Since making his MLB debut with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008, David Price wore No. 14 for his first eight seasons. Upon joining the Boston Red Sox in 2016, he switched to No. 24. That remained Price’s jersey number until changing to No. 10 last season.
A trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers required the left-hander to find a new number, as No. 10 is of course taken by Justin Turner. As he sat in center field at Dodger Stadium for an introductory press conference, Price explained he opted for No. 33 to pay homage to former teammate James Shields.
“Showed me the right way to do things at the field, away from the field, being a father and husband. He’s a guy I’ve looked up to ever since I met him,” Price said of Shields. “He’s worn 33 for his entire career in the big leagues, so for him to do what he did for me, I thought this was a way for me to pay him back a little bit.”
But as it turns out, Price nearly assumed No. 18, which was available in the wake of Kenta Maeda being traded to the Minnesota Twins. The revelation was made during the latest Dodgers Zoom Party, when Price answered a question submitted from a fan.
“I chose 18, just because one of my favorite numbers is eight. It was close to 10, which was the number I was already wearing. I told Alex, our head clubbie guy, that I was going to wear 18,” he said. “Then I started thinking about it a little bit and my wife asked me if there was any significance to that number. I was like, ‘No. I just picked it. It looked kind of like 10. It’s a smaller number that I like.’
“Then I got to thinking about it, and I didn’t want my teammates or Dodger fans to be thinking that I’m talking about 2018, so I wanted to switch to something else. I switched to 33 because it had meaning to me. I picked that because of Shields. I guess at first I did pick 18 but I thought better of it.”
The 2018 season is not particularly fond for the Dodgers or their fans to remember, as the team fell short to Price and the Red Sox in the World Series. That also represents another year in which the Dodgers’ opponent in the Fall Classic was investigated — and found guilty of — impermissible use of video.
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