Originally written on MarlinsBaseball.com  |  Last updated 2/11/12

Logan Morrison will switch to number five in 2012, a number never worn by a Marlin.   This number is significant to Morrison because it is the number worn by his father’s favorite player — George Brett.   The Marlins since starting play in 1993 have had the number retired to honor the first President in franchise history, Carl Barger.

Tragically, Mr. Barger passed away before the franchise’s inaugural game.   To honor his role in building the team, Wayne Huizenga the owner at the time decided to retire a number.     The number five was chosen because Mr. Barger’s favorite player was Joe DiMaggio.   At the time, most believed that number would never be worn by a Marlin as is the case with most retired numbers in sports.  The difference here is the number wasn’t retired for a player who had worn it during his career.     It is a rare event to see a uniform number retired in honor of a front office executive.

It was rumored last year that this change may take place, as the franchise transitions into a new chapter.   While some may argue, it is a slap in the face to the memory of Mr. Barger — it’s important to note that the number has remain retired for nearly 20 years.    Mr. Barger will never be forgotten but it is time for the number to go back into circulation and there’s no better man to wear it than Morrison.  He plays the game the right way day in and day out.   He plays it tough like Brett and should be able to don the same number.

The Marlins will most likely find a way to continue to honor the memory of Mr. Barger either via a plaque or an area of the ballpark named in his memory.   One way or the other, the franchise should continue to recognize one of the men who got it off the ground.    It wasn’t necessary however to retire a uniform number originally, and the team is making the right move reversing direction on that decision now.

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