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The reason that Sanchez gave #14 to Buck

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Miami Herald


After the Marlins signed free agent John Buck in November, the catcher phoned Gaby Sanchez and asked the first baseman if he could have the number off his back: 14.


Buck told Sanchez he would make it worth his while, giving him either an expensive watch or suit in exchange. But when Sanchez was told the reason why Buck wanted that number, he said he would have given it to him for nothing.


“I would have probably done it anyway, just because I know that he has a lot of time in,� Sanchez said of Buck’s seniority — six years of major-league service to only one for Sanchez. “But when he told me the reason, it was a no-brainer.�


Said Buck: “I definitely softened Gaby up with the story.�


Buck wears 14 to honor a younger brother, Paul, who committed suicide in 2000. Growing up, John Buck always wore 11 while Paul wore 44. After Paul’s death, John Buck said he put the two numbers together to produce 14.


“Also, his birthday was April 14, so those numbers kind of mean something to me,� Buck said.


Buck said he was hesitant at first about asking Sanchez for the number, telling him, “I hate to take the number after you had such a good year.�


Sanchez finished fourth in National League Rookie of the Year balloting last year. But Sanchez had no qualms about giving it up. After all, it was a number he hadn’t been wearing for long, and he had always preferred 15.


But that number was taken by former manager Jack McKeon, who still suits up every now and then, especially during spring training. The Marlins, though, made an exception and allowed Sanchez to have 15.


In the end, both players got the numbers they wanted, and Sanchez also received a thank-you gift from Buck: a Breitling Bentley watch.

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Buck seems like such a genuinely nice person. Respect.



Yeah - he seems like he's a great clubhouse guy as well .... as long as he doesn't hit a .180 I think everyone is going to love this guy ..... if he keeps flirting with timely grand slams then he'll have his own shrine

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