MLB Insider Says San Francisco Giants Grand Plan Likely to Not Succeed

The San Francisco Giants are trying to set a precedent but their plan is unlikely to work out.
 Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports / D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
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The San Francisco Giants are a franchise that helps set the tone for the rest of the MLB. Whether it be culturally, on the field, behind the scenes or in the front office.

Their latest plan involves the universal retirement of Willie Mays' number across all of MLB following his recent passing.

Currently, the only player to have their number universally retired is Jackie Robinson's 42. By opting to allow Mays', that could open a can of worms and is something that Bob Nightengale of USA Today was told would be unlikely.

"While the San Francisco Giants are campaigning to universally retire Willie Mays’ number (24), MLB officials say it's unlikely," writes Nightnegale.

"If you retire Mays’ number, then you must retire Hank Aaron’s number. And if you retire Aaron’s number, Roberto Clemente is deserving. Jackie Robinson’s number, 42, deserves to stand alone."

Mays is a great example of a man and a baseball player. What Robinson did was incredibly important and took a level of bravery that is nearly unmatched. But MLB does have a point.

With so many great men deserving of a universally retired number, where does it stop? What is the criteria needed to have it retired?

Instead, perhaps an annual memorial game for these players is a happy medium. Robinson's 42 remains the only number retired and Jackie Robinson Day continues. But these other trail blazers are given an annual memorial game or day, much like the Rickwood game this past week.

So while the Giants may not have their wishes granted when it comes to Willie Mays, there may be an opportunity for San Francisco to lead the charge in remembrance in another, but equally befitting way.

Kade Kistner


Kade Kistner is the publisher and beat writer for Sports Illustrated's Inside the Phillies. An alumnus of Tulane University, Kade graduated in 2017 with a degree in Latin American Studies and a minor in Spanish. Upon graduation, Kade commissioned into the United States Navy and attended Naval Flight School in Pensacola, Fl. He served as a Naval Aviator and was stationed in Jacksonville, Fl.  During his time in school and the Navy, Kade began covering the MLB and NFL with USA Today, SB Nation, and Sports Illustrated.  Kade covered the New Orleans Saints, Texas Rangers, and numerous other teams within the Sports Illustrated network before launching Inside the Phillies, Inside the Astros, and Inside the Cubs. You can follow him on Twitter at @KadeKistner, or if you have any questions or comments he can be reached via email at