Talking numbers with Johnny Damon


Baseball uniform numbers a curious thing. Some players wear numbers in honor of their home; Benny Agbayani’s number 50 comes to mind. Others wear numbers to make something of a statement; think about Bernie Williams, Puerto Rico and the number 51. Others wear numbers to honor their favorite players; Jason Giambi‘s 25 commemorates Mickey Mantle’s 7. Yesterday, Tyler Kepner got to talking with Johnny Damon and found out that the Yanks’ left fielder’s 18 is for Darryl Strawberry. Who knew?

Categories : Asides


  1. Cam says:

    Ben, heard anything about Horne yet? I know they said he would be evaluated this morning, but I haven’t seen anything yet. Just curious. Thanks.

  2. Joseph C. says:

    Huh. I could have sworn I heard a story about Giambi’s jersey number. I heard that he picked #25 in tribute to McGwire, as Giambi really looked up to him in his younger playing days.

  3. Greg G. says:

    My favorite recent number stories are that Ichiro wears 51 because of Bernie and Troy Tulowitzki wears 2 because Derek Jeter was his “favorite player growing up.”

    “Growing up!” How can that be??? Jeter just won the Rookie of the Year like 2 years ago.

    Man, I feel old.

  4. andrew33 says:

    from your previous post – the yankees won in 2000 when denny nealge was on the team – but i’m being picky

    i enjoy the site – great job

    • Ben K. says:

      That’s my point. They haven’t won since Denny Neagle was on the team. Once he left after 2000, they stopped winning. Ergo, the Curse of Denny Neagle.

  5. jscape2000 says:

    Was Bernie’s 51 a political statement? I’d never heard that before.

    Hanley Ramirez and BJ Upton both wear number 2 to honor Jeter.

    • Ben K. says:

      I don’t know for sure if Bernie’s 51 was a political statement. That’s an educated guess my dad and I put together over the years. It’s just a hunch.

      • Jen says:

        I always heard that 51 was just the number he was issued by the team and he never bothered to change it. Almost like a statement of his struggles to stay with the big club early on in his career. Since he was a mid-season call up I don’t know how much of a say he had in choosing his number. I don’t know if it’s true, but I seem to remember someone talking about it on a game broadcast.

        But the political statement theory is intriguing.

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