The New York Yankees were the first major league baseball team to issue numbers on the backs of uniforms. That was in 1929. Ninety-one years later, the Bronx Bombers issued the last unused MLB number.
The Yankees called up pitcher Miguel Yajure on Thursday and gave him uniform No. 89, MLB.com reported. It was the only number remaining from 0 to 99 that had never been worn by a major league player, according to Baseball-Reference.
According to Baseball-Reference, the 2020 season began with three numbers that had never been issued: 86, 89 and 92. The St. Louis Cardinals eliminated two of those numbers by issuing No. 86 to reliever Jesus Cruz and No. 89 to reliever Génesis Cabrera, MLB.com reported. Florida Marlins pitcher Brandon Leibrandt also was issued No. 86 this season.
In 1916, the Cleveland Indians experimented with uniform numbers by putting each player’s lineup position on their sleeve. That only lasted a few weeks. The Cardinals tried something similar in 1923, but the idea was ended by manager Branch Rickey, MLB.com reported.
On Jan. 22, 1929, the Yankees announced they were putting numbers on the backs of their players’ jerseys.
Yajure, 22, has yet to pitch for the Yankees. When he does, every number from 0 to 99 will have seen action in a major league game.