thanks for the uniform number history lessons, guys - it would actually be tough for me to decide if they should retire his original 43 or oft used 39. Both might be kind of overboard.
I'd be very surprised if the Reds retired any of his numbers for two reasons. For one, I'd have thought they'd have gone ahead and retired his number already if they intended to actually do so. The team had known that Joe was in poor health for a few years, and if they were going to retire his number one would think they would have done it while he was still alive. They just retired Concepcion's number last season, and not long before that they retired Sparky's number.
Secondly, his number is a symbol mostly for his playing days and not so much his broadcast days. My guess is the Reds may want to try to find something more unique than retiring his number, something that would reflect the totality of his contributions to the Reds and would be entirely unique for him. Essentially, something even more meaningful than retiring his number.
I'm not really sure what that unique thing would be. The statue reflects his time on the mound and making history by being the youngest modern big league ballplayer, and his "Rounding third and heading for home" phrase reflects his time as a broadcaster (he also has the replica microphone on the facade underneath the booth along with Hoyt and Marty).
Maybe they should tell Carl Lindner and Great American to take a hike so they can name the ol' ball orchard after Joe.
Whatever happens, I do expect the Reds to do something for him soon, perhaps this season. Perhaps Redsfest could shed some light on anything that may happen.