Thanks to loyal reader azhalofan, I’ve been wrestling with a problem all weekend long: Mike Trout shouldn’t wear #27.
Normally, such trivial matters don’t bother me, but this one does. #27 is Vladimir Guerrero’s number and someday, it will likely be retired by the Angels. If Trout lives up to the hype, his number will be retired twenty years from now too. How awkward would it be to have to retire the number twice? I mean, it isn’t like the Angels Wall of Fame is exactly overloaded with retired numbers. No sense doubling up on any.
Therefore, I have made that ruling that Mike Trout must change his number. To what though? Ah… therein lies the rub.
Let’s start with the obvious, Mike goes by the Twitter handle of @Trouty20, suggesting he has a natural proclivity for that number. However, this already appears to be a dead end. The #20 was vacant when he ascended to the majors, so he could have had it if he wanted, but he elected not to do so. I always thought it was because it still had some of Juan Rivera’s stank still on it, but apparently not. In fact, it appears that #20 is more just a happenstance. From what I can see, he wore it with the Cedar Rapids Kernels and that’s about it.
Oh, just to make it more complicated, Trout apparently wore #28 in Cedar Rapids as well, so he must’ve been really unattached to #20. That definitely muddies the waters some. Turns out this number switching thing is quite the pattern for Trouty.
I’ll skip his time with the Quakes because… well, umm, this is embarrassing… all the pictures of his time with the Quakes are from the front, so I have no idea what number he wore.
OK, how about Double-A? With the Travelers, Trout donned #23, which is a great number that is currently not spoken for on the Angels roster. This is definitely in play, but seeing how #23 is Michael Jordan’s number and Trout is supposed to be an elite player, it seems a little presumptuous for a humble kid like Trout, especially when you factor in the shared first name and all.
Digging a little deeper, we find that Trout once wore #25 when playing for Team USA. That, of course, is Peter Bourjos’ number, so we can check that one off.
In high school, where he most certainly had his pick of the litter, he wore #15, which is just a crazy coincidence, but it is also a non-starter since it presents the same issue as Guerrero’s #27.
I also found a picture of him wearing #10 while playing for his high school basketball team. This actually only serves to make this decision even more difficult. Up until now, we at least had some sort of indication that he preferred numbers in the twenties, but now we have not one but two examples of him breaking that trend.
So we’re basically back at square one. And no, that wasn’t a segue to suggesting #1. That’s just way too on the nose.
I want to suggest he go with #18 to keep the outfielder number trend going (#15 Salmon, #16 Anderson, #17 Erstad), but Andrew Romine has that tied up, which is annoying because I really doubt Trout is the sort to ask a guy to give up his number.
Part of me would like to seem him go against the grain and choose a number like #55. It hasn’t been retired by any team and it isn’t too bizarre (like #88 for example) so as to be flashy and smack of “Hey, look at me! I wear a weird number.” Then again, maybe choosing #55 is some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy that will prevent him from achieving greatness.
Alright, I’m tired of this already. I’m going to hand this over to all of you to make suggestions, complete with reasoning. The only rule is that the number can’t be currently in use. For what it is worth, my vote goes to #20 because that is his Twitter handle and Twitter rules all… unless he changes it… which is pretty easy to do actually, so never mind. I never realized what a massive logic trap this whole exercise would turn out to be.