- Paul Lukas
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Red Sox rookie outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. had a good MLB debut in yesterday's season opener against the Yankees, walking three times, scoring twice, and making a circus catch to rob Robinson Cano of an extra-base hit.
But in a less celebrated development, Bradley also made MLB history by wearing "Bradley Jr." on the back of his jersey. To my knowledge, that made him the first big leaguer ever to wear "Jr." on his uniform.
MLB has had lots of Juniors over the years, of course. Some of them even played in uniform alongside their namesake fathers, such as Ken Griffey Jr., Tim Raines Jr. and Cal Ripken Jr. But in all of those instances, father and son only wore their surnames, with no other identifiers.
Generational suffixes are gaining traction in pro sports. Just last year, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III became the first player in any of the "big four" North American sports leagues to wear a Roman numeral on his jersey. Now he and Jackie Bradley Jr. have something in common, both of them serving as back-of-the-jersey trailblazers.
While we're at it, Rockies reliever Adam Ottavino made a little history of his own yesterday when he took the mound wearing No. 0. Although several MLB pitchers have previously worn double-zero, including Bobo Newsome, Curtis Leskanic and Rick White, Ottavino appears to be the first big league pitcher to wear a single zero.
Not bad for the first day.