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Mitch Garver and four jersey numbers in four years

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Digital manipulation.

Minnesota Twins v Detroit Tigers
Pour one out.
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

It’s official: Mitch Garver is the most selfless Twin on the roster.

The 2019 season was Garver’s third in the major leagues. After each of those seasons, he has given up his jersey number to a Minnesota-bound veteran and selected another.

A recap:

  • In 2017, Garver made his Minnesota Twins and MLB debut wearing #43.
  • Before the 2018 season, the Twins signed Addison Reed, who has worn #43 for his whole career. Garver gave him the number and switched to #23 for that year.
  • During the 2018-19 offseason, the Twins signed Nelson Cruz, who had worn #23 the previous four seasons as a Mariner (and the one before that in Baltimore). Garver ceded the digits to Cruz and took #18, in which he struck many bombas.
  • And when Minnesota’s latest acquisition, Kenta Maeda, requested #18 from Garver — not only had Maeda worn the number in Los Angeles, but #18 is considered the number of choice in Japan for an ace pitcher — and Garver once again gave up his number.

Garver will now wear #8 for the 2020 season, a number worn by several Twins of note. The most recognizable on the list are 1987 World Series-winning third baseman Gary Gaetti, scrappy fan favorite Nick Punto, and veteran All-Star catcher Kurt Suzuki. The last Twin to wear the number, discounting bench coach Derek Shelton, was now-Yankee center fielder Zack Granite. who sparked a minor excitement on Twitter when signed by New York because people thought he was Zack Greinke.

We’ll undoubtedly revisit this in 2021.