The Student Newspaper of Bingham High School

The Prospector

The Student Newspaper of Bingham High School

The Prospector

The Student Newspaper of Bingham High School

The Prospector

What’s in a Number

Jersey Numbers are an important part of sports. The number 42 is universally known because of the famous baseball player Jackie Robinson. Every year, on April 15, MLB players wear Jackie’s number in commemoration of him breaking the color barrier in baseball in 1947. Robinson is the only player to have his jersey number retired league-wide by the MLB. Mariano Rivera will be the last player to wear the legendary number. Former NFL wideout Chad Johnson became well-known for wearing number 85, which led him to change his name to Chad Ochocinco. Number 42 belongs to Robinson, number 23 to Michael Jordan, number 33 to Larry Bird, and number 32 to Magic Johnson. These numbers are iconic in sports.

Boston Bruins hockey player Jaromir Jagr, a player from the Czech Republic, wears number 68 to pay respect to the Soviet Union invasion of his home country Czechoslovackia in 1968. Point Guard Nick Van Exel wore number 37 his whole playing career simply because he was the 37th pick in the 1993 NBA draft. Michael Jordan wore number 23 because he thought he was half as good as his brother, who wore #45, so he cut that in half and rounded up. When Jordan came back from his first retirement, he wore number 45 in honor of his brother.

Some players grow so attached to a certain jersey number that they will do anything to secure it. When quarterback Eli Manning arrived in New York, he purchased the number 10 from punter Jeff Feagles. Eli paid for a week long vacation in Florida for Feagles. Feagles later sold his number, 17, to receiver Plaxico Burress, who paid for an outdoor kitchen for Feagles’s house.

When outfielder Torii Hunter signed with the Detroit Tigers he wanted his trademark number 48. Starting Pitch Rick Porcello owned the jersey so Hunter offered to give Porcello $10,000. Porcello didn’t want to take the offer so they compromised on the $10,000 donating to a Hurricane Sandy relief charity. Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Aaron Beasley loved his own #21 so much that he declined running back Fred Tayor’s offer of $10,000 for the right to wear that number.

Although Bingham athlete’s don’t pay $10,000 for their jersey numbers, they all have their favorites. Senior Riley Culley, who plays football for Bingham, has worn number 68 his whole playing career. “It was what I got my first year playing little league and was available when I got to Bingham,” said Riley.

Kason Eggers, a Junior on the lacrosse team, wears number 12 because his birthday is in December. He also wears it to honor Utah Jazz great John Stockton. “Number 12 is always the go-to-guy,” said Kason, “he always gets it done.”

Junior Vaofua Kaili wears number 8 for the volleyball team because she was obsessed with Deron Williams, when he played for the Jazz who wore num ber 8. Gracey Tuifua, also a Junior on the volleyball team, sports number 16 because her favorite player on BYU’s Men’s Volleyball team, Tyler Albertson, also wears it.

Sometimes you end up with a number you weren’t planning on getting but end up embracing it. Junior Nick Plaga wears number 43 for the baseball team. He wanted number 18 to honor his Dad’s number in college, but he was one of the last players to pick in his freshman year and ended up with number 43. Nick says he ended up falling in love with it, and has worn it the two years since.

Senior Mark Stanley wears number 39 for the soccer team. He originally wanted 0 or 1, but those jerseys were too small so he ended up with the biggest jersey, number 39.

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