A lot of people wonder why I’m number 71.
Why would I want such a high number?
Growing up our family always wore the number 17, this was our number. Any team I was on, I wanted to get number 17. My father always wore 17 when he played. 17 became a family tradition when he started coaching us in little league. It brought a passion to perform for the number.
There were times I wouldn’t get it, but getting called to the Major Leagues was the biggest moment in my life. Hoping to get the number 17. This was a household number. I knew the number wasn’t used for several years. I had a chance to bring that family tradition to the big leagues.
Jim Gantner wore this number while playing in Milwaukee. He was a career Milwaukee Brewers player while playing for 17 years. How ironic, this would be the number that is unofficially retired.
My spring training number was 71.
This was given to me by our clubhouse manager Jason. He knew throughout my career I would choose the number 17. As a young guy, it’s known to get a higher number. Most say you have to earn your lower number. My number was intentional. We flipped 17 to 71, this became the new 17.
I wanted to stick with this because it’s different, it’s a number you don’t often see on a baseball field.
71 is the new journey of my career.