Barry Bonds' Giants No. 25 ‘unofficially retired' years before jersey retirement


SAN FRANCISCO — In a back room in the home clubhouse at AT&T Park, alongside spare jerseys, spikes and masks, there is a laminated roster. It shows the number for every player on the 40-man roster, along with three who never again will be. The numbers 18, 25 and 55 are highlighted in orange and have a designation of “hold.” 

The Giants will officially retire Barry Bonds’ 25 on Saturday night, and it’s unlikely any player in orange and black will ever again wear the numbers made so popular by Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum. This is the “unofficially retired” numbers list, and after Saturday, it will consist of just two numbers. 

“It’s kind of an unspoken thing we have here,” said Brad Grems, the clubhouse coordinator.

Bonds hasn’t taken an at-bat for the Giants in 11 years, but there was never any chance that another Giant would wear his number. Mike Murphy made sure of that first, followed by Grems. Lincecum’s number has been put aside since he parted ways with the organization after the 2015 season.

Matt Moore wore 55 in Tampa Bay, but switched to 45 when he was traded to the Giants. Moore never even asked for 55, saying the number belonged to Lincecum. When he was traded to the Rangers in the offseason, Moore went back to 55. 

As always, when Grems gets to spring training next year, 18 and 55 will once again be outside of the rotation, no matter how many players might fill the room. Cain has only been gone a few months, but he already is on the organization’s Wall of Fame and it seems a good bet a number retirement ceremony is coming in the next couple of years.

Lincecum’s situation may be a bit more complicated, if only because he hasn’t officially retired and, quite frankly, he is difficult to find. The Giants have had trouble tracking him down at times, even during his playing days, but they plan to run him through the full gamut of ceremonies one day if he is willing. 

For now, the focus will be on Bonds. His 25 will be retired in a ceremony that starts at 5 p.m. on Saturday before the Giants play the Pirates, Bonds’ first team. It will be just the 10th number retired by the Giants, joining 3 (Bill Terry), 4 (Mel Ott), 11 (Carl Hubbell), 20 (Monte Irvin), 24 (Willie Mays), 27 (Juan Marichal), 30 (Orlando Cepeda), 36 (Gaylord Perry) and 44 (Willie McCovey).

Jackie Robinson’s 42 is retired throughout the game.

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