MLB Athlete Number 6 - Stan Musial

"Stan the Man", Stan Musial is the best MLB athlete to ever wear the jersey number 6. A strong consideration for the best professional athlete to ever wear the jersey number 6, Musial is one the best baseball athletes to ever take the field.
Musial, who debuted in 1941 for the St. Louis Cardinals, would play his entire major league career with that team, ending in 1963. He would go on to become a Hall of Famer, and astoundingly, a 24-time All-Star! (That's near a quarter century of All-Star games folks, just in case you're counting. Although he played for 22 seasons, he played in 24 All-Star games because the years of 1960 to 1962 included two games each).

Playing both first base and outfield for the Cardinals, Musial racked up some serious numbers and accolades.

  • .331 career batting average

  • 3 time NL MVP

  • 475 career home runs

  • 3 time World Series Champ

  • 1969 Hall of Fame inductee

  • Jersey number 6 retired by St. Louis

Did you know.....that at the time of Musial's retirement, he was the National League's all time leader in hits with 3,630?

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MLB Athlete Number 5 - Joe DiMaggio

Ted Williams called Joe DiMaggio the greatest player he ever saw. He is also the best Major League Baseball athlete to ever wear the jersey number 5.

Williams also said that DiMaggio's career couldn't be summed up in numbers and awards. True as that statement may be, DiMaggio also had some impressive achievements. Over a 13 year major league career he had:

  • 361 home runs

  • 1,537 RBI

  • 1,390 runs

  • .325 batting average

  • 389 doubles

  • 3 AL MVP awards (1939, 1941 and 1947)

DiMaggio was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955. He was a 13 time All-Star, a 9 time World Series champion and his record of 56 consecutive games with a hit still stands. Some say that his consecutive games with a hit record will be the most difficult record to ever be broken.

Did you know......that Joe batted .381 in 1939?

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MLB Athlete Number 4 - Lou Gehrig

Lou Gehrig, the "Iron Horse", is the best MLB athlete to ever wear the jersey number 4. Given the chance to play every day, he proved to be the model of durability and one of the best hitters that the game has ever seen, at any level.

Gehrig began playing for the Yankees in 1923, at the age of 20, but didn't get to play full time until 1925. That year, Gehrig would bat .295 in 437 plate appearances. He also put 20 balls over the outfield fence.

His breakout year as a superstar hitter came in 1927. He smacked 47 homers and batted .373 in 1927. What did he do for an encore in 1928? He batted .374. Through 1937 his batting average would not dip below .300.

Over his 17 season career, Gehrig hit 493 homers, 1,195 RBI, with a .340 career batting average. He was an AL MVP twice and finished second in the voting twice. He was in the top five vote getters for AL MVP eight times during his career.

He was a seven time All-Star and a six time World Series Champion. His number 4 jersey is retired by the New York Yankees.

Of course, Gehrig held the record for consecutive games played with 2,130 until Cal Ripken Jr. broke it in 1995.

Get your own Gehrig #4 baseball jersey here!

Did you know.......Lou Gehrig was a unanimous selection to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939?

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MLB Athlete Number 3 - Babe Ruth

Not only is this guy the best MLB athlete to ever wear the jersey number 3, he's also the best MLB player ever, and quite possibly the most famous athlete ever!

Ruth began his major league baseball career with the Boston Red Sox as a pitcher in 1914. In his rookie year with the Sox, at the tender age of 19, he went 2-1 with a 3.91 ERA in 23 innings pitched. The following year, his first full one in the majors, Ruth pitched 217.7 innings, going 18-8 with 16 complete games and a 2.44 ERA.

The following two years with the Red Sox would continue to be banner years for Ruth on the mound. In his third and fourth seasons with the Sox, for each season Ruth would pitch over 300 innings, win more than 20 games, pitch more than 20 complete games, and have a 1.75 and 2.01 ERA respectively. (Wait a second, isn't this guy the greatest HITTER of all-time?)

At age 24 and in his last year with the Red Sox in 1919, Ruth would play mostly outfield (although he did pitch 133.3 innings that year), and he came to bat 432 times. That was enough times at the plate to allow Ruth to hit 29 homers, 114 RBI and 139 hits with a .322 batting average.

Of course, Ruth went on to become the best home run hitter that baseball has ever seen. Here are just a few more of his accomplishments.
  • Led League in home runs 12 times
  • .342 career batting average

  • 714 career home runs

  • 2,217 career RBI

  • Season high 60 home runs

  • Season high .393 batting average (1923)

  • Led League in walks 11 times

  • Led League in batters faced as a pitcher in 1917

  • Led League in complete games as a pitcher in 1917

  • 7 time World Series Champ

Did you know.......Ruth started his professional baseball career with the Baltimore Orioles of the International League?

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MLB Athlete Number 2 - Derek Jeter

"Mr. November", Derek Jeter, is the best MLB athlete to ever wear the jersey number 2.

The captain of the Yankees, Jeter has made himself known as one of the finest leaders in all of baseball. Although his career statistics are impressive, his real impact has come as a clutch player, especially in the playoffs.

He is currently the all-time leader in hits and runs in MLB postseason history.

Through 2008, he has been a nine-time All Star, a three-time Gold Glove award winner, the American League Rookie of the Year and the World Series MVP.

Did you know.......Derek Jeter is the all-time leader in hits at Yankee Stadium?

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MLB Athlete Number 1 - Ozzie Smith

The "Wizard of Oz", Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith, is the best MLB athlete to ever wear the jersey number 1.

Ozzie came into the bigs with the San Diego Padres, where he played during the years of 1978 to 1981, but he became best known and made his mark as one of the best shortstops ever, with the St. Louis Cardinals.

During his illustrious career on the baseball diamond, which lasted through 1996, Smith had 2,460 hits and 580 stolen bases.

It wasn't on offense that he really was phenomenal though. Smith was one of the best defensive shortstops ever, racking up a career .978 fielding percentage.

A 2002 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, Smith earned 13 Gold Gloves, 15 trips to the All-Star game, a Silver Slugger award and an NLCS MVP.

Did you know......Smith's jersey number 1 has been retired by the St. Louis Cardinals?

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NFL Athlete Number 99 - Jason Taylor

Mark Gastineau may have created the sack dance, and had a few phenomenal years with the Jets. Warren Sapp is a Super Bowl champ and was a phenomenal defensive lineman. However, Sapp's fellow Dancing With The Stars competitor, Jason Taylor, is the best NFL athlete to ever wear the jersey number 99.

Taylor was taken in the third round of the 1997 NFL draft by the Miami Dolphins. His breakout year as a defensive end with the Dolphins came in 2000, when he reached double-digits in sacks with 14.5 to go along with an interception and four fumbles recovered.

He would continue to put up impressive numbers from there. In 2002 he led the NFL in sacks with 18.5, and as of 2008 was the active NFL sacks leader with 118 total sacks. He has more than 650 career tackles and more than 25 fumbles recovered.

Did you know........Taylor was named the 2007 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year?

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NFL Athelte Number 98 - Tony Siragusa

The best NFL athlete to ever wear the jersey number 98 is the big man Tony Siragusa. You may have seen him announcing from the sidelines on Fox, during Sunday football games, talking with our best NFL athlete to ever wear number 48, Daryl "Moose" Johnston.

For all the details on why the "Goose" is the best NFL athlete to ever wear the jersey number 98, check out our post on why he's also the best professional athlete to ever wear the jersey number 98.

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NFL Athlete Number 97 - Cornelius Bennett

Cornelius Bennett, the best NFL athlete to ever wear the jersey number 97, was drafted with the second overall pick out of Alabama in the 1987 NFL draft, and went on to become one of the best NFL athletes ever to take to the defensive side of the ball.

Bennett would begin his career in 1987 with the Buffalo Bills, after being drafted and then traded by the Colts. He made an immediate impact as a rookie, racking up 8.5 sacks in 8 games played. He would continue to put up impressive sack numbers, but even more impressive tackle numbers. Over his career, spanning the years of 1987 through 2000, he had 71.5 sacks and 1,190 total tackles.

He was the most prolific in his time with the Buffalo Bills (he also played with the Colts and the Falcons). While with the Bills he would participate in the Super Bowl four separate times. He also appeared in a Super Bowl with the Atlanta Falcons.

Did you know....that Cornelius Bennett is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame?

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NFL Athlete Number 96 - Cortez Kennedy

The man taken third overall in the 1990 NFL Draft, Cortez Kennedy, is the best NFL athlete to ever wear the uniform number 96.

Kennedy was a stalwart at defensive tackle for the Seahawks after being taken by them out of the University of Miami. He was an eight time Pro Bowler and was the 1992 AP NFL Defensive player of the year (for a Seattle Seahawks team that went a collective 2 and 14).

During the regular season, over his NFL career, Kennedy had 668 tackles and 58 sacks.

Did you know.....there is currently a petition to have Cortez Kennedy's jersey number retired by the Seahawks?

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Jersey Number News

Did you know........that Lute Olson supposedly didn't let his players wear the jersey number 1 because it showed selfishness?

.....that the Portland Trail Blazers will retire jersey number 30 for Terry Porter and Bobby Gross in December?

....that Ty Law will wear jersey number 22, the one he wore at Michigan, upon his return to the Jets?

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NFL Athlete Number 95 - Richard Dent

This guy really put a dent in other team's offensive plans. Okay, I know, that was a really bad pun. It doesn't change the fact that Richard Dent is the best NFL athlete to ever wear the jersey number 95.

Taken out of Tennessee State in the 1983 NFL draft, Dent began a career in the NFL which would last through 1997. The first eleven of those years would be spent with the team he became associated with, the Chicago Bears. He would wind up his career playing for four teams in four years (the Niners, back with the Bears for a year, the Colts and Eagles).

Dent would accumulate 137.5 sacks in an illustrious defensive career. At the time of his retirement, this was good enough for third on the all time list.

Some of his additional achievements include: Super Bowl XX MVP, 4 time Pro Bowler, 2 time Super Bowl champ, twice sacked a Raiders QB 4.5 times in a single game, and 17.5 regular season sacks in his sophomore NFL campaign.

Did you know.....that Richard Dent has a foundation called "Make A Dent", which has the primary purpose of improving the lives of children?

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NFL Number 94 - Charles Haley

One day, this spot could be occupied by DeMarus Ware. For now, it certainly belongs to Charles Haley, the best NFL athlete to ever wear the jersey number 94.

Taken out of James Madison University in the 1986 NFL draft by the 49ers, Haley would wind up playing through the 1999 NFL season, splitting his time between the Niners and the Cowboys.

Over a stellar defensive career, Haley would earn a Super Bowl ring for each finger on one hand. He would match that in the number of Pro Bowls he was nominated to.

Haley was one of the most athletic, and feared defensive linemen to ever play the game.

Did you know........Haley won two Super Bowls with the 49ers and three with the Cowboys?

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Jersey Number News

Bruins rookie Blake Wheeler recently changed his jersey number from 42 to 26. Think it might have helped him? The game after he made the change, he scored three goals in a 5 to 2 win over the Leafs.

If you hadn't already heard, Allen Iverson will now be playing for the Pistons. He will also be wearing jersey number 1 in Detroit.

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NFL Number 93 - Richard Seymour

Drafted with the sixth overall pick by the New England Patriots in the 2001 NFL Draft, Richard Seymour has had an impressive career in the NFL. So impressive that he is my pick for the best NFL athlete to ever wear the jersey number 93.

With an impressive size, even by the NFL standards of today, of 6 feet 6 inches and 310 lbs., Seymour has proven to be very versatile since entering the NFL out of Georgia. On the defensive side of the ball he has lined up as both a tackle and an end, while on offense he has played as a fullback.

Over his relatively short career to date, Seymour has been a five time Pro Bowler, five time All AFC pick and a three time Super Bowl Champion.

Did you know......that LaDainian Tomlinson was taken with the pick just before Seymour was taken in the 2001 NFL Draft?

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NFL Athlete Number 92 - Reggie White

Also our pick for the best professional athlete to ever wear the jersey number 91, Reggie White is certainly the best NFL athlete to ever wear the jersey number 91.

Playing predominantly with the Eagles and Packers during his NFL career, although he spent a brief time with the Panthers, White had an impressive career as a defensive lineman. Playing between the years of 1985 and 2000, here are just a few of White's accomplishments.
  • 21 sacks in one season (strike-shortened 1987)

  • 198 career sacks

  • 13 consecutive Pro Bowls

  • 10 or more sacks in 9 consecutive seasons

Did you know.....that at the time of White's retirement, he was the NFL's all-time sack leader?

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