It turns out not every Cubs player has a touching story behind why they chose their number.
To Cubs fans, Jake Arrieta’s No. 49 embodies the Cy Young Award winner as much as his signature beard, but it hasn’t always been that way.
While answering questions from fans on Twitter this week, Arrieta revealed that there actually isn’t anything special about the number.
49 was the number I was given in 2013 when I was traded, and it has been pretty good to me @mpk13— Jake Arrieta (@JArrieta34) February 3, 2016
Before coming to Chicago, Arrieta pitched part of four seasons in Baltimore, where he wore three different numbers – 57, 34 and 38.
Prior to Arrieta, Chicago’s No. 49 was most recently worn by pitcher Carlos Marmol. But the number became available when Marmol was designated for assignment June 25, 2013 – a week before the Cubs traded for Arrieta.
Arrieta joined a long list of players to sport the number for the Cubbies that includes Jamie Moyer, David Weathers and Felix Heredia.
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Stats via Baseball-Reference