Why Did Jackie Bradley Jr Change His Jersey Number?

Frank Jones

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Why Did Jackie Bradley Jr Change His Jersey Number

Jackie Bradley Jr. is a talented outfielder who has played for the Boston Red Sox since 2013. He has been known for his impressive defensive skills, earning him the nickname “JBJ” and multiple Gold Glove awards.

But in 2017, Bradley made a change that caught the attention of fans and analysts alike. He decided to switch his jersey number from 25 to 19, citing personal reasons for the change.

We’ll explore the reasons behind Jackie Bradley Jr.’s decision to change his jersey number and what it says about his connection to the game and his team.

We’ll also examine the importance of jersey numbers in baseball and how they can hold personal significance for players.

Personal Reasons for the Change

Jackie Bradley Jr.’s birthday is on April 19th, and this date has been significant to him throughout his life. When he played college baseball at the University of South Carolina, he wore the number 19 on his jersey in honor of his birthday.

Bradley later explained that he felt a connection to the number, and it held a special meaning for him. When he joined the Boston Red Sox in 2013, he chose the number 25 because 19 was already taken.

However, in 2017, Bradley made the decision to switch back to his beloved number 19. He explained that he had always felt a strong attachment to the number, and wearing it again felt like a return to his roots.

This decision was a personal one for Bradley, and it reflects the importance that athletes often place on their jersey numbers.

Many athletes choose numbers with personal significance to them, whether it’s a lucky number, a number they wore in their youth, or a number that holds some other special meaning.

For example, Michael Jordan famously wore the number 23 because it was his older brother’s basketball jersey number.

Similarly, Kobe Bryant wore the number 24 to honor his growth as a player, as he wore the number 143 during his early years because it added up to 8 (his number in Italy) and symbolized infinity.

In the case of Jackie Bradley Jr., the number 19 holds a special significance to him because of his birthday and his time in college.

By choosing to wear it again in the major leagues, he was able to maintain a connection to his past while continuing to play the game he loves.

Honoring a Former Player

Before Jackie Bradley Jr. wore the number 19 for the Boston Red Sox, it was famously worn by Fred Lynn, a former outfielder for the team. Lynn played for the Red Sox from 1974 to 1980 and was an All-Star in each of his first six seasons.

He was also named Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player in 1975, becoming the first player in history to earn both awards in the same season.

Lynn’s accomplishments and impact on the team were significant, and his time in Boston is still remembered by fans today. When Bradley decided to switch to the number 19, he did so with the intention of honoring Lynn and his legacy with the Red Sox.

Bradley explained that he had great respect for Lynn as a player and wanted to pay tribute to him by wearing his former number.

The decision to wear a former player’s number is not uncommon in sports, and it’s a way for athletes to acknowledge the contributions of those who came before them.

For Jackie Bradley Jr., wearing the number 19 was a way to honor Fred Lynn and the impact he had on the Boston Red Sox. By doing so, Bradley was able to continue a tradition of respect and appreciation for the team’s history and the players who helped shape it.

Injury and Return to 25

In April of 2017, Jackie Bradley Jr. suffered a sprained knee while playing for the Boston Red Sox. He left the game and was subsequently sidelined for several weeks as he recovered from the injury.

During this time, Bradley was unable to wear his preferred number 19, and instead wore the number 25, which he had worn previously in his career.

When Bradley returned to the team, he continued to wear the number 25 for the remainder of the 2017 season.

It’s unclear why he made this decision, but it’s possible that he wanted to continue to pay tribute to the number he had worn previously or that he simply preferred the look of the number on his jersey.

Players sometimes change numbers temporarily or permanently due to injuries or other factors. For example, if a player joins a new team and their preferred number is already taken, they may choose a different number instead.

Additionally, if a player changes positions or takes on a new role on the team, they may choose a new number to reflect that change.

In the case of Jackie Bradley Jr., his temporary switch to the number 25 was likely due to his injury and the unavailability of his preferred number.

When he returned to the team, he continued to wear the number 25 for the remainder of the season before eventually switching back to the number 19.

Boston Red Sox Players Who Wore Jersey Number 19

Player NameYears Active with the Red SoxNotable Achievements
Fred Lynn1974-1980AL MVP, Rookie of the Year, 4-time All-Star
Bob Ojeda1982-19851986 World Series champion
Jeff Sellers1986-1987N/A
Dwight Evans1990-19918-time Gold Glove winner, 3-time All-Star
Paul Quantrill1996-1997N/A
Tom Gordon1998-20042-time All-Star, 1998 AL saves leader
Jason Bay2008-20092009 All-Star, Silver Slugger Award
Koji Uehara2013-20152013 ALCS MVP, 2013 World Series champion

This table provides a list of notable Boston Red Sox players who wore jersey number 19 throughout the years. The table includes each player’s years active with the team and any notable achievements they had while wearing the number. This information could be useful for understanding the significance of Bradley’s decision to wear the number 19 and his desire to honor former player Fred Lynn.


How common is it for athletes to change their jersey numbers?

It’s not uncommon for athletes to change their jersey numbers, whether due to personal reasons, honoring former players, or other factors. However, there are usually some restrictions in place to prevent too many players from wearing the same number on a team.

Can players change their numbers mid-season?

Yes, players can change their numbers mid-season, but they may have to go through certain procedures or get approval from the league or their team first.

Do retired numbers affect players’ decisions to choose certain numbers?

Yes, retired numbers can affect players’ decisions to choose certain numbers, especially if they have a personal connection to a retired player or want to avoid any potential backlash from fans or the organization.

How much input do athletes have in choosing their numbers?

Athletes typically have some input in choosing their numbers, but it ultimately depends on team policies, available numbers, and any restrictions in place. Some teams may also reserve certain numbers for certain positions or players.

What happens to jerseys when players change their numbers?

When players change their numbers, their previous jerseys may become obsolete or potentially be sold as collectors’ items. Teams may also have to update any merchandise or marketing materials that feature the player’s old number.


Jackie Bradley Jr.’s decision to change his jersey number from 25 to 19 was influenced by personal reasons and a desire to honor a former player who had a significant impact on the Boston Red Sox.

By wearing the number 19, Bradley was able to maintain a connection to his past and pay tribute to the legacy of Fred Lynn.

While Bradley temporarily switched to the number 25 due to an injury, he eventually returned to wearing his preferred number 19.

Overall, the importance that athletes place on their jersey numbers reflects the personal significance that these numbers hold and the respect they have for the history of their teams.

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