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 2013 schedule (subject to change)...
TUE: 12:45 p.m., 4:30 p.m.
WED: 2:30 p.m.
THU: 4:30 p.m.
FRI: 12:45 p.m., 2:30 p.m.
SAT: 9:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com.
- Does Saltalamacchia show the Marlins are serious for 2014?
- VIDEO: Analysis of Fister trade
- Non-tendered players could interest Nats
- Yankees, Ellsbury near $153M, 7-yr deal
- Fister "excited" about trade to Nationals
- Rizzo discusses Fister trade and more Nats news
- Hard not to like Fister trade for Nationals
- Nats re-sign Ohlendorf, tender contracts to 8 others
- Nats acquire Fister in 4-player trade with Tigers
- Pirates acquire catcher Chris Stewart from Yankees