The other day I was bored and started shuffling through which players have worn certain numbers throughout the history of our game. This led me to start looking at current rosters and what numbers are particularly popular. I happened to stumble across what I believed to be an anomaly. There are a lot of players that like the number 27. It seems like such a random number, it isn’t particularly low in the scale like Jeter’s #2 or Pujols’ #5. It doesn’t seem to be a common lucky number, and neither Griffey or Bonds sported the jersey, so what gives? I’m not entirely sure, but here’s a list of notable active players sporting #27.
Jhonny Peralta – Tigers
Lance Berkman – Rangers
Mike Trout – Angels
Jordan Zimmerman – Nationals
Giancarlo Stanton – Marlins
Carlos Gomez – Brewers
Matt Kemp – Dodgers
Isn’t it odd that arguably three of the best players in the game in Kemp, Stanton and Trout are all sporting the same number? Peralta's carved a nice role for himself in the majors over the past decade as has Berkman, Zimmerman is part of an elite Nationals pitching staff, and Carlos Gomez has turned into one of the more dynamic players in the game. Also taking a look at history, Scott Rolen, Kevin Brown, Carlton Fisk, Don Sutton, Juan Marichal, and Vladimir Guerrero all sported the number.
So future Hall of Famers and Hall of Famers alike have all sported the number. Is it possible many of the current hitters are simply paying homage to the former greats? Unlikely, the number is just random enough to be the type that teams give out to players who don’t necessarily have a preference. In fact, for Angels fans, the only thing I can think of is that the greatest hitter in the history of the organization in Vlad Guerrero once sported the number, perhaps Trout chose the number as a way of signifying the torch being passed? The numbers he wore in the minors and World Cup (20, 23, 25) were all available, in fact his own twitter handle has the number 20 in it.
It isn’t clear why these players chose to go with 27, whether it be random, a flair for history or if they just think it’s cool. What is notable however, is that many successful player have worn the number, more than any other random number I can think of.