MLB Athlete Number 16 - Whitey Ford

Whitey Ford, "The Chairman of the Board", is the best MLB athlete to ever wear the jersey number 16.

Another lifelong Yankee, playing for the Bronx Bombers between the years of 1950 and 1967, Ford was one of the best pitchers of his era. During his tenure with the Yanks he won 236 games, had 1,956 strikeouts and a stellar 2.75 ERA.

  • 1961 Cy Young winner

  • 2 time AL ERA leader (1956 and 1958)

  • 3 time AL wins leader

  • 156 career complete games

  • 45 career shutouts

  • 6 time World Series champion

  • 1974 Hall of Fame inductee

Did you know.....Ford's jersey number 16 has been retired by the Yankees?

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MLB Athlete Number 15 - Thurman Munson

Thurman Munson was one of the best catchers to ever play the game of baseball. He is certainly the best MLB athlete to ever wear the jersey number 15.

Munson played his entire career, spanning the years of 1969 to 1979, with the New York Yankees. His career, and life, were cut short by a tragic plane crash.

Although his major league career officially started in 1969, he did not have a full rookie season with the Yankees until 1970, when he was named the American League Rookie of the Year. That year, Thurman batted .302 with 53 RBI and 59 runs in 453 at-bats.

Over his career, spanning 11 different MLB seasons, he had a .292 batting average with 113 home runs, 701 RBI and 696 runs scored.

  • 7 time All-Star

  • 2 time World Series champ

  • .357 post-season batting average

  • 1975 AL leader in singles

  • 1976 AL MVP

Did you know........that Thurman Munson went to Kent State University?

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MLB Athlete Number 14 - Ernie Banks

To find out more about "Mr. Cub", Ernie Banks, check out the post on why he's not only the best MLB athlete to ever wear the jersey number 14, but also the best professional athlete to ever wear the jersey number 14.

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MLB Athlete Number 13 - Dave Concepcion

Although A-Rod is one of the best players of our time, and maybe ever, he has not worn the jersey number 13 for enough of his career to be considered for this honor. So the choice for the best MLB athlete to ever wear the jersey number 13, his entire career, is Dave Concepcion.

Concepcion not only wore the number 13 for his entire MLB career, he also played his entire career with one team: the Cincinnati Reds. Playing predominantly shortstop, Concepcion was a highly acclaimed fielder, who could swing the bat a bit, and who had speed on the bases.

  • 5-time Gold Glove winner (1974-1977, 1979)

  • 2-time Silver Slugger winner (1981-1982)

  • 9-time All-Star selection

  • .972 career fielding percentage

  • 321 career stolen bases

  • .267 career batting average

  • 2,326 career hits

  • 2-time World Series Champ

Concepcion's jersey number 13 has been retired by the Cincinnati Reds.

Did you know.....that Concepcion pitched in an MLB game in 1988 at age 40?

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MLB Athlete Number 12 - Roberto Alomar

Roberto Alomar played for seven teams over his seventeen year MLB career. During that time span he became one of the best fielding and hitting second basemen to ever play the game. He is also the best MLB athlete to ever wear the jersey number 12.

Alomar broke into the bigs with the San Diego Padres in 1988. That rookie season of his, he played 143 games at second base, white getting 145 hits and 24 stolen bases. Not a bad rookie season at all. He would steadily continue and improve on those numbers eventually becoming a regular .300 hitter. In fact, for his career, he finished with a .300 batting average.

  • 10 time Gold Glove winner
  • 12 time All Star
  • 210 career home runs
  • 474 career stolen bases
  • .984 career fielding percentage
  • 2,724 career hits

Did you know.........Roberto Alomar stole 30 or more bases in eight of his MLB seasons?

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MLB Athlete Number 11 - Carl Hubbell

Carl Hubbell has been noted as the first player to have his number retired in the National League. With an honor like this, how could he not be named the best MLB athlete to ever wear the jersey number 11?

Hubbell played his entire career with the New York Baseball Giants, spanning the years of 1928 to 1943. During that 16 year time span, Hubbell racked up 253 wins, a .622 winning percentage, 1,677 strikeouts and 260 complete games. This was all plenty to get him elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1947.

  • 9 time All-Star

  • 2 time NL MVP (1933 and 1936)

  • Number 11 retired by the Giants

  • Career 2.98 ERA

  • Three time NL leader in ERA and Wins

Hubbell was also number 45 on The Sporting News' list of the top 100 baseball players in 1999.

Did you know.......Carl Hubbell's nicknames are King Carl and Meal Ticket?

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MLB Athlete Number 10 - Phil Rizzuto

Phil "Scooter" Rizzuto, who had his jersey number 10 retired by the Yankees in 1985, is also the best MLB athlete to ever wear that number. Rizzuto was excellent in the field at shortstop, leading the league in double plays three times, and not too shabby at the plate either. He was also an entertaining broadcaster for the New York Yankees, becoming known for his catchphrase "Holy Cow!".

  • 7 time World Series Champ (played in 9 total World Series)
  • American League MVP in 1950
  • 1994 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee
  • 5 time All Star
  • 4 time league leader in sacrifice hits
  • 1,588 career hits
  • .968 career fielding percentage
Did you know..............that Rizzuto's career was interrupted for three years due to his service for America in World War II?

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MLB Athlete Number 9 - Ted Williams

Ted Williams (here you go Red Sox fans!) is the best MLB athlete to ever wear the jersey number 9. Teddy Ballgame, The Splendid Splinter, The Kid, are just a few of the nicknames used to describe on of the best hitters to ever take to a batter's box.

Williams played his entire career with the Red Sox, all 19 seasons spanning the years 1939 to 1960. During that time period, Ted Williams also took time out from baseball to serve his country in both WWII and the Korean War. Amazing.

His statistics at the plate are quite overwhelming too. He was a .344 career hitter, also becoming the last player in MLB to ever hit over .400, as of 2008. (He batted .407 in 1953).
  • 521 career homers

  • 525 career doubles

  • 2,654 career hits in 7,706 at-bats

  • 1,839 RBI

  • 5 time MLB player of the year

  • 2 time AL MVP (1946 and 1949)

  • 2 time Triple Crown winner (1946 and 1947)

  • 6 time AL Batting champ

  • 17 time All-Star

  • Jersey Number 9 retired by the Red Sox

  • 1966 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee

Did you know......Ted Williams led the American League in On-Base Percentage twelve times?

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MLB Athlete Number 8 - Yogi Berra

Yogi Berra, or properly Lawrence Peter Berra, is one of the icons of baseball and America. He is also the best MLB athlete to ever wear the jersey number 8. Oh, by the way, if you're wondering if the rest of this list will be Yankee players also (numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8 are Yankees), the answer is no. You'll get your turn soon Red Sox fans.

Berra played almost his entire career with the Yankees. He played with the Bombers between 1946 and 1963, and then had a few games with the Mets in 1965. His first full season as a Yank came in 1948 when he split the season between the outfield and catcher positions. That year he batted .305 with 14 homers and 98 RBI.

Yogi would continue to put up some big numbers at the plate, as well as accolades behind the plate in his 19 major league seasons.

  • 358 career homers
  • 2,150 career hits
  • .285 career batting average
  • 10 time World Series champion
  • 3 time AL MVP (1951, 1954 and 1955)
  • 1972 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee
  • Jersey Number 8 retired by the Yankees

Did you know.....that Berra also managed both the Yankees and the Mets?

Number 8 in Other Sports

NFL Number 8
NHL Number 8

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MLB Athlete Number 7 - Mickey Mantle

Mickey Mantle owns the number 7 (apologies to John Elway). Mantle is an American icon, and one of the best athletes to ever play in any sport, let alone baseball.

Mantle played his entire major league career with the New York Yankees spanning 18 seasons. Over that time period, he amassed some impressive statistics:

  • 536 career home runs

  • 153 stolen bases

  • .298 career batting average

  • 2,415 career hits

  • 3 time AL MVP (1956, 1957 and 1962)

  • 20 time All-Star (multiple games in 1959 through 1962)

  • 7 time World Series champ

  • Won the 1956 triple crown

  • Baseball Hall of Famer (1974 inductee)

    If you doubt Mickey Mantle's idolatry in America, check out the two videos here. The first one even features a song made just for Mickey.

    Did you know.......Mickey Mantle was elected to the Hall of Fame at the same time as fellow Yankee Whitey Ford?

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