Feb 19, 2012, 8:20 PM EST
US Presswire file photo
Ian Desmond has switched from No. 6 to No. 20 this season.
VIERA, Fla. — Ian Desmond has worn the No. 6 on the back of his jersey from the moment the Nationals first called him up to the big leagues in Sept. 2009. Why? "Because that's just the number [clubhouse manager Mike Wallace] gave me," Desmond said. "I never had any connection with it."
Desmond, though, didn't feel it was appropriate to be requesting a specific uniform number while still a rookie, or even during his second full season in the majors last year. It wasn't until this winter that the 26-year-old shortstop felt he had his foot "all the way through the door" as a big leaguer and thus was comfortable asking to make a switch.
So it is that Desmond, after 329 career games as No. 6 for the Nationals, has suddenly become No. 20 for the Nationals.
And why No. 20? Because a pair of former athletic greats who are special to Desmond wore that number: Frank Robinson and Barry Sanders.
Robinson, in particular, means a lot to the shortstop. When an 18-year-old Desmond was given a chance to play in a few springRead more »
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Winter Classic rink construction well underway at Nats Park
- Nats recall NLDS, watching Giants win World Series
- 'Baseball in the District' - Kurkjian, Zuckerman & Corcoran talk Nats
- How the Nats' trade impacts Desmond's future
- Nats trade Souza in 3-team deal, get Turner from Padres
- Report: Mets may not pitch Harvey vs. Nats on Opening Day
- Souza's name crops up in complex trade talks
- Clippard: 'I hope we all stay together for at least one more shot'
- Nats GM Mike Rizzo explains trading Detwiler; talks prospects
- Nats announce date pitchers and catchers will report to Viera