Ever since I was a young child, I had paid close attention to Blue Jays players’ jersey numbers. When I was 9 or so (when we did not have Baseball-Reference) I started keeping a notebook with player numbers and would always make sure my parents bought the Opening Day issue of the Toronto Star where they introduced the roster and included their numbers. Later on, around 1998, my grandpa started buying me the Blue Jays media guide which had everyone’s spring training numbers—I would use a marker to update them as the rookies got new numerals at the start of the regular season.
So I get that great feeling of childhood nostalgia writing this post every year. That’s enough about me. Let’s take a look at some new numbers the Blue Jays will be wearing on the field this year.
New Arrivals in Blue Jays Organization
- Chase Anderson will be wearing #22. He has worn #57 for his entire major league career with the Diamondbacks and Brewers. Trent Thornton has #57 for the Jays.
- Anthony Bass will be wearing #52, the same number he wore for the Mariners last year. Ryan Tepera, now with the Cubs, owned that number between 2015 and 2019.
- A.J. Cole will be wearing Clay Buchholz’s old #36 in 2020, after wearing #34 with Cleveland last year. He is one of 10 major league players to have worn #69. Tommy Milone of the Orioles may become the 11th this season.
- Rafael Dolis will be wearing #41, Aaron Sanchez’s number since 2014. He wore #98 with the Hanshin Tigers. There has only been one major league player to have worn #98, Onelki Garcia for the 2013 Dodgers.
- Brian Moran will wear #48 after wearing #63 in 2019 with the Marlins. He was selected by the Blue Jays in the 2013 Rule 5 Draft and immediately traded to the Angels for cash and was never assigned a number in his first tour in the organization. Relievers Jason Adam and Javy Guerra wore #48 for Toronto in 2019.
- Joe Panik will wear #2, the same number he wore with the Mets in 2019. He wore #12 during his time with the Giants, but in Toronto that number is retired for Roberto Alomar. Clayton Richard wore #2 in 2019.
- Tanner Roark will wear #14 in 2020. Justin Smoak had that number since 2015 except for David Price’s tenure in that magical year. Roark wore #35 with the Reds and #60 with the Athletics in 2019.
- Hyun-Jin Ryu gets #99, the same number he wore for the Dodgers and the Hanwha Eagles. He’ll become the first Blue Jay to ever wear that number. 1999 was the last year that the Eagles won the Korean Series championship.
- Travis Shaw will wear #6, having worn #21 for the Brewers last year. Marcus Stroman owned (and I mean owned) that number in Toronto since 2015.
- Shun Yamaguchi will wear #1 this season after wearing #11 with the Yomiuri Giants; he picked that number because in Japan, the best pitcher on a high school team is typically given that number. Alen Hanson wore #1 in 2019 after switching from #19. Yamaguchi will become the second Blue Jays pitcher to wear #1 after Bob Bailor, and along with Ryu will become the first pair of major league teammates to wear #1 and #99.
- Caleb Joseph—who is not on the 40-man roster but was named to the taxi squad—will be wearing #7, halving the number he wore with the Diamondbacks last year. Richard Ureña wore #7 for the Jays last year.
Getting New Numbers
- Santiago Espinal will be wearing #5, switching from his spring training / summer camp #72. Eric Sogard wore #5 in 2019. For now, Beau Taylor will remain the only Blue Jays player to have worn #72.
- Derek Fisher will be donning #23 this season after wearing Josh Donaldson’s old #20 after getting traded to Toronto in July 2019. He wore #21 with the Astros. Dalton Pompey was the last Blue Jay to wear #23.
- Thomas Hatch will be making his major league debut wearing #31, switching away from the Internet’s favourite #69 that he wore during spring training / summer camp. Joe Biagini was the last to wear #31. Peter Munro will remain the only Blue Jays player to wear that nice number.
- Anthony Kay has switched to #47 after becoming the first Blue Jay to wear #70 last year. Field Coordinator Shelly Duncan had #47 last year.
- T.J. Zeuch will be wearing #35 this year after becoming the first Blue Jay to wear #71 last year. David Phelps and Brock Stewart wore #35 for the Blue Jays last year.
- New coach Gil Kim will be #16 in 2020. Freddy Galvis wore that number in 2019.
Speaking of uniform numbers, the Blue Jays will be honouring the late Tony Fernandez this year with a #1 uniform patch on their jerseys.
Our friends at BreakingT has partnered with the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association to create an officially licensed Tony Fernandez t-shirt.
The super soft heather charcoal tee features a smiling Tony Fernandez in powder blue in front of a big red maple leaf and the flag of the Dominican Republic with the words “Tony Fernandez: Number 1 in Our Hearts” written around the graphic. It was designed by Colin Gauntlett, although yours truly did sneak in a few comments.
Consider bundling the Fernandez shirt with a Hyun-Jin Ryu tee or hoodie and a Blue Genes t-shirt featuring Vladimir Guerrero, Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio.
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