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#pounditTuesday, November 29, 2022

Jon Lester wearing No. 34 with Cubs in honor of Walter Payton, Kerry Wood


Jon Lester will be sporting both an unfamiliar uniform and an unfamiliar jersey number next spring.

Lester was officially introduced as a member of the Chicago Cubs on Monday, and team president Theo Epstein presented him with a No. 34 jersey. Lester explained that he chose that number as a tribute to three people — Chicago Bears legend Walter Payton, former Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood and MLB Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan.

Wood said he was honored.

Lester wore No. 31 with the Red Sox. But if he wanted No. 34 in Boston, a certain local legend who currently wears it claims he would have been happy to give it up.

No. 31 is not currently worn by anyone on the Cubs big league roster, so Lester didn’t have to change numbers.

At one point, Big Papi seemed confident that Lester would be returning to the Red Sox. Maybe Ortiz could have made it happen by offering Lester his number. Just kidding — we know the Red Sox got cheap.

H/T Big League Stew


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