CLEVELAND, OHIO - JUNE 09: Luke Voit #45 of the New York Yankees celebrates after scoring on a sacrifice fly by Clint Frazier #77 to take the lead against the Cleveland Indians during the ninth inning at Progressive Field on June 09, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio.
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit wore No. 45 with pride but needs some new digits with Gerrit Cole coming to town.

Thankfully, Luke Voit has a plan and will wear No. 59 to honor his brother’s old football uniform number at West Point. Voit made the announcement to New York Yankees fans on Twitter.

Voit had worn 45 ever since joining the Yankees in 2018 and enjoyed his first full season in New York last season. A sports hernia limited him to 118 games, but he hit a respectable .263 with 21 home runs and 62 RBIs. Due to slumping near the end of the season, he did not appear in any playoff games.

Now, however, 45 belongs to Gerrit Cole and his $324 million free-agent contract. Cole mentioned in an interview with YES Network that Voit didn’t necessarily give the number away, but here we are now. No disrespect to Voit, but he hasn’t exactly built up enough equity to demand No. 45 be his and his alone.

The last Yankees player to wear No. 59 was outfielder Juan Rivera in 2002 and 2003. Per Baseball Almanac, no major Yankees of note have otherwise donned the number.

This gives Voit a key opportunity. He’ll likely need to compete for the starting first baseman’s job with Mike Ford in Spring Training. What better way to start with his new number than raking in the spring and carrying it into the regular season?

The point is Luke Voit, despite losing his original number, is in a position to bring some glory to a seldom-used Yankee number. Thus, here’s hoping Voit can stay healthy in 2020 and truly make No. 59 his own legacy.

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