The Minnesota Twins are currently better than their rival, the Chicago White Sox, at a lot of things, but the Sox have the edge in one particular jersey stat: star players with unusually high jersey numbers. While Chicago’s roster includes the likes of Eloy Jiménez (No. 74), José Abreu (No. 79), and Luis Robert (No. 88), Minnesota only has a few lesser position players wearing numbers 60 or above.
All of Minnesota’s players with these high numbers are in either their first or second year in the MLB: catcher José Godoy (No. 60), infielder José Miranda (No. 64), outfielder Gilberto Celestino (No. 67), and shortstop Jermaine Palacios (No. 87).
The Twins have had several other position players initially called up wearing high numbers, but like most players around the league, those players changed their numbers to something lower. Palacios, who was called up on the day of writing this, is the first player to wear Number 87 in Twins history and is a good example of this.
Taking a look at the few Minnesota Twins with high jersey numbers throughout the team’s history.
The Twins have had several other position players initially called up wearing high numbers, but like most players around the league, those players changed their numbers to something lower. Celestino and Kepler are perfect examples.
Celestino is an outlier, who stayed in the high digits, moving from last year’s No. 79 to No. 67, but others went to more traditional numbers. Most notably, Max Kepler was originally called up wearing Celestino’s 67, but the next season took his current No. 26 upon returning to the majors.
In fact, Minnesota has only had two position players wearing numbers in the 60s or above for multiple seasons, and both saw their digital tenures at Target Field span from 2018 to 2021:
- All-purpose catcher Willians Astudillo was assigned the No. 64 when first promoted, a number which has a very asymmetrical and bulky look but one I liked for the short and squat ballplayer. Astudillo kept the number through last year before joining the Marlins, where he is wearing the more common but less interesting No. 37, for the 2022 season.
- Outfielder Jake Cave first took the field for the Twins wearing No. 60, a number he kept for his entire time on the 40-man roster before being DFA’d this offseason. Should he be recalled to the big club, not only will he be unable to wear No. 60, a number now occupied by Godoy, but he will likely wear his spring uniform No. 8, which gives me Zack Granite flashbacks.
High jersey numbers like these have only become common in recent years. It is likely, and I hope, that some upcoming Twins who receive these numbers will keep them. I have always been a fan of the unorthodox, and a player who does this, like the three White Sox above, can make a less common number their own.