Why Did Jesus Aguilar Change His Number?

Frank Jones

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Why Did Jesus Aguilar Change His Number

In the world of baseball, players often develop a strong connection to their jersey numbers. Whether it’s a number that they’ve worn since they were kids, a tribute to a legendary player, or simply a lucky number, a player’s jersey number can hold significant meaning to them.

So when Jesus Aguilar, first baseman for the Miami Marlins, changed his number from 24 to 99 in the 2021 season, it raised some questions among fans. In this blog post, we’ll explore why Jesus Aguilar made the decision to change his number, and the backstory behind it.

We’ll also discuss the significance of jersey numbers in baseball, and other notable instances of players changing their numbers throughout the history of the sport.

The Importance of Jersey Numbers in Baseball

Jersey numbers are an integral part of a baseball player’s identity, and hold significant meaning for both the player and the fans. Here are some reasons why jersey numbers are important in baseball:

  • Personal identity: A player’s jersey number can be seen as a part of their personal identity on the field. It distinguishes them from their teammates and allows fans to easily recognize them.

  • Superstition: Many baseball players are known for their superstitions, and their jersey number can be a part of that. For example, a player might believe that a certain number brings them good luck or helps them perform better on the field.

  • Tribute: A player may choose to wear a certain number as a tribute to a legendary player or someone who has had a significant impact on their life.

  • Legacy: In some cases, a player’s jersey number may become iconic due to their performance on the field or their contribution to the sport.

It’s common for players to develop a connection to a particular number. This connection can come from a variety of reasons, such as a number they wore when they first started playing baseball, a number that holds personal significance, or a number that they admire for its legacy in the sport.

Some players may even go so far as to request a specific number when they join a new team, or negotiate with teammates to acquire the number they want.

There are several iconic jersey numbers in baseball that are instantly recognizable to fans. For example, Jackie Robinson’s number 42 is retired across all of Major League Baseball to honor his legacy as the first Black player to play in the major leagues.

Babe Ruth’s number 3, Lou Gehrig’s number 4, and Derek Jeter’s number 2 are also iconic numbers that are associated with some of the greatest players in baseball history.

The Backstory of Avisaíl García

Avisaíl García is a Venezuelan professional baseball outfielder who played for the Milwaukee Brewers before joining the Miami Marlins in 2021. García was born on June 12, 1991, in Anzoátegui, Venezuela, and was signed as an amateur free agent by the Detroit Tigers in 2007.

García wore the number 24 jersey with the Milwaukee Brewers, a number that has significant meaning to him. García’s father passed away when he was just 13 years old, and 24 was his father’s favorite number.

García has worn the number 24 as a tribute to his father throughout his professional baseball career.

When García joined the Miami Marlins, he initially requested to wear number 24 with his new team. However, as we know, that number was already being worn by Marlins’ first baseman, Jesus Aguilar.

As a solution to the number conflict, Aguilar graciously offered to switch his number to 99 so that García could continue wearing 24 with the Marlins.

This gesture by Aguilar was appreciated by García and the Marlins organization, as it demonstrated the camaraderie and team spirit that is valued in baseball.

The Decision to Switch to Number 99

Jesus Aguilar made the decision to switch to number 99 in order to accommodate his new teammate Avisaíl García, who had a personal connection to the number 24 that Aguilar had been wearing.

In a statement to the press, Aguilar explained his decision: “I’m excited to do this for him, and I hope that he can do well with number 24. It’s a beautiful thing, and it’s something that I feel in my heart is the right thing to do.”

Aguilar’s decision was well-received by both fans and the Marlins organization. It was seen as a selfless act that demonstrated the team’s commitment to working together and supporting each other on and off the field.

Marlins CEO Derek Jeter praised Aguilar’s decision, stating that it “speaks to the kind of person he is and the kind of team that we want to build here in Miami.”

Overall, Aguilar’s decision to switch to number 99 was a positive moment for the Marlins organization and demonstrated the importance of teamwork and support in baseball.

Other Notable Jersey Number Changes in Baseball

There have been several notable instances in baseball where players have changed their jersey numbers for various reasons. Here are a few examples:

Babe Ruth

Before Babe Ruth became known as “The Babe” and wore the iconic number 3 for the New York Yankees, he wore number 4 for the Boston Red Sox. However, when he was traded to the Yankees in 1920, he was given the number 3, which he wore for the remainder of his career.

Michael Jordan

In 1994, basketball legend Michael Jordan retired from the NBA and decided to pursue a career in baseball. He signed with the Chicago White Sox organization and was assigned to the minor leagues.

Jordan was given the number 45, which he had worn during his brief stint playing baseball in high school, as his preferred number 23 was already retired by the White Sox in honor of former player Harold Baines.

Manny Ramirez

Manny Ramirez wore the number 24 during his first stint with the Boston Red Sox. However, when he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008, he was given the number 99, as his preferred number 24 was already taken by another player on the Dodgers’ roster.

David Ortiz

David Ortiz wore the number 27 during his first season with the Boston Red Sox. However, after the 2002 season, he was traded to the Minnesota Twins and was given the number 42.

When he returned to the Red Sox in 2003, he requested to wear number 34 instead of his previous number, as he felt that the number 34 would bring him better luck.

Some jersey number changes have also been controversial. For example, when Alex Rodriguez was traded to the New York Yankees in 2004, he requested to wear the number 3, which had been retired in honor of Babe Ruth.

The Yankees eventually agreed to let Rodriguez wear the number 13 instead.

Additionally, when Jackie Robinson’s number 42 was retired across all of Major League Baseball, some players who had previously worn the number were grandfathered in and allowed to continue wearing it, while others had to switch to a different number.

This led to some controversy and confusion around which players were allowed to wear the number 42.

Some Famous Baseball Players and Their Iconic Jersey Numbers

PlayerIconic Jersey NumberTeam(s)
Babe Ruth3New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox
Lou Gehrig4New York Yankees
Jackie Robinson42Brooklyn Dodgers
Derek Jeter2New York Yankees
Ted Williams9Boston Red Sox
Hank Aaron44Milwaukee Braves, Atlanta Braves
Roberto Clemente21Pittsburgh Pirates
Nolan Ryan34California Angels, Houston Astros, Texas Rangers
Cal Ripken Jr.8Baltimore Orioles
Ken Griffey Jr.24Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds

This table highlights some of the most famous and recognizable jersey numbers in baseball history, and the players who made them iconic. It also shows that some players wore the same number for multiple teams throughout their careers.


Can a player change their number during the season?

Yes, a player can request to change their number during the season. However, there may be certain restrictions or rules in place depending on the team or league. For example, some leagues may require a waiting period or may not allow certain numbers to be worn by certain positions.

Why do some players wear numbers that are higher than 99?

In some cases, players may wear numbers that are higher than 99 if their preferred number is already taken or retired. They may choose a number that is significant to them or that they have a personal connection to.

Why do some players wear numbers that don’t match their position?

In baseball, there are certain number ranges that are traditionally associated with certain positions. For example, pitchers typically wear numbers in the 1-39 range, while infielders may wear numbers in the 1-20 range. However, players are not required to wear numbers that match their position and may choose any number that is available.

What happens to a retired jersey number if a player with that number is traded to another team?

If a player with a retired jersey number is traded to another team, they will usually have to choose a different number to wear. However, some teams may make exceptions or allow players to continue wearing the retired number in certain circumstances.

Can a team retire a number for a player who only played a short time with the team?

Yes, a team can choose to retire a number for a player who only played a short time with the team if they feel that the player made a significant impact or contribution during their time with the team.


Jersey numbers are an important part of baseball culture and history. Players often develop a personal connection to their number and may change it for various reasons.

Jesus Aguilar’s decision to switch to number 99 in order to accommodate his teammate Avisaíl García was a positive example of teamwork and support in the sport.

There have been several other notable instances of players changing their jersey numbers, including Babe Ruth’s move to number 3 for the New York Yankees and Michael Jordan’s adoption of number 45 in his brief baseball career.

While some number changes have been controversial, they all contribute to the rich history and culture of baseball.

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