Pair of zeros: Yankees-Royals features surprising first in MLB history

Mark TownsendYahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports

If you're a fan of unusual firsts in sports, you'll love what the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals had in store for us on Friday night.

For the first time in MLB history, a pair of No. 0’s squared off.

Just to be clear, we’re not taking any unnecessary digs or calling anyone involved a zero. It was the first time ever that a pitcher and a batter each wearing the No. 0 went head-to-head in an MLB game.

It happened in the seventh inning after Yankees manager Aaron Boone called on side-arming reliever Adam Ottavino, who has worn the No. 0 every season since 2013. That set up a match up with the Kansas City Royals speedster Terrance Gore, who also proudly wears the No. 0.

Typically, this match up between a middle reliever and a No. 9 hitter who went five seasons and 54 plate appearances before collecting his first MLB hit, would barely register. But this one was different thanks to the unusual numerical tastes of the players involved.

In fact, they are two of only three current MLB players wearing No. 0, along with Mallex Smith of the Seattle Mariners.

Ottavino was the better No. 0 on this night. He won the battle with a five-pitch strikeout. Not that it meant a lot to Ottavino.

He’s clearly selling his place in history short.

In more important news for Yankees fans, Ottavino’s scoreless inning helped them to a much-needed 6-2 win.

As for the rest of us, we’re now patiently awaiting the inevitable rematch of No. 0’s.

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