Dodgers Team News

Dodgers Rookie Dustin May Switches Uniform Number for 2020 Season

BREAKING NEWS!! Well, not really… but still something that technically qualifies as news. After making his debut and playing with uniform number 85 in 2019, Dodgers rookie right-hander Dustin May is making the switch to uniform number 18.

No word as to why he made the change now. Perhaps that week plus on the sideline gave him time in front of his locker looking at the number 85 and asking ‘why?’

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May became the first Dodgers player to ever wear number 85 in a game last season.

As for the jersey number 18, it has a prominent in Dodger history.

Most recently it was worn by Kenta Maeda for the last 4 seasons. Prior to that, it bounced around across 5 players backs (Jose Peraza, Roger Bernadina, Chone Figgins, Tim Federowicz, Matt Treanor) after being utilized by another Japanese-born pitcher in Hiroki Kuroda for 4 seasons.

The number was most famously worn by long-time player and coach Bill Russell from 1969-1998. The shortstop that anchored LA’s record-setting infield wore the number for 18 seasons as a player before wearing it as a coach until the Fox ownership forced him out as manager in 1998.

Russell took the helm as manager after health concerns forced Tommy Lasorda to step down.

All told, Dustin May retires the number 85 with a career 2-3 record and a 3.63 ERA in 14 games.

NEXT: Dave Roberts Hints at Opening Day Bullpen

Clint Pasillas

Clint Pasillas has been writing, blogging, and podcasting about the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2008. Under Clint's leadership as the Lead Editor, Dodgers Nation has grown into one of the most read baseball sites in the world with millions of unique visitors per month. Find him online on Twitter/X or his YouTube channel!


  1. Maybe it could be the number of wins in his first full season as a starter, which could be 2021. He needs to be groomed as a full-time 2021 starter now. The rest is up to him.

  2. I thought his number 85 was the combination of Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax’s numbers 53+32=85.

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