Spencer Robert Strider, an American professional baseball pitcher for the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball (MLB) has changed his jersey number to No. 99.
There was a magnificent difference at the Truist Park’s press conference room on Saturday. Strider bid goodbye to his No. 65 rookie jersey that he had last year. Reportedly one of the main reasons for him to switch to No. 99 was to pay homage to his favorite fictional baseball character. He said, “My favorite movie is Major League and I like Rick Vaughn…I see some similarities between Wild Thing and myself.”
MajorLeague is a classic sports comedy movie of 1989, featuring Charlie Sheen as Rick Vaughn. In the movie the character played by Charlie Sheen, Vaughn was a hard-throwing pitcher who wore No. 99. He was also known as Wild Thing by Cleveland fans. Once he entered the scene the stadium shouted Wild Thing!
Strider’s search for a right jersey began in his college years. In his high school days, he wore No. 28. However, the jersey was not available in Clemson since it was previously worn by Seth Beer, a prominent college baseball player. Later Strider wore No. 29 for the Tigers. However, John Smoltz, a professional baseball pitcher of his time, wore the number during his Hall of Fame career.
Although when Strider reached Atlanta the No. 29 wasn’t available anymore and neither was No. 28. So, he had to settle with No. 65 last year. But this year he could finally switch to his number of choice, No. 99 for the upcoming seasons.