This is a fairly tough number to pick the best MLB athlete for. Nolan Ryan wore the number 30 and he would obviously be the prime pick. However......he wore the number 30 only from 1968 through 1979. The rest of his career, ending in 1993, was spent wearing the number 34. So, with it being said that he is one of the best pitchers ever, and that he wore number 30 for some of his career, we will not list him as the best MLB athlete to ever wear number 30.
Orlando Cepeda gets the nod for the best MLB athlete to ever wear number 30. Cepeda wore number 30 for the majority of his career, spanning the years 1958 through 1974. (He also wore numbers 28, 20, 12 and 25, each for no more than one season).
Cepeda, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame just before the end of the previous millennium, put up some impressive batting statistics over his 17 MLB seasons.
- .297 career batting avg.
- 379 career home runs
- 2,351 hits
- 1,365 career RBI
- 1958 NL ROY
- 1967 NL MVP
- 1961 NL Home Run King (46)
- Led NL in RBI in 1961 and 1967
- 1999 Hall of Fame Inductee
Did you know.......that one of Orlando Cepeda's nicknames was "Cha Cha"?