Bruney: “It’s what’s on the front”
If you were following along last night with our in-game discussion on Twitter (if not, what are you waiting for?), you’d have seen that Brian Bruney changed his uniform number from No. 38 to No. 99 shortly before first pitch.
Yankees director of media relations Jason Zillo explained that Bruney “never much cared for” No. 38, and today we had a chance to follow up and see what that was all about.
Disclaimer – if you don’t care about uniform numbers, this is the wrong blog post to read.
Well, we have to go back to November, when the Yankees acquired Nick Swisher from the White Sox. Swisher wanted No. 33 and Bruney had it, so there was a deal to be made there. An exchange took place (no one’s saying) and Swisher got his No. 33, with Bruney taking No. 38 from Dan Giese in a swap for a set of golf clubs.
Bruney always wore No. 5 in high school, which obviously isn’t available here – retired for Joe DiMaggio. But since No. 38 hasn’t really brought him much luck, he wanted to go back to a repeating number like No. 33 … No. 44 is retired for Reggie Jackson, No. 55 is being worn by Hideki Matsui, and No. 66 didn’t look right to him.
No. 77 was worn by Humberto Sanchez in Spring Training and No. 88 “looks too much like a wide receiver,” Bruney said. So – thanks, Wayne Gretzky and Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn, for making it acceptable – that left No. 99, officially the highest uniform number ever worn by a Yankee, as Bruney joins Charlie Keller (1952).
Now, to be fair, getting all this took some prodding. Bruney was a little surprised a uniform number change drew any attention at all, and to be honest, I can understand that viewpoint. Plenty of bigger things going on in the world. But it’s still interesting.
“It’s not about whats on the back, it’s what’s on the front,” Bruney said.