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Padres’ Gary Sánchez changes jersey number from 24 to 99 in honor of Manny Ramirez

San Diego Padres catcher Gary Sanchez is wearing No. 99 because of Manny Ramirez.Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

MIAMI — With his preferred jersey number taken, Gary Sánchez opted for a unique second option, but one he values dearly.

The catcher, who made his San Diego Padres debut Tuesday night and homered Wednesday, is wearing No. 99 in honor of Manny Ramirez. During his six years with the New York Yankees, Sánchez wore No. 24, but Padres infielder Rougned Odor has the number.

“I like the combination of 24 and 99 because of Manny Ramirez,” Sánchez said in Spanish before Wednesday night's game at Miami. “I have always been a fan of his since I was a kid and those are the two numbers he wore.”


Ramirez wore No. 24 with Cleveland and Boston, then switched to No. 99 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who retired 24 for former manager Walter Alston. Ramirez stayed with No. 99 with the Chicago White Sox, then went back to 24 with Tampa Bay.

A two-time All-Star, Sanchez looks forward to a longer stay with the Padres after short stints with the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets.

“The past couple of months have been a bit complicated but what is most important now, thank God, is I am here with a very competitive and talented team,” Sánchez said. “With a combination of veterans, youngsters several superstars, I am honored to help any way possible.”