The Mets announced uniform numbers for new players today and I was happy see among them, number 56 for Andres Torres. 56 was the number worn by one of my personal heroes, Jim Bouton. For those not in the know, Bouton wrote Ball Four, an account of his season pitching for the short lived Seattle Pilots. It is beyond just one of the best baseball books ever written but one of the finest pieces of literature I have ever read.
In an interview with Lichtfield County Sports , Jim said this about the number:
"When Bouton was asked what number he wanted when he made the Yankees’ roster he said number 56. That was because it is number usually reserved for young players that come up for the minors for spring training and get sent back down. He said he wanted the number to remind him how close he was to not being in the Major Leagues. He wore it his entire career."
Torres, a mid 30's guy who has had some good seasons but is now struggling to re establish himself, could not be more perfect for number 56.