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It's a way to help identifiy the player. In the old days of Baseball, names weren't used on the backs of uniforms, and the only way you were able to identify most players were by numbers and scorecards. Numbers tend to be chosen by the players themselves or assigned by the teams if they have no preference. Teams started wearing numbers in the 1920's to help the people in the stands tell who was who. (I've read that the Sporting News was against it because they thought people would stop buying scorecards.) Nowadays numbers have no intrinsic meaning, but originally they just used 1-9 in lineup order. So, for example, Babe Ruth was #3 and Lou Gehrig was #4 because Ruth batted third and Gehrig batted fourth. They didn't stick to that idea very long, tough.

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โˆ™ 2004-11-30 11:49:23
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Q: What does the number stand for on a baseball uniform?
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