Punto calls Nomar to talk about wearing No. 5

JON KRAWCZYNSKI AP Baseball Writer Published:

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -- No matter what kind of numbers shortstop Nick Punto puts up for the Boston Red Sox this season, none will be bigger than the one on his back.

Punto is wearing No. 5 this season, which carries a lot of weight in Red Sox lore. It's the number that fan favorite Nomar Garciaparra wore at shortstop for the Red Sox for nine years. Garciaparra was a five-time All-Star and the AL Rookie of the Year in 1997.

Punto says he called Garciaparra last week to "tell him how honored I am to wear his number." Punto says Garciaparra appreciated the call.

Outfielder Rocco Baldelli wore No. 5 for Boston in 2009, making him and Punto the only two players to wear it since Garciaparra was traded during the 2004 season.