When Ichiro Suzuki was traded from the Mariners to the Yankees, he went with uniform #31 instead of #51. I understand the reasoning behind not selecting #51 (Bernie Williams' number, which I guess lends credence to the Yankees perhaps retiring it at some point), but is there any specified reason he chose #31?
Ichiro chose No #31 without actual reason, he had a reason why not choosing no #51.
Since his days in Japan with the Orix Blue Wave, Ichiro has worn No #51. But with that number unofficially retired by the Yankees in honor of Bernie Williams, Ichiro knew that he’d need a new number.
Ichiro share his thoughts in interview:
“Of course No. 51 is a special number to me, but when I think about what 51 means to the Yankees, it’s hard for me to ask for that number,” he said. “I’d like to have a new number and then make that my own.”