You Won’t Believe What John Lackey Traded to get #41 in St. Louis

August 20 5:26pm
Matt Hevia

John Lackey really, really likes his uniform number. That number is 41. When he was traded to the Cardinals, reliever Pat Neshek had been wearing 41, and Lackey wasn’t having it. I have no idea why the number 41 is so important to him, but it was significant enough for him to offer Neshek a wild trade. You give me the number 41, and I’ll give you an authentic Babe Ruth autographed baseball.


Now, Babe Ruth is dead, so there are a finite number of these to be had. Also, Neshek is a rabid memorabilia collector, which made this a no brainer. Neshek actually maintains a website where he offers autographed cards of himself to fans, in exchange for an autograph from their personal collection. No offense to Neshek, but if he has managed to get any good autographs by doing this, he has certainly out-kicked his coverage.

So Neshek is now wearing 37, and doesn’t seem overly phased by it. That’s quite a stroke of luck, to just happen to be wearing a number that a new teammate is obsessed with. If I were him, I would have rented Lackey the number for $10k a day. Then, I would have bought the Babe Ruth ball with my new found income.

I don’t know if John Lackey is going to be on the Cardinals next season. But if he leaves, joining a team with a player that already wears the number 41, there will be yet another lucky winner in the John Lackey uniform number lottery.

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