The 7 Greatest Uniform Numbers in Sports
LeBron James was recently in the news promoting his campaign to retire the #23 in the NBA in honor of the great Michael Jordan. “His Airness,” LeBron and my favorite Movember supporter Don Mattingly aren’t the only great players who have shared the same number. In fact, #23 is (arguably) not even the greatest number in sports, just take a look at these.
#3: Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez, Harmon Killebrew
Babe Ruth is probably the greatest player to ever play the game. Alex Rodriguez wore #3 until he came to the New York Yankees, will in all likelihood end up as the all-time home run leader, and is currently tenth on the all-time home run list.
#8: Cal Ripken Jr., Yogi Bera, Carl Yastrzemski, Joe Morgan, Troy Aikman, Steve Young and Kobe Bryant
Ripken is a two-time MVP, 19 time all-star, two-time gold glover, and first ballot Hall of Famer who played 2,632 games straight. Berra is a 13-time World Series champion, three-time MVP, and 15-time All Star. Yaz is a former MVP, seven-time Gold Glove winner, and 18-time All-Star. Morgan is a back-to-back MVP, two-time World Series Champ, and 10-time All-Star. Quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Steve Young and shooting guard Kobe Bryant also wore #8.
#12- Terry Bradshaw, Tom Brady, Joe Namath
Bradshaw is a four-time Super Bowl champion and former MVP. Brady is three-time Super Bowl Champion, former MVP, and holds the record for most touchdowns in a single season with 50. Namath is a Super Bowl Champion, former two-time AFL MVP, and four-time AFL All-Star with one Pro Bowl selection.
#24: Willie Mays, Rickey Henderson, Manny Ramirez, Ken Griffey Jr.
Mays is also arguably the best player who ever lived, a two-time MVP, World Series champ, 12-time Gold Glover, and 20-time All-Star. Rickey Henderson is the all-time stolen base and runs leader (he also led off more games with a home run than anyone) and a two-time World Series champ, MVP, and ten-time All-Star. Manny is a two-time World Series champion, 12-time All Star, and is currently 15th on the All-Time home run list. Griffey is a former MVP, 13-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glover and is currently fifth on the All-Time home run list with 630.
#34: Walter Payton, Earl Campbell
Payton is the 2nd leading rusher in NFL history with nearly 17,000 yards and fourth all-time in rushing touchdowns. Campbell doesn’t have the career numbers that Payton had because he peaked early and played only nine years but his first three years in the league were as good as anyone’s. He’s also a five-time Pro Bowler and a Hall of Famer. Nolan Ryan also wore #34 and used his old man strength to beat the crap out of Robin Ventura – oh, he also struck out 5,714 batters, threw 7 no-hitters and an astonishing 12 one-hitters.
#42 Jackie Robinson, Mariano Rivera
This number is forever retired in Major League Baseball because it was worn by Jackie Robinson and until Mariano Riviera retires and goes down at the greatest closer of all-time he will run out of the bullpen with “Enter Sandman” blaring wearing #42.
Follow the author, Igor Derysh, on Twitter @IgorDerysh