A.J. Pierzynski might have changed his Sox to Red this offseason, signing in Boston as a free agent, but there's one tie to Chicago he might be implementing.
Pierzynski might not be able to wear the No. 12, which he wore with the White Sox and last year with the Texas Rangers. No. 12 might be unavailable, considering Mike Napoli wore it for the Red Sox last season, though Napoli is currently a free agent. If Napoli were to return, that could present an interesting problem for Pierzynski, but he has a Chicago-related solution, should that be the case.
"If he's not back, I'll take 12. But if he is back, there's been some thought process and one of the thoughts that I've had is I might take 40," Pierzynski said in an interview with WEEI Radio in Boston. "And people are like, 'Why 40?' And I'm like, 'Well, that's because that was Hawk Harrelson's number because he was in Boston.' I think it'd be a nice way to give him some love for all the years I've known him and all the nice things he's said about me."
Pierzynski had plenty of time to get to know the White Sox play-by-play announcer in eight season on the South Side, and it seems the catcher would be interested in honoring the longtime voice of the South Siders.
Harrelson wore No. 40 in the three seasons he spent in Boston as a member of the Red Sox in the late 1960s. He hit .262 with a .338 on-base percentage during that stretch, including a strong 1968 campaign in which he led the league in RBIs and finished third in MVP voting.
"I think my first pick might be 40, I'm not sure, just because of the Hawk," Pierzynski said.