- Ten-time All-Star
- 1995 World Series MVP
- Two-time Cy Young Award Winner (1991 and 1998)
- Five-time NL wins leader
Tom was also a superb hockey player as a youngster. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the 1984 NHL amateur draft.
Mr. October was great; Jerry West, John Riggins and Willie McCovey were real good; Hank Aaron was the BEST professional athlete to wear the number 44. Hank, of course, is the all-time MLB leader in home runs with 755, since 1974 (as of 2006.) Some more of Hank's qualifying statistics:
Did you know.....Hank's brother Tommie played professional baseball for the Braves as well? (photo courtesy wikipedia.com)
Eck, the Hall of Fame Major League Baseball pitcher, is our pick for the best athlete to wear number 43. Dennis Eckersley was primarily a starting pitcher with the Indians, Red Sox and Cubs from 1975 through 1986. It was in 1987 with the Oakland Athletics, that Eck started compiling his impressive career saves total of 390 as a reliever (three of these were between the years of 1975 and 1986.)
According to the Baseball Hall of Fame website, "Dennis Eckersley blazed a unique path as a big league pitcher, one that most likely will never be repeated. He began as a young hotshot starting pitcher, mowing down hitters with a blazing fastball. But years later, when it looked as if he was just another washed up hurler just happy to be hanging on, he was transformed, thanks to his pinpoint control, into the game's top reliever. This success story ends with the game's ultimate happy ending - election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame." Read the full Hall of Fame baseball biography for Dennis Eckersley by clicking here:
MLB HOF Dennis Eckersley
Some of Eck's credentials:
Did you know......Dennis Eckersley and John Smoltz are the only two pitchers in baseball history who have recorded both 20-win and 50-save seasons?
(photo courtesy of usatoday.com)
No question here. The man to break the color barrier in major league baseball is the best athlete to ever wear the number 42. The number 42 is now retired for every major league baseball team (with grandfathering for those players wearing the number 42 when the decision was made to retire it across baseball, i.e. Mariano Rivera,) because it was Jackie Robinson's uniform number. According to Henry Aaron on TIME.com's article about the most important people of the century, "He thrilled fans, shattered baseball's color barrier and changed the face of the nation." Other than breaking baseball's color barrier, here are Jackie's other creds:
Did you know.....Jackie played baseball for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro League? (photo courtesy of achievement.org)
This was an easy one. "Tom Terrific" is THE best to ever wear the number 41. The only player ever to be commemorated with a New York Mets cap in the Baseball Hall of Fame, Seaver made his mark with Amazin's in the 1960s and 1970s. (By the way, Seaver was elected to the Hall in 1992 with highest percentage of votes ever at 98.84%.) Seaver's creds:
Did you know......Tom struck out a record 10 consecutive batters in 1970? (photo courtesy baseballhalloffame.org)
"The Kansas Comet," Gale Sayers, is our pick for the best athlete to wear the number 40. Sayers was a running back with the Chicago Bears who some compare to Barry Sanders, and who many include in the list of top 5 running backs ever to grace the gridiron in the NFL. Injuries limited Sayers to a brief pro football career, from 1965 through 1971. Here are some of Gale's creds:
Did you know.....Gale wrote a biography of his playing career entitled "I Am Third," ? Get it by clicking the link in the post title.
(photo courtesy of sayers.com)
The three-time MVP and eight-time All-Star is our choice for the best professional athlete to ever wear the number 39. In a mere ten seasons for the Dodgers, Roy Campanella amassed 242 home-runs with a .276 batting average. Not too bad for an all-star caliber catcher. Campanella, who was the first catcher to break baseball's color barrier, was enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969. (photo courtesy of roycampanella.com)