Adam Ottavino to be first Yankee to wear No. 0

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Friday, January 25, 2019

Reliever Adam Ottavino started his New York Yankees career with something never done in the team's long history.

In announcing the three-year deal for the 33-year-old, it was revealed that he will wear No. 0, the number he wore in Colorado. No Yankee has ever worn the number -- not Otis Nixon, not Oscar Gamble, not even Dick Tidrow.

In fact, No. 0 is the only single-digit number that isn't retired by the team. Most recently, Derek Jeter's No. 2 was retired in 2017.New York has also retired Nos. 1 (Billy Martin), 3 (Babe Ruth), 4 (Lou Gehrig), 5 (Joe DiMaggio), 6 (Joe Torre), 7 (Mickey Mantle), 8 (Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey) and 9 (Roger Maris).

Owner Hal Steinbrenner had to approve of Ottavino's number selection.

Nine Yankees players have worn No. 1, most recently Bobby Murcer in 1974. Three players have even worn No. 99, led by Aaron Judge. But no zero.

Sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan that Ottavino gets a $27 million deal.

Last season, Ottavino struck out 112 batters, which ranked fourth among all MLB relievers, and held opposing hitters to a .158 batting average in 77 innings. He went 6-4 with a 2.43 ERA as the Rockies reached the National League Division Series as the wild card before losing to Milwaukee.

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