Brandon Phillips became the first Red Sox player to wear No. 0
Seeking to bolster their bench during the stretch run in September, the Red Sox made a promotion on Tuesday that brought a familiar face back to the Major Leagues: Brandon Phillips. The 16-year veteran signed with Boston on June 27 and hit .304/.348/.474 in 44 games in the Minors, earning the call to join the Red Sox on the road against the Braves.
A spot on the Red Sox came with a small conundrum for Phillips, though. The No. 4 jersey that he's worn every year in the Majors since 2006 wasn't available, as the Red Sox have it retired for Joe Cronin. His other two preferred options -- No. 7 and No. 44 -- were already taken by Christian Vazquez and Brandon Workman, respectively.
So, Phillips asked the Red Sox for the "weirdest number." He got it:
The #RedSox today selected INF Brandon Phillips to the active major league roster from Triple-A Pawtucket. The club also returned 3B Rafael Devers from his injury rehab assignment with Pawtucket and activated him from the 10-day disabled list. Phillips will wear number 0. pic.twitter.com/dI9QF7nINd- Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) September 4, 2018
In their entire history, the Red Sox have never issued No. 0, so Phillips is a pioneer.
It's an elusive number, as it's currently worn by just two other players on active rosters: Rockies reliever Adam Ottavino ...
... and Rays outfielder Mallex Smith.
According to Baseball Reference, the Red Sox are the 22nd team to give out No. 0 or -- even better -- No. 00, otherwise known as the Jeffrey Leonard special.
Time for those other eight teams to channel Phillips' weirdness and dole out No. 0. It can be No. 00 too! We're not picky.