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McNeil Finally Earned A Real Number

During his time in the minors, Jeff McNeil wore a couple of different numbers. Last year, he wore 12 with Las Vegas, and he wore 1 with Binghamton. Overall, he’d wear a variety of numbers including 3, 5, and 10. Naturally, when the Mets called him up to the majors, McNeil was assigned the number 68.

The significance of 68?  Well, it was just next in line.

It was something the Mets seemed to start in 2016. That year, the Mets gave T.J. Rivera the number 54, and Ty Kelly was given 55. When Kelly Johnson returned, Kelly was given 56. Over the ensuing years, we’d see the number gradually climb up and up to the point Kelly would wear 66 last year, and eventually McNeil wearing 68.

Now, this is not a practice reserved for all prospects, and it has not been a practice always in place. For example, when Jose Reyes and David Wright were called up, they were given their now iconic 7 and 5 numbers. For that matter, when Eric Campbell was called up to the majors in 2014, he went from 24, a number somewhat unofficially retired by the Mets, to 29.

Put another way, back then the Mets appeared to give their players real numbers. That happened even in 2015 when Daniel Muno wore 16, and Darrell Ceciliani wore 1.

Now, McNeil is going to wear the number 6, a number which was available all of last season. For that matter, Rivera is going to wear 19, which was a number that Jay Bruce had before he was called up to the majors. It should also be noted the 3 he wore with Las Vegas was worn by Curtis Granderson.

Now, there are some restrictions with uniform numbers. For example, recent uniform history suggests Gary Carter‘s 8 and Keith Hernandez‘s 17 are unofficially retired. They may also want to try to preserve numbers for their top prospects like how Peter Alonso was assigned 20 this Spring Training.

Still, there is a wide chasm between not allowing a player to have a certain number and giving them a number in the 50s or 60s. These players have achieved something by making it all the way to the majors. They should be treated as such by giving them a real uniform number, especially as we saw in the case with Dilson Herrera and Juan Uribe, you are going to make the young player switch when a more established player wants the number.

As a side note, it’s more fan friendly as well because if you are someone immediately attached to a player like McNeil, when you go out and get the jersey, or even shirsey, you have the right number and aren’t out money when the player is finally deemed good enough to pick their own real baseball number.

9 thoughts on “McNeil Finally Earned A Real Number”

  1. LongTimeFan1 says:

    So now there are fake numbers like Seth lugo’s #67 and Robert Gsellaman’s #65 and that neither have achieved anything in the majors?

    Why do you make stuff up like false concept of fake numbers and inaccurate claim of a sequence that supposedly began in 2016 that called up players get next in line. That’s easy to disprove via facts which you ignore when you have an agenda.

    For Example:

    Tim Peterson got #63 a day before before Scott Copeland got #62.

    Chris Flexen got #64 for his 7/27/17 debut even though #60 was open since 2012.

    Jack Reinheimer got #72 on 8/15/18 even though #’s 70 and 71 were open since 2014.

    Tomas Nido got #77 on 9/13/17 even though #’s 74 and 76 have never been worn by any tMet.

    Jeff McNeil got #68 on 7/24/18 even though #61 was available since June 13th when Chris Beck was claimed by the White Sox.

    http://ultimatemets.com/uninumbers.php

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Are you seriously going to sit there and tell me McNeil wanted 68 last year?

      1. LongTimeFan1 says:

        That’s not even the point.

        The point is, you’re posting a bunch of things that aren’t accurate.

        Accuracy should matter in all things you post. Your readers should get accurate info and that your credibility should matter to you wherever you write. I’m certain you can do better especially since you’ve done so in the past.

        As for McNeil, you think his #68 mattered to him last season the way uniform numbers seem to matter to you? The guy gets his first taste of the big leagues last year. I doubt he lost any sleep, or fretted over what his number was at the time. I strongly doubt McNeil’s self esteem as player or person is tied to the number on his back.

        Cespedes wears #52.

        Gsellman #65,

        Lugo #67.

        K-Rod #75.

        Johan Santana #57.

        Are they lessor players because their uniform numbers are traditionally akin to players low on the totem pole?

        1. metsdaddy says:

          What I wrote wasn’t inaccurate. In fact, I’d note Adam Fisher previously confirmed this practice of handing out “Spring Training” numbers to non-top prospects is a practice.

          I’d also note since 2016 the Mets have operated in a somewhat sequential matter.

          1. LongTimeFan1 says:

            I’m not disputing that younger players not deemed top prospects often get higher uniform numbers. This has been an MLB practice for ions.

            What I am disputing is that a high number somehow belittles the player and that a lower number is real.”

            Players who perform well will be identified and remembered by their number whatever that number is. Their careers will not be judged any more or less favorable based on uniform number.

            I am also disputing number sequencing since 2016 when there are clear examples of available lower numbers not assigned to call ups and call ups who got lower numbers than the higher ones next in line.

            For example, Drew Smith got #62 on 6/23/18, Tim Peterson got #63 on 5/30/18 even though #’s 64, 65, 67, 72, 77 had already been assigned since 2016 and before 2018.

            So every non-prospect making debut, added to the active roster after Nido’s # 77 in 2017, should have gotten higher numbers, 78 onward.

            McNeil’s #68 was thus not in sequence. If it was, he should have gotten # 80-something,

            So too every non prospect after him.

            Jack Reinheimer not 72.

            Zamora not 73.

            Hanhold not 70.

            With your rationale, Mets will foray into triple digits in a matter of years.

          2. metsdaddy says:

            1. I didn’t say it belittled a player. I’m saying it’s a stupid practice.

            2. I didn’t say there was a strict sequencing. What I said was players were assigned numbers from those categories. Typically speaking, the teams followed the number which was next or reasonably next in line. It’s ehh after McNeil, we saw Hanhold receive 70.

            3. My rationale didn’t necessarily infer the Mets would go to triple digits. That’s a purposeful and misleading misrepresentation of my point.

        2. metsdaddy says:

          Another point here is your Cespedes, K-Rod, and Johan points are wholly inapplicable to McNeil.

          All three of those players chose to wear those numbers with the Mets.

          1. LongTimeFan1 says:

            Yes, all those all-stars chose to wear those numbers, or to keep wearing them proving that uniform numbers are not indicative of player value.

            This is Contrary To What You Believe As In This Quote:

            “Still, there is a wide chasm between not allowing a player to have a certain number and giving them a number in the 50s or 60s. These players have achieved something by making it all the way to the majors. They should be treated as such by giving them a real uniform number,”

            ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

            Lugo and Gsellman choose to continue wearing #67 and 65. Are they wearing fake uniform numbers (i.e., not “real” numbers) disrespecting themselves?

          2. metsdaddy says:

            I really don’t understand how you cannot comprehend the difference between a player purposefully choosing a number and a team assigning a Spring Training number.

            And I’ll again note, I didn’t say disrespect. What I said was MLB players should be permitted to choose their own numbers instead of having one assigned.

            I really don’t understand how anyone can have a problem with that point.

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