The Los Angeles Dodgers formally introduced Mookie Betts and David Price at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, which marked the final day of the offseason for the organization. The press conference, set up in center field, began with the players putting on their respective jerseys.
Both Betts and Price are making the jump to the National League for the first time, and they’re doing so in different numbers. Betts is keeping with his same No. 50 jersey number worn with the Boston Red Sox.
Jaime Schultz, now with the Oakland Athletics, wore No. 50 during his stints up with the Dodgers last season.
“I requested it,” Betts said of his jersey number. “I think it was open. That’s why I keep No. 50, because nobody wants it.”
No. 50 actually has been in circulation for the Dodgers in each of the past four seasons. Casey Fien began the stretch in 2016, followed by Brett Eibner the next year, then Ryan Madson and Schultz.
Prior to that, the streak began when it was donned by Nathan Eovaldi (2011-2012), Todd Coffey (2012) and Randy Choate (2012).
Meanwhile, Price is set to wear No. 33 for the first time in his career. “I went with 33 because when I first got to the big leagues, James Shields was one of the guys that really took me under his wing,” he explained.
“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. 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.”
Price is the first Dodgers player to wear No. 33 since Breyvic Valera in 2018. That was preceded by Tony Watson in 2017, Scott Van Slyke (2012-2017) and Ramon Hernandez (2013), among others.
For Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, what number his new additions are wearing was beside the point. “They look good in Dodger blue, don’t they?” he gushed as Betts and Price put on a Dodgers jersey for the first time.
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