Robinson Cano chose to wear No. 22 with the Seattle Mariners, passing up on the No. 24 he wore with the New York Yankees. A report from MLB late Thursday (Dec. 12) indicates that it is out of respect for Ken Griffey Jr. It can certainly be viewed as the first step toward Cano winning over quite a few fans in the Pacific Northwest.
The franchise doesn't retire numbers until a player has either been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame or has significantly contributed to the team and is no longer eligible for the ballot. It is very likely that Griffey will go to Cooperstown on the first ballot he is eligible, but that date hasn't hit just yet.
So far Cano is doing everything right when it comes to talking up the team, respecting the history of the franchise, and showing excitement to play the next 10 years in Safeco Field. While many fans will continue to debate the value and length of his contract, he is helping change the culture with his attitude already.
When asked about the prospect of wearing No. 24, Cano stated, "No, I would never talk to him about 24. He's a guy you have to show respect. If that was going to happen, it would have to come from him. We all know what he meant to this city and who he was and what kind of player. He's a future Hall of Famer. You don't go to a Hall of Famer and ask, 'Can I use your number?' You have to show him respect."
Maybe someday No. 22 will be retired by the team as well. For now, the franchise has only one retired number and that is the No. 42 worn by Jackie Robinson.
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