Once the New York Yankees got the pesky formalities out of the way and named 21-year-old Anthony Volpe their Opening Day starter at shortstop, they had all sorts of additional logistical questions to answer.
What would happen to Oswald Peraza? (Answer: A Triple-A demotion)
Would Isiah Kiner-Falefa still make the team, or be shipped out? (Answer: Certainly seems like it.)
And would Volpe really be rocking the No. 77 he wore during Spring Training, or would he receive a lower number befitting his pedigree?
This was a tough call. 77, formerly belonging to Jackson Frazier, was actually special to Volpe, who comes from a long line of Yankee fans. His grandfather's favorite player was Mickey Mantle, making the double sevens a bizarre sight at first, but a meaningful one.
According to Jack Curry, Volpe pivoted at the last minute, and instead will wear No. 11 to start his MLB career. When you start a Yankee with a number that low, with so few available (and zero single-digits on the table), it typically means the intention is they're here to stay.
Yankees Anthony Volpe's Jersey Number: Brett Gardner's No. 11
Let Anthony bang!
Yes, those No. 11 Brett Gardner jerseys could come in handy, and while the veteran was sort of silently "retired" last offseason, it seems the end to his Yankee career is now official.
And with that end comes the blossoming of something that could be really special.
Volpe, a five-tool talent, will be the youngest player to start on Opening Day for the Yankees since his idol Derek Jeter in 1996. He'll also be the fifth-youngest Yankee ever to make his MLB debut; Mantle remains the youngest, at just 19 years old.
Hopefully, Volpe's quicker-than-expected promotion signals the beginning of some sort of youth movement in the Bronx, where Brian Cashman and Co. are willing to play their most talented roster after tossing service time concerns out the window. It seems Aaron Judge may have played a role here in influencing the front office with his repeated comments in that direction.
No. 99 will be excited to see Volpe on Opening Day and in the Roll Call -- but no word yet on whether he'll be jealous of his low number.