By: Mike Sullivan

John Lackey has worn #41 his entire professional career. The only exception was in 2010 when Victor Martinez wore that number in Boston.

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Right before this year’s trade deadline, on July 31st, John Lackey was dealt to the Cardinals. St. Louis pitcher Pat Neshek wore #41 but the club quietly announced on August 1st that Lackey will now wear #41 and Neshek will sport #37.

Not much was thought of this. While, 2014 All-Star Pat Neshek has been having a great year out of the bullpen, it was assumed that the two casually agreed to a deal to for the #41.

This actually happens a lot in sports. When a notable athlete is traded and their jersey number is already worn on the team, often times the player will volunteer his number (Like Andre Drummond did for Chauncey Billups) or there will be some sort of “under the table” deal worked out. Dinner, cash, etc.

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However, this situation is a lot different. Pat Neshek tweeted today that John Lackey gave him an autographed Babe Ruth baseball as a gift for changing his uniform number

What a cool gift this is! It’s certainly not your typical jersey number exchange. Babe Ruth autographs are very rare and very valuable. Here are what some other Babe Ruth autographed memorabilia items are currently going for in auction:

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Would you trade your jersey number for this historic piece of Babe Ruth memorabilia?