Phillies: The sweet reason Freddy Galvis changed his jersey number
Freddy Galvis will wear a new number with the Phillies in honor of Juan Samuel.
The Philadelphia Phillies reunited with shortstop Freddy Galvis on Friday, acquiring him from the Baltimore Orioles at the trade deadline.
Galvis started his career with the Phillies when their scouts discovered and signed him as a 16-year-old kid. He made his debut with the club in 2012 and spent the first six seasons of his career there. Since then, he hasn’t stayed with any team for more than two seasons.
On Friday, both the Phillies and Galvis took to social media to celebrate the reunion. The Phillies wrote “Welcome home” on their Instagram, and Galvis posted a throwback photo of himself in a Phillies uniform and captioned the photo “🏡❤️.”
During his first stint with the Phillies, Galvis wore #13, which he kept with his next team, the San Diego Padres. Since then, he’s worn #16, #3, and #2.
Now, in his return, Galvis will don a new number, as #13 is currently worn by veteran infielder Brad Miller. Galvis is going to wear #8, and the reason is incredibly sweet:
Juan Samuel signed with the Phillies in 1980, undrafted just like Galvis. He made his debut with the team in 1983, and spent the first seven seasons of his career in Philadelphia. During that time, he was a two-time All-Star, led MLB in triples twice, won a Silver Slugger, and finished second to Dwight Gooden in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 1984. He set a then-record for stolen bases as a rookie with 72 swipes.
Samuel was the Mets’ return in the Phillies trade for the infamous Lenny Dykstra during the 1989 season. He retired after the 1998 season. Since then, he’s coached and managed around the league and in the Mexican League. He was back with the Phillies from 2011-2017.
So, for Galvis’ entire first stint with the Phillies, Samuel was his third base coach and first base coach. It appears they were close, seeing as Galvis will now wear his number.
Samuel has been trying to find another coaching job in the majors for a few years now but has not been successful. Maybe Galvis’ new jersey number will remind a team of Samuel’s impact on young players like him.