Dodgers star Mookie Betts supplanted Yankees slugger Aaron Judge on Friday for baseball’s top-selling jersey in his first year on the West Coast.
Judge’s pinstriped No. 99 had been the most popular uniform in the majors for three straight years, but he’s been bumped by his former AL East rival, according to data released by Major League Baseball
Betts was traded from the Boston Red Sox to the Dodgers in February, and Los Angeles signed the 2018 AL MVP to a $365 million, 12-year deal that runs through the 2032 season. Betts’ No. 50 is the first Dodgers uniform to top the list since MLB began releasing sales rankings in 2010.
Not hard to see why. Betts is in the running to become the second player, after Frank Robinson, to win MVPs in both leagues. The 27-year-old is hitting .293 with 16 home runs, nine stolen bases and a .930 OPS during this pandemic-shortened season.
Judge slotted second ahead of Philadelphia Phillies slugger Bryce Harper, who is in the second season of a $330 million, 13-year deal.
Fernando Tatis Jr., a breakout star with the San Diego Padres, ranked fourth ahead of fellow youngster Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals. It’s the first time two players 21 years old or younger cracked the top five since Harper and Mike Trout in 2012.
It’s the first year on the list for Tatis, Soto and Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, who ranks 19th after signing a $324 million, nine-year deal with New York.
Manny Machado ranked 12th, giving the upstart Padres two players in the top 20 for the first time.
The eight-time reigning NL West champion Dodgers have three players in the top 10, with 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger sixth and left-hander Clayton Kershaw ninth.
The Chicago Cubs (Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant) and Yankees (Judge, Cole, Giancarlo Stanton) were the only other teams with three players in the top 20.
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