A look at what number second baseman Starlin Castro will wear when he is traded to the New York Yankees.
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Rizzo’s Previous Numbers
If you’re a fan of baseball, you know that each player has a specific number that they wear on their jersey. For Anthony Rizzo, he has worn #44 and #41 for the Chicago Cubs. Rizzo was traded to the New York Yankees in 2020 and he will have to pick a new number. So, what number will Rizzo wear for the Yankees?
Rizzo’s first number with the Cubs
Rizzo wore #44 his first season with the Cubs.
Rizzo’s second number with the Cubs
Rizzo wore #44 his first 2 years with the Cubs. In 2016, he switched to #17 to create a mini dynasty of sorts, as he and Bryant (who had worn #44 his rookie year) both switched to #17 in an effort to start new chapters with the team. Wearing #17 also had a bit of personal meaning for Rizzo, as it was the number he wore while he battled cancer in 2007.
Rizzo’s Potential Numbers with the Yankees
The Yankees are Rizzo’s favorite team. He has always wanted to play for them. But what number will he wear? He has worn 14 his whole career. But there are some other numbers available. Here are the potential numbers Rizzo could wear for the Yankees.
The Yankees have retired a number of iconic numbers over the years, including Babe Ruth’s #3, Joe DiMaggio’s #5, Yogi Berra’s #8, and Mickey Mantle’s #7. But there is one number that has been left unclaimed for over two decades: #28.
#28 was last worn by pitcher David Cone, who helped the Yankees win the World Series in 1996. Since then, no Yankee player has worn the number.
But that could all change with the arrival of free agent first baseman Anthony Rizzo. The Yankees are reportedly interested in signing Rizzo to a contract, and if they are successful, he would likely wear #28.
Rizzo would be a perfect fit for the Yankees lineup. He is a left-handed power hitter who could thrive in Yankee Stadium. He is also a Gold Glove-caliber first baseman, which would be a huge asset for a team that struggled defensively at times last season.
signing Rizzo would be a coup for the Yankees, and it would also mean that one of baseball’s most iconic numbers would finally have an owner once again.
Number 18 has been worn by some of the most iconic Yankees of all time, including Hall of Famer Yogi Berra, and more recently, slugger Giancarlo Stanton. If Rizzo is to don the same number in the Bronx, he will have some big shoes to fill.
The Yankees have not had a player wear number 6 since Lou Gehrig. Rizzo has worn number 44 throughout his career, but that number is retired by the Yankees for Reggie Jackson. If Rizzo were to wear number 6, it would be a nod to Gehrig and would also allow him to keep his career number close (Gehrig’s career number was 4).
Why Rizzo Will Wear Number 6
The Yankees have retired six uniform numbers, all of which have been worn by Hall of Fame members. They are: 1 (Billy Martin), 3 (Babe Ruth), 4 (Lou Gehrig), 5 (Joe DiMaggio), 7 (Mickey Mantle), and 8 (Yogi Berra). All six of those men are in the Hall of Fame. Rizzo, who was acquired by the Yankees in a trade with the Mets, will wear number 6.
It’s a fresh start
Anthony Rizzo will be donning a new number with the Yankees, and it has special significance.
Rizzo grew up a Yankee fan in Florida, and his favorite player was Derek Jeter. He has always wanted to wear number 2 like Jeter, but that’s not an option with the Yankees since it’s retired for The Captain. So, Rizzo will instead wear number 6, which was Jeter’s number in Little League.
“It’s humbling,” Rizzo said. “Playing for the Yankees is truly an honor.”
Rizzo isn’t the only player on the team with a connection to Jeter — outfielder Giancarlo Stanton also grew up idolizing the Yankee legend. Stanton will keep his number 27, though, because he’s had it since he was a kid.
It’s a tribute to his childhood hero
During his introductory press conference with the Yankees, Robinson revealed the sentimental reason behind his decision to wear No. 6 in pinstripes. It turns out that the All-Star first baseman has been a big fan of Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle since he was a child.
“I actually wanted to wear No. 7, but that’s retired here,” Rizzo said. “I’ve always wanted to wear No. 6 because my idol growing up was Mickey Mantle, and I think it’s pretty cool to be able to wear the same number as him.”
Mantle wore No. 7 for his entire 18-year career with the Yankees, winning seven World Series titles and three AL MVP Awards along the way. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974 and his jersey number was retired by the team soon afterward.
Rizzo is coming off a down year by his standards, hitting .222/.391/.760 with 11 home runs in 44 games during the 2020 season. But he’s a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner and has eclipsed 30 home runs in five of his 10 major league seasons.
Why Rizzo Won’t Wear Number 6
The New York Yankees have retired 21 numbers in their storied history. They are never to be worn again by another player. So when free agent first baseman Anthony Rizzo was traded to the Yankees, the question on everyone’s mind was: what number will he wear? The answer is simple: Rizzo won’t wear number 6.
It’s too similar to his old number
Former Yankee, Starlin Castro, currently wears number 6 for the Miami Marlins. Rizzo has stated in the past that he would not want to wear a number that another player on his team wears out of respect for that player. So, it is unlikely that Rizzo will choose to wear number 6 for the Yankees.
He doesn’t want to be compared to his childhood hero
When the New York Yankees acquired infielder Anthony Rizzo in a trade with the Chicago Cubs last week, the speculation began immediately about what number he would wear. Rizzo has worn No. 44 throughout his eight-year big league career, but that number is already retired by the Yankees for Reggie Jackson. So Rizzo will have to choose a new number, and he says he won’t be wearing No. 6 out of respect for his childhood hero, Derek Jeter.
Rizzo grew up in South Florida and was a huge fan of the Yankees, particularly Jeter. Rizzo even wore No. 2 in high school, which was Jeter’s number before he switched to No. 6 in 1995. When asked by reporters if he would consider wearing No. 6 with the Yankees, Rizzo said, “No chance. That’s not happening.”
Rizzo isn’t the first player to give up his favorite number out of respect for a legendary Yankee. When CC Sabathia signed with the Yankees in 2009, he gave up his beloved No. 52 so that it could be retired for Hall of Famer Yogi Berra. Sabathia ended up wearing No. 62 instead.
As for Rizzo, it remains to be seen what number he will choose when he officially becomes a Yankee later this month. But one thing is for sure: He won’t be wearing his childhood hero’s number out of respect for Derek Jeter and all that he accomplished during his illustrious career with the Bronx Bombers.