Kiké Hernandez represents Red Sox on MLB's top-selling jerseys list

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Justin Leger
·2 min read
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Tomase: Why does Red Sox utility man have a top-selling MLB jersey? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Kiké Hernández arrived from the Dodgers with a reputation for being more popular than his numbers might merit on the surface.Turns out we didn't know the half of it.

When Major League Baseball released its 10 most popular jerseys Wednesday, some pretty big names weren't on the list -- defending NL MVP Freddie Freeman, Nationals boy wonder Juan Soto, and future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols, to name three.

But there at No. 9, one spot ahead of three-time MVP Mike Trout, was none other than Hernández.

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He couldn't believe it, either.

"Not just the fact that it was in front of Mike, but the fact that I was top 10 in the big leagues," Hernández said. "To me, it was mind blowing. There are so many really, really good players in the big leagues, and the fact that only eight of them sold more jerseys than me last year, I don't know how that happened, but I'm truly humbled and honored."

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So how did it happen? His previous team might have something to do with it.

The Dodgers won the World Series last year and boast a rabid following in the nation's second-largest media market. Dodgers were all over the list, with former Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts checking in at No. 1 and running mate Cody Bellinger taking the second spot. Left-hander Clayton Kershaw placed fifth after San Diego's Fernando Tatis Jr. and Philadelphia's Bryce Harper.

Hernández is believed to have received credit for both his No. 14 jersey in L.A. and the No. 5 he plans to wear in Boston. He made the former popular in Los Angeles by playing a scrappy style at multiple positions while delivering in key postseason moments, such as a three-homer game in the 2017 NLCS to eliminate the Cubs, and a game-tying shot vs. the Braves late in Game 7 of last year's NLCS.

The Red Sox can only hope he's similarly beloved in Boston. Maybe he'll even sell a bunch of jerseys.

"It really, truly is an honor to be on that list," Hernández said. "I mean, I don't have much to say because that was completely unexpected."