What Is in a Number? Greatness, if It's No. 5

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What Is in a Number? Greatness, if It's No. 5

What is the importance of a number on a baseball jersey? How long have they been wearing numbers?

All teams began wearing numbers on their jerseys in 1937 though some wore them inconsistently prior to that.

In 1929, the Yankees started wearing numbers on their jerseys. Their numbers corresponded to their place in the batting order. In other words Babe Ruth batted third, therefore he was No. 3. Lou Gehrig batted fourth so he wore No. 4.

Today, it is quite fashionable for young guys to emulate their favorite player by wearing his number on their little league uniforms. I wore No. 7 for Mickey Mantle in my youngest years, then as an adult player in a softball league I switched over to No. 25 to honor Tommy John.

Many people feel a certain number is the best, if not the luckiest for them to wear on their uniforms. An hour or two of research brought me the knowledge that No. 4 was the most used number for members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion and I must say that No. 5 is probably the most well represented number past and present.

Basically the No. 5 jumped into prominence when Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio began wearing it for the New York Yankees in 1937 (In his rookie year Joe wore No. 9). He was followed by other great players who have made their marks in history, the record books and in our hearts as fans.

Let’s take a look at the greatest players who wore No. 5 and the ones who are still wearing it.

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