Manny Machado to wear No. 8 out of respect for Kobe Bryant

When All-Star Manny Machado takes to the field for the Los Angeles Dodgers for the first time Friday evening, he’ll be wearing a number familiar to fans in Southern California.

Machado announced on Friday that he’ll be wearing the No. 8 jersey as a way to pay his respects to all-time great Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant.

Coincidentally enough, Machado’s decision also has to do with former Baltimore Orioles great Cal Ripken Jr. donning No. 8 during his Hall of Famer career.

But in Los Angeles, this is a completely new start for the longtime Orioles great. As he said, “new beginnings.”

An impending free agent, it’s not yet known whether Machado will stay in Los Angeles long term. He’s been primarily linked to the New York Yankees in free agency.

With that said, it’s readily apparent that Machado has an understanding of the Los Angeles’ sports scene and its history. That’s certainly going to endear him to fans of the blue and white.