The 49er rookies will tee off their NFL careers this weekend with a mandatory minicamp. Good luck, plebes. You’ll need it.
Some of these kids will become household names in the coming years, maybe even some pro bowlers in the lot. Right now, though, they are just names wearing numbers we associate with players from the past.
First round pick, Jimmie Ward, will be wearing number 25 — which was worn for the past seven years by Tarell Brown. Brown, like many ex-49ers before him, is now playing out his career for the cross-bay low life Oakland Raiders.
Keith Reaser is going to spend the year rehabbing on IR, an ominously fitting scenario for a guy wearing number 31, the number worn by Chet Brooks, a SS from the late ’80s whose promising career was cut short by injuries.
LB Aaron Lynch is wearing 59, worn last year by offensive center Jonathan Goodwin. Goodwin is currently a Free Agent, and he can obviously write off the 49ers as a potential employer this year.
CB Dontae Johnson is wearing 36, most famously worn by Merton Hanks from the ’90s 49ers. Merton hands out league fines for unsportsmanlike play now, and will probably pay close attention to Johnson’s behavior, should this new recruit attempt to sully Merton’s jersey history.
RB Carlos Hyde is wearing 28, a number last worn illustriously by Beats Me. Perhaps I could be mistaken. Our astute readers will no doubt have a more elucidatory answer.
It’s a good thing God has not, to my knowledge, adopted a human numbering system. It would be the height of pipsqueakedness to wander the trails of life sporting a number like 5,876,248,713.
The 49ers have 12 retired numbers (8, 12, 16, 34, 37, 39, 42, 70, 73, 79, 80. 87). The Seahawks have 4, but one (12) is for their fans. (*eyeball roll*).
By comparison, the SF Giants have 11 retirees, plus the MLB mandated number 42 worn by Jackie Robinson. The Yankees have 17, with another two coming shortly for Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. Rivera will be the last MLB player to wear Robinson’s number 42, which was retired permanently in 1997. The Celtics have the most retired numbers — 21.
The Raiders have ZERO retired numbers (by choice). Naturally. Al Davis was too cheap to waste a number on anyone. Wanna wear Ken Stabler’s number, Rookie? No problem.