Fri May 30 11:54am EDT
Here's some bad news for the ultra-impulsive Dodger fans who already went out and bought a Clayton Kershaw jersey: The No. 54 he wore for his MLB debut on Sunday has already become obsolete.
Apologies for being the bearer of such bad news, but if you're one of the unfortunate souls who's out $150 or more, it's time to call your tailor to stop from becoming one of those guys who bought a Michael Jordan No. 45 jersey back in '95.
Yes, Kershaw will be wearing his old No. 22 when he starts tonight against the Mets.
As is custom in the minor leagues, Kershaw was assigned a high number when he entered the Dodgers' minor league system and didn't have the opportunity to wear the number he wore throughout high school as a tribute to Will Clark, a fellow Texan. (I'll admit I was a little surprised that it wasn't because of Roger Clemens, another Lone Star stater.)
The story has a very cool twist, though. LA veteran Mark Sweeney had been wearing No. 22, but agreed to take the No. 21 that Esteban Loaiza left behind so that Kershaw could get his preferred double deuces. Even cooler was that Sweeney didn't go through the normal requests of a Mercedes or a first-born for the # rights.
Kerhsaw is "going to be in this uniform for a long, long time," Sweeney told the LA Times. "It's something important to do from an organizational standpoint."
Told you that was cool and, indeed, all's well that ends well (though not for you No. 54 jersey buyers): Sweeney sees his new number as a tribute to his former teammate and friend, the late Ken Caminiti.
UPDATE: This story paints a little different picture of Sweeney's 'donation.'