‘ML longest period 99 times’ Ryu Hyun-jin, hand over the title to Judge?

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In all sports around the world, number 99 is a uniform number that is not easily seen. Only North American Ice Hockey League (NHL) legend Wayne Gretzky (62) made number 99 meaningful. In the NHL, no one can wear number 99 as it is a permanent retirement number for all clubs.

Even in the US Major League (ML), there have been only 24 players who have worn number 99 even in one season, 94 years after the New York Yankees introduced it in 1929. Here, one player will play with number 99 from the 2023 season.

MLB.com, the official website of the major leagues, introduced that “Atlanta’s right-hander Spencer Strider (25) changed his number to 99.”

Strider, who debuted in the big leagues in 2021, finished second in the National League rookie of the year with an average ERA of 2.67 and 131⅔ innings and 202 strikeouts in 31 games last year, his first full-time season. He is already mentioned as a Cy Young Young candidate due to his overwhelming pitch, catching 13.8 per 9 innings.

The reason Strider, who wore number 65, chose number 99 was because of Rick Bourne (played by Charlie Sheen), the main character in the 1989 movie Major League. Strider revealed, “My favorite movie is Major League Go and I love Bourne called ‘Wild Thing’. He found several similarities between him and me.”

The reason for choosing a uniform number like this is different for each player. Aaron Judge (31, New York Yankees), who is most famous for his number 99 in the major leagues, picked it because it was similar to his exit speed 헤라카지노도메인.

When it comes to major league uniform number 99, Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto) cannot be left out. Ryu Hyun-jin wore number 15 during his time with the Hanwha Eagles, but with the return of the original owner, Koo Dae-seong (53), he wore number 99. After that, he was reborn as the top ace in the KBO League and kept his uniform number even after advancing to the major leagues in 2013. As a result of a successful career of 10 years, Ryu Hyun-jin has the title of ‘the player who has worn the number 99 the longest’ in the major leagues. According to Baseball Reference, an American baseball statistics media, he could not play at all due to an injury in 2015, which is the highest with 9 seasons, even though he was not included in the tally.

But even this record is at stake. This is because Ryu Hyun-jin was placed in the biggest crisis of his major league career when he underwent an elbow ligament joint surgery (Tommy John surgery) in June of last year. He aimed to return in July this year, but there are many skeptical views for various reasons such as second elbow surgery and old age.

Of course, even if Ryu Hyun-jin is active for several more years, it is self-evident that the ’99th most title’ will someday pass to Judge. The player who wore number 99 the most after Ryu Hyun-jin was Taguchi So (54, retired) with number 8, followed by the number 7 jersey. Judge, who won the American League MVP last year, signed a 9-year, $360 million contract with the Yankees this offseason, and is highly likely to become the best No. 99 in the major leagues, surpassing Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Even if he can’t keep it, fans hope Ryu Hyun-jin can reap the beauty of the end. This season is the final year of a four-year, $80 million contract signed with Toronto in December 2019. His future major league career depends on his physical condition and performance this year. In his 10th season in the major leagues wearing number 99, what will Ryu Hyun-jin show?

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