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The Tuesday Discussion: What Number Would You Be?

This week we asked our writers:

If you were a Major League baseball player,

what uniform number would you wear (and why)?

Here are their responses:

Ed Botti – That’s an easy one. #10. I always wore 10 as a player since the day my Father told me that was his number when he played in the Washington Senators and Yankees minor league systems back in the 1950’s. From then on, I was 10!

Michael Saffer – If I were a big league ball player I would donn the number 22. It was my number throughout youth baseball and 3 of my 4 years in high school because it was already taken by a senior my freshman year. I got it back when he graduated.

James Vlietstra – If I was a professional athlete, I would wear number 64. I actually had a custom made Yankees jersey made with that number. The basis for the number originated from my height being 6’4”

However, back in the 90s when pagers were the rage, my friends and I all had identifying numbers we used to know who was contacting us (like 305 for his engine, 711 the gambler). Mine was 64. It became part of my identity which I used in telephone numbers and email accounts.

Patrick Gunn – My uniform number would be 16, because it has always been my lucky number. I was born on the 16th, and I’ve always had a strong connection to the number. If I were a Yankee, I would go with 80, mainly because it is a multiple of 16 and it is a nice, round number.

Paul Semendinger – #2. I was #2 before Derek Jeter. I’m older than him. I’ve worn #2 for most of my life. The reason I was always given uniform #2 as a kid growing up? Yeah, I was short. The lowest numbers were the smallest size uniform shirts. Even today, I’m still #2 when I play (mostly) – one of my softball teammates had the number before me so I had to settle for #11 on that team. But I am #2 on my baseball team.

Derek McAdam – If I had to choose a number to wear in the Majors, it would be #30. I played basketball growing up and wore that number for two seasons. It also is not retired by the Yankees and was most recently worn by Edwin Encarnacion (which could help me develop some power). Although I will never make it to the big leagues, it sure it fun to have a number already in mind!

Ethan Semendinger – This was a challenge for me because I had to choose between my two favorite players of all-time Ichiro Suzuki (51) and Hideki Matsui (55). I loved rooting for both of them, but I chose Ichiro’s #51 (even though he was #31 on the Yankees) because when I play baseball I am more of a singles hitter like Ichiro than a power hitter like Matsui.

Tom Russo – Growing up in little league I chose number 24 for a variety of reasons so if I made it to the big leagues undoubtedly 24 is the number I’d pick. The primary reason is my position. I grew up a centerfielder, and the greatest centerfielder of all time, Willie Mays, wore 24, as did other greats such as Ken Griffey Jr. and Rickey Henderson. At the time though the other reason was Robinson Cano, who was sporting 24 for the Yankees, who had the smoothest swing since Griffey. That and the number 2 didn’t really translate well to the outfield in my opinion. At its core though it really comes back to Willie Mays, who my grandfather introduced to me by showing me old videos of the Say Hey Kid in center to help show me just how the position was meant to be played, so naturally I modeled my game, and my number after him.

Matthew Cohen – 3. The Babe.

Mike Whiteman – Being an older fan, I remember when numbers were indicative of the talent of the player wearing the jersey. The better the player, the lower the number. That being said, I’d likely be #91!

Andy Singer – I’ve worn the same jersey number for many years now to pay homage to my favorite Yankees past and present – Derek Jeter and Mickey Mantle. Number 27 is mine, once and always.

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