A team's uniform is one of the most interesting, less-cared-about aspects of sports. There's a lot of talk about NCAA football uniforms and the recent trend of NBA sleeved uniforms, but one thing that not very many people discuss is player numbers.
That's why I frequent Chris Creamer's terrific site, SportsLogos.net. This guy and his staff (if he has a staff?) do a tremendous job of updating every time a team changes uniform colors, unveils a new one for the first time or tweaks and existing style, like the Rangers did going into the 2014 season.
Every year I look forward to beginning of spring training because the Rangers quietly update the roster to include every player's number.
There is a link to the updated roster (complete with Tommy Hanson and everything) at the bottom of the story, but it's important to highlight some key changes and additions for fans to expect on opening day.
Both were worth noting because No. 84 would typically be worn by an NFL wide receiver or a minor league product three years away from hitting the majors. Also, No. 17 being announced as Choo's jersey number before Nelson Cruz has even officially signed anywhere basically signaled the end of the "Boomstick" in Arlington.
By far the most interesting part of this year's new numbers is the fact that new catcher J.P. Arencibia will be wearing No. 7. David Murphy leaving the Rangers for Cleveland and thus vacating No. 7 would have been the perfect opportunity for the team to rightfully retire Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez's number next to Nolan Ryan's No. 34, Johnny Oats' No. 26 and Jackie Robinson's No. 42.
But alas, either Arencibia will have to switch over to a new number mid-season (he took No. 7 because the No. 9 he wore in Toronto belongs to Adam Rosales) or the team will wait until he potentially goes elsewhere at the end of this season.
It's about time the Rangers add some people to the retired numbers list because it's looking pretty sad.
One would assume the organization would add No. 7 and Michael Young's No. 10 pretty soon.
That's the main thing that caught my eye but here are some other quick hits on other notable points:
- Kitten Face fans be warned, Nick Tepesch has switched from his old No. 49 to 23 this season, which Craig Gentry wore during most of his Rangers tenure. Also worth noting is that Gentry will wear No. 3 with Oakland next year.
- RHP Tommy Hanson will wear No. 19, which is interesting because he has always worn No. 48 in the majors. Colby Lewis has worn No. 48 in the past and, although Lewis is not on the 40-man roster just yet, it seems he respectfully chose a different number. No. 19 was most recently worn by Koji Uehara in 2012.
- RHP Miles Mikolas has taken Joe Nathan's old No. 36.
- Center Fielder Michael Choice has selected No. 15 as his number. He wore 35 during his limited time with the A's. Jeff Baker wore No. 15 last season.
- Leonys Martin still wears No. 2 this season. He wore No. 27 in 2012, but opted to give that number to Lance Berkman when waddled his way over to the Rangers dugout for the 2013 season. Jurickson Profar, who wore No. 2 in his debut season, still wears lucky No. 13.
For a look at Baseball Reference's complete list of Rangers numbers history click here.