Starting tonight (9-4-13) newly acquired Jason Morneau of the Pittsburgh Pirates will trade in his #33 uniform for one with a #66 on the back during his time in the “Iron City.” Morneau wore #33 while in Minnesota playing for the Twins and thought he’d be wearing it as a Pirate until the hands of history held up the proverbial “stop sign.”
Uniform #33 has been retired by the Pirates in honor of Hall of Famer Honus Wagner. When I heard about this I put up my own mental “stop sign” and questioned how this could be, because back in Wagner’s time, ball players didn’t wear numbers.
So, where did 33 come from? After converging on press row with Dave DeGrace, and some help from the Pirate Media Guide it became evident that the 33 comes from Wagner’s years as a coach when he coached between 1933 – 1951 and wore the number 33.
Morneau made it easy and simply doubled it, and chose #66.
I guess it is true, you learn something new everyday!