You might be thinking what I was thinking when I first saw Logan Morrison's tweets on Saturday afternoon announcing his switch to his team's retired No. 5: The Miami Marlins retired a number other than Jackie Robinson's No. 42? How did I miss that?
Well, the Marlins actually retired the No. 5 prior to their inaugural season when the team's first president, Carl Barger, passed away unexpectedly during the 1992 Winter Meetings in Louisville.
Barger had grown up a big fan of the Yankees' Joe DiMaggio, so the decision was made almost immediately to retire DiMaggio's number in his honor. That ceremony took place before their first game on April 5, 1993.
Now, 19 years later, the number will officially come out of retirement in the Marlins home opener against the St. Louis Cardinals on April 4. A plaque honoring Barger will take its place in the new Marlins Ballpark.
"I understand what an honor it is to have a number unretired," Morrison said via Twitter. "I want to thank Mr. Loria and the Marlins for making it happen."
"I also promise to wear the number with great pride and continue to honor Mr. Barger and his family."
As it turns out, Morrison also had a tribute in mind when he requested the number change. His father, Tom, who passed away after a battle with lung cancer in the December 2010, was a big supporter of George Brett, and often encouraged Logan to emulate the Kansas City Royals Hall of Famer. Now Morrison is one step closer to doing just that, while also honoring the memory of his dad.
It's also worth noting that according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Miami was willing to grant Albert Pujols permission to wear No. 5 as a concession to help lure him to South Beach. If that's indeed the case, it's nice to see them now making this concession for one of their own so that he can pay a simple, but meaningful tribute.
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