Prior to moving into their new chapter as the Miami Marlins, the franchise brought a number that had never been worn out of retirement and issued it to Logan Morrison who wanted the number in recognition of his boyhood idol, George Brett. That number was retired before the franchise played it’s inaugural game when the original team president, Carl Barger passed away. Barger’s favorite player was Joe DiMaggio, so five was chosen as a retired number to honor him.
The choice to bring the number back prior to 2012 was controversial at the time but ultimately, the critics quieted down and it’s become an almost forgotten topic. That makes sense as Morrison remains a member on the roster as of now. However, what happens when Morrison no longer is a Marlin? That’s something that could happen as early as this off-season if you believe the rumblings. The Marlins could just keep the number in circulation like any other number, in fact that’s the most likely outcome. Is it the right thing to do? That is the ultimate question here. When the number was originally retired, there was a different front office in place and the team had a different name. The franchise played in a different location, and the list goes on and on of how things are not the same as they were way back in 1993.
A lot has changed but maybe it’s important to pay tribute to the past. The team flies flags for the 1997 and 2003 World Championships even though both came under a different moniker and the first came under a different owner. This is proof that the Marlins do recognize events that happened before moving into their new digs in 2012. One of those events was the honor bestowed upon Barger. That number not being around was a symbol of his work in the early days. Without Barger’s involvement in that process, there may not even be a franchise to discuss now.
Morrison wearing the number forced some who were previously unaware of Barger to learn his story. Due to that, it’s easy to say that the Marlins made the right decision letting Morrison wear it. When LoMo is gone, it’ll be time for the Marlins to make another good decision — hang that number five up on the wall next to Jackie Robinson‘s 42 and forever cement it in Marlins’ franchise history.