NEW YORK -- Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez had a special gift for rookie Kevin Gausman on Friday at Yankee Stadium: a new Rolex watch.
It was payment for uniform No. 31, which Gausman switched to in the offseason after Dave Wallace joined the club. When Jimenez signed this winter he wanted either No. 30 — which Tillman had — or 31, which was Gausman’s.
Orioles equipment manager Chris Guth asked Gausman if he would give up his number, and the rookie agreed. Gausman then chose No. 39, which had been Jason Hammel’s number.
“I didn’t even think twice. Give it to him. I don’t really care [about] 31, I wasn’t attached to it at all,” Gausman said. “Hammel was a good dude, so I was like, ‘All right, I’ll be 39.’”
Jimenez thanked Gausman in the spring and told him he would buy him something special.
“He told me the price range, and I was like ‘Allll right.’ He said ‘how about a Rolex?’ And I said, ‘Alllll right,’” Gausman said. “I thought maybe he’d just get me a suit … And then he showed up today and had an awesome gift for me. Pretty cool.”
Gausman joked that the watch was so nice he was afraid to wear it; some of his teammates joked that Jimenez bought a knockoff in Manhattan and was passing it off as the real thing.
It was a big week for Gausman, who also saw his first Broadway show, “The Lion King,” on Thursday.
“I am living the dream, a day at a time,” he said, smiling.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Kevin Gausman's uniform number in 2013 with the Orioles. He wore No. 37.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun