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Me and My Number

Aug. 28, 2006
Aug. 28, 2006

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Aug. 28, 2006

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Me and My Number

Edited by Kostya Kennedy

SHANNONSTEWART

This is an article from the Aug. 28, 2006 issue Original Layout

Twinsoutfielder

BEFORE coming tothe Twins from Toronto in 2003, Stewart had number 24--which he wore in highschool to emulate two stars. "Ken Griffey Jr. and Rickey Henderson (left)were my favorite players," says Stewart. "I could run like Rickey, andI wished I could hit homers like Griffey." In Minnesota catcher Matt LeCroyhad the number, and, Stewart says, he wanted a car to give it up. "We weregoing to negotiate," Stewart recalls. Then Stew had a two-hit and athree-hit game and decided he didn't need the number. "[LeCroy] messedup," he says. "Number 23 has been good to me."

BOB MELVIN

D-Backsmanager

AS ARIZONA battlesthe Astros (and a half-dozen other teams) in the NL wild-card race, Melvin hashis rival's number. He wears number 3 for Astros manager Phil Garner, who, asthe Brewers' manager in the mid-1990s, gave Melvin his start in a postplayingcareer. "I made a phone call to him, and he got me a job scouting,"says Melvin, who would later become Garner's bench coach. "He's a man Iadmire a lot and have learned a lot from." Melvin says his choice of numberwas "a no-brainer," but he isn't sure if his mentor knows why he wearsit. Well, Phil, read it and preen.

MARK TEIXEIRA

Rangers 1B

HAVING Yankeesstar Don Mattingly--who wore number 23--as an idol was frowned upon whenTeixeira was a kid in Baltimore. "I'd wear a Mattingly shirt to [Orioles]games," says Teixeira, who endured epithets from O's fans. When he played,some thought the 23 was for Michael Jordan, but Teixeira was all aboutMattingly. "I just loved the way he played, I loved his swing," saysTexeira, who won a Gold Glove last year and has met his boyhood hero."We've had lunch. [Mattingly] knows pretty well how I think ofhim."

NINE PHOTOSTOM OLMSCHEID/AP (STEWART NUMBER); DAVID SEELIG/ICON SMI (STEWART HEAD SHOT); RONALD C. MODRA (HENDERSON); ROY DABNER/AP (MELVIN NUMBER); RICK SCUTERI (MELVIN HEAD SHOT); AARON M. SPRECHER/ICON SMI (GARNER); LOUIS LOPEZ/CAL SPORT MEDIA (TEIXEIRA NUMBER); JIM REDMAN/WIREIMAGE.COM (TEIXEIRA HEAD SHOT); TOM DIPACE (MATTINGLY)