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Brandon Webb to honor friend with No. 33

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Brandon Webb held up a Rangers jersey with No. 33 on it at Monday's news conference. He chose that number for a reason.

Webb wore No. 17 with Arizona, but that's Nelson Cruz's number in Texas.

Webb's agent was contacted by a cousin of the late Jon Hooker, who was Webb's college roomate and teammate at the University of Kentucky. He suggested Webb wear No. 33 as a tribute to Hooker, who died when the plane carrying him and his wife crashed on the way to their honeymoon in California. A total of 47 passengers and two crew members died when the plane crashed and burst into flames.

"He was a great friend," Webb said. "I thought it was a good idea to honor him this way. It was the perfect thing."