Spencer Strider (25) of the Atlanta Braves changed his uniform number to 99, the same as Hyun-jin Ryu (36) of the Toronto Blue Jays.
MLB.com, the official major league media outlet, said on the 22nd (Korean time), “Now that the Strider’s uniform number has changed to 99, Atlanta fans can use ‘Wild Thing’ as the Strider’s home game music and become more enthusiastic.” told
Strider, who debuted in the major leagues in 2021, recorded 11 wins and 5 losses with an average ERA of 2.67 in 31 games (131⅔ innings) last season, ranking second in the National League Rookie Award. Strider, who left a strong impression on fans with his fastball reaching 102.4 miles per hour (164.8 km/h) and a unique mustache, is expected to be Atlanta’s next-generation ace.
Uniform number 99 is the uniform number used by Rick Bourne, a character in the famous 1989 movie ‘Major League’ about major league baseball. In the movie, Rick Vaughn appears as a pitcher who, like Strider, throws fiery fastballs. Strider said, “Major League is my favorite movie. And I like Rick Bourne. I found a similarity between Wild Thing (nickname of Rick Bourne) and myself,” he said, explaining why he chose number 99.
Strider wore number 28 during his high school years. But when he went to college, he wore number 29 because Seth Beer (Arizona), who the Striders described as “probably the best player in the history of college baseball,” was using number 28. 안전놀이터
When I came to Atlanta, I had to change my uniform number again. The number 29 is the uniform number used by legendary Atlanta pitcher John Smoltz, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame, and has been permanently removed. Number 28 was used by Matt Olsen. So Strider chose number 65. And he decided to use number 99 for the upcoming season.
When asked if he chose uniform number 99 because it was equal to the average fastball speed, Strider said, “It has nothing to do with speed. My fastball average speed is 98.2 miles (158.0 km), so it doesn’t match exactly.”
Number 99 is not a number that players prefer as a uniform number. Among the pitchers who used number 99 as their uniform number, Ryu Hyun-jin is the most famous. Ryu Hyun-jin, who wore number 99 since playing for the Hanwha Eagles in the KBO League, continues to use number 99 in the major leagues. He is also the player who has used number 99 for the most seasons (9 seasons) in the major leagues.
Looking at the current cumulative record, it is still difficult to compare Strider with Ryu Hyun-jin. Ryu Hyun-jin had a sluggish season last season due to injury, and it is unclear when he will return this season due to Tommy John surgery, but this is because he has already accumulated outstanding results with 75 wins, 45 losses, and an average ERA of 3.27 in 175 games (1003⅓ innings). It will take a considerable amount of time for Strider to surpass Ryu Hyun-jin.
Meanwhile, Aaron Judge (Yankees) is by far the best player among major league players currently using number 99. He hit 62 home runs last season, breaking the American League record for most home runs. Judge has worn number 99 since his big league debut in 2016. He wore number 99 for seven seasons until last year.