Mariners’ Shed Long Jr. — yes, Jr. — explains why he’s added to his name
Mariners utility player Shed Long is preparing for his second season in the big leagues, and he’s making a few big changes.
First off, Shed Long isn’t his name anymore. Like former Mariners Ken Griffey Jr. and Jose Cruz Jr. before him, he’s tacking ‘Jr.’ onto the end of his name – both when it comes to how he’s listed on the Mariners roster as well as what it will say on the nameplate of his jersey.
Shed Long Jr. explained why he decided to make the change Tuesday night in an interview with the Mariners Hot Stove Show on 710 ESPN Seattle, noting that he had a realization while playing alongside another Jr. last season.
“So last year when I was in Tacoma, E.Y. – Eric Young Jr. – he was there with me as well and … I saw it says ‘Young Jr.’ (on his jersey),” Long said. “I was just looking at his jersey one day and I said, ‘You know what, E.Y.’ – this is while we was sitting in the dugout in the middle of an inning – and I’m like, ‘You know what, E.Y., I’m putting Jr. on my jersey. I got to put the Jr. on there. You know, that’s my name so that’s what I’m gonna put on there.'”
Long said Young, a veteran utility player and the son of former MLB speedster Eric Young Sr., agreed it was a good idea, so Long made it a priority to get the change made.
“He encouraged it and so after that moment my mind was made up,” Long said. “As soon as the season ends I’m telling them ‘We gotta change it to Jr., you gotta put Jr. on there.'”
That’s not the only nod to Shed Long Sr. that Jr. has in store for 2020. He’s also switching numbers, and his dad had a hand in the he’s switching too.
“I’m going to my old faithful No. 4,” said Long, who was No. 39 during his rookie campaign with the Mariners. “I wore that as a kid growing up, that was my dad’s favorite number so that became my favorite number.”
You can hear the full interview with Long from the Hot Stove Show in this podcast starting around the 10:40 mark.