A new, special number for Herges
No. 34 was Matt Herges. But Matt Herges was never actually No. 34.
These days, Herges, a right-handed reliever for the Rockies, is wearing 77, a number that truly means something to him.
Before getting into his feelings about 77, how did he end up wearing numbers he didn’t care about for so long?
Herges spent much of his career wearing No. 49, but he’s also worn 48, 52, 31 and, earlier this year with the Indians, 40. He was issued 34, which he wore with the Rockies in 2007 and 2008, when he joined the club on Aug. 21 after a stint at Triple-A Colorado Springs. But fellow righty reliever Matt Belisle wore 34 for the Rockies to begin this season, and the club wanted to give him the number back when he returned to the Majors after a stint in Colorado Springs.
“That was fine,” Herges said. “I said, ‘I get to choose my own number now.’ I’d never had the opportunity. No one has ever said, ‘What number do you want?’ Every time I’ve either been traded or signed, I go to my locker and there it is.”
It’s a good number in Denver. Hockey’s Colorado Avalanche retired it after Ray Bourque helped them win a Stanley Cup. In football, it belonged to Broncos Ring of Fame member Karl Mecklenberg.
But it turns out Herges wasn’t seeking fame in Denver.
“Seven is a Biblical number, and I was telling some guys from Adam to Jesus, in that lineage, 77 generations,” Herges said. “I think that’s cool. And just the fact that the No. 7 gets mentioned a lot in the Bible. I remember Tony Batista wearing it, and I asked. I heard he was a man of faith. I’m like, OK.
“I looked into the number. You can just Google 77 and a bunch of stuff comes up and you learn about it. I was like, I’m going for it.”