Eric Hosmer wore number 35 for his entire tenure with the Kansas City Royals. He can’t wear number 35 in San Diego, though, because it’s retired in honor of 1976 Cy Young Award winner Randy Jones. In light of that, he decided to wear number 30 in honor of his late teammate, Yordano Ventura. The problem: Padres coach Glenn Hoffman wears number 30. Problem solved, reports Jerry Crasnick of ESPN:
Hosmer was grateful when Padres third base coach Glenn Hoffman gave up his No. 30 uniform jersey as a sign of goodwill at the start of spring training, so he recently surprised Hoffman with a Rolex watch at the Padres’ complex in Peoria.
A nice gesture to all involved, really. Hosmer for honoring Ventura, Hoffman for giving up 30 without the promise of compensation and Hosmer for compensating him regardless.
I’ve always been fascinated by negotiations over numbers and the price they bring. Josh Reddick gave up his number in Oakland to Billy Butler for an X-box, which has always seemed a bit light to me. Several years ago John Lackey gave Pat Neshek an autographed Babe Ruth ball for a number when he was traded to the Cardinals. A.J. Burnett once started a college fund for Daniel McCutchen’s kid in exchange for a number. Watches — often Rolexes like the one Hosmer gave up — are pretty standard: Julio Borbon once gave Adrian Beltre his number for an expensive watch. Hall of Fame inductee Jim Thome gave Alexi Casilla a Rolex.
My favorite number deal(s) of all time occurred in the NFL, where Giants punter Jeff Feagles made out by selling his number twice. First Feagles got Eli Manning to send his family on a vacation to Florida in order to give up the number 10 Manning would make famous. Feagles took number 17. Then he got Plaxico Burress to pay for an outdoor kitchen at his vacation home in Arizona in exchange for that number 17. Dude was shrewd. According to his Wikipedia page he’s a commercial real estate agent for Keller Williams these days. Enter negotiations with him with caution, my friends.