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The 8 should have stayed with Junior

Updated: April 15, 2009, 3:56 PM ET
By Marty Smith | ESPN.com

From the time I was in grade school I chose jersey No. 9 for all possible athletic exploits. Every kid in the South fought like hell over No. 3 (Dale Murphy), and we were no different. Once my buddy Bones (still my best friend) secured it, I chose Mama's birthday, Dec. 9.

There were 85s and 34s and 7s sprinkled in there sporadically when an older kid wanted the 9-er, but nothing else ever felt quite right. I had a vanity plate in college pronouncing my beloved digit, and in the mid-90s ...

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