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 is the lead editor and manager of, and a host and analyst on DN's Blue Heaven podcast live stream. Since joining Dodgers Nation, Clint has helped grow the site into a top-50 baseball website in the world. He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future. He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.


  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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