Friday

Steve Blake Changes Jersey Number

To honor the late Jerome Kersey, who wore jersey number 25 for the Portland Trailblazers between 1984 and 1995, guard Steve Blake will give up his current number 25, and now wear number 5, according to NBA.com. Blake previously wore number 5 while with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Milwaukee Bucks, per basketball-reference.com.




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Harden's Jersey Number To Be Retired by ASU

James Harden was a key factor in improving Arizona State basketball, with a 8-22 record before he arrived in 2007, to a 21-13 record in his freshman season. He was a first team All-PAC-10 selection, averaging 18 points per game as a first year player.

Now, the Sun Devils will recognize Harden's significant contributions to their basketball program by retiring his jersey number 13 during their upcoming game against PAC-10 rival UCLA. Harden's number will be the seventh retired in Arizona State basketball history.






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Wednesday

Zito To Wear Number 75 With A's Again

Barry Zito is back with the Oakland Athletics, and is once again wearing jersey number 75 according to a recent report.

In his previous stint with Oakland, Zito put up some impressive numbers, garnering 102 wins and a 3.55 ERA between the years of 2000 and 2006.










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Tuesday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 52

Number 52 was worn by Pepper Johnson during his time as a New York Giant between 1986 and 1992. Johnson was selected in the second round of the 1986 NFL draft by the Giants, out of Ohio State University.

Johnson saw action as a rookie in all 16 regular season games en route to the Giants' Super Bowl victory over the Broncos following the 1986 season.

Playing the linebacker position for New York, Johnson would play seven seasons with Big Blue. In that time he was twice nominated to the Pro Bowl team, and contributed to two Super Bowl Championships as a key member of the vaunted Giants defensive squads.

In 106 regular season games with New York, Johnson notched 19 sacks, 10 interceptions and 579 tackles.








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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 51

Zak DeOssie wore number 51 as a two time Pro Bowl selection and a two time Super Bowl Champion with the New York Giants. DeOssie primarily plays on special teams as the Giants' long snapper. He has contributed quite a bit making tackles on kicks.
Zak DeOssie
Did you know......that Zak's father, Steve DeOssie also played for the Giants?






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Monday

Why Kareem Wore Number 33

There was a very interesting article in the New York Post recently about how one of the best players in New York high school basketball history, and eventually NBA history, came to wear his famous number 33.

At Power Memorial high school, there became a tradition of the big centerman wearing number 33, starting with a player named Waverly Davis, at the recommendation of a teammate named Richard Lombardi. Then came another good big man named Melvin Kellogg who wore 33 for Power Memorial.
Kareem 33
Then, in 1961, a freshman named Lew Alcindor would join Power Memorial. And he would wear 33. And his team would win 71 straight games with him wearing that number. And he would go on to win three NCAA championships wearing that number. And, after he changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, he won six NBA championships wearing that number. And the number was renowned throughout the world of hoops.

And Kareem would be my choice as the best NBA athlete to ever wear number 33. And it all started with the big man at a New York City high school wearing number 33 as a tradition.









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Pettitte Number 46 Retirement

The New York Yankees will be retiring jersey number 46 in honor of pitcher Andy Pettitte, as recently reported on fansided.com. Pettitte will get a plaque in Monument Park at Yankee stadium in addition to having his number 46 retired on August 23, which will be known as "Andy Pettitte Day". Pettitte 46

Pettitte is my selection as the best professional athlete to ever wear number 46. In his 15 seasons with the Yankees, out of 18 total he spent in the big leagues, Pettitte garnered 219 wins and was a key contributor to their postseason success.






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Saturday

Terry's Number 31 To Be Retired by Arizona

It was recently reported that the Arizona Wildcats are retiring Jason Terry's jersey number 31 on February 19. Terry was a member of the Wildcats team that won the NCAA Basketball Championship in 1997.
As a senior, he averaged 21.9 points per game and was named the PAC 10 Player of the Year for 1999.
Terry 31
Terry was a first round draft pick by the Atlanta Hawks in 1999.



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Wednesday

Number 10 To Be Retired By Bucks


The Milwaukee Bucks will be retiring jersey number 10 in honor of Bob Dandridge, as reported by foxsports.com. Dandridge played for the Bucks between 1969 and 1977, and again in 1981.

Dandridge was an integral part of the Milwaukee Bucks team that won the NBA Championship in 1971. In his nine seasons with the team, he averaged a hefty 18.6 points per game.









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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 50


Number 50 has been retired by the New York Giants in honor of Pro Football Hall of Famer Ken Strong.  Playing in an early era of the National Football League, Strong filled several different positions. Although he was dubbed a "halfback", he could really do it all.

Strong originally started out as a member of the Staten Island Stapletons, coming out of New York University.  When that team folded, Strong joined the Giants.  He was a four-time All-NFL selection, who excelled at rushing, receiving and kicking the football.





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Monday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 49

He's best remembered by the majority of football fans today as one of the all-time greatest head coaches for one of the Giants' biggest rivals. But longtime Giants fans and football historians will also remember Tom Landry, who wore jersey number 49 for New York, as one of the finest punters of his era.

In addition to punting, Landry also played defensive back and returned kicks for New York.

His prowess as a punter however, was evident statistically. The Giants' number 49 twice led the NFL in punting yardage over his playing career between the years of 1950 and 1955.

Over his six years as a Giant, Landry punted for 13,651 yards in the regular season. Add to that number, his impressive number of interceptions as a defensive back, 31, and you can understand why Tom Landry is the best New York Giant to ever don the number 49.







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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 48

Clarence Childs played for the Giants between 1964 and 1967, wearing the number 48. He excelled in returning kicks for New York, and twice ran them back for touchdowns. His rookie season was of particular note as he returned 34 kicks for 987 total yards and a league leading 29 yards per return attempt.

In 1966 Childs took an opening kick-off all the way back for a touchdown against Cleveland.







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Best New York Giants By The Numbers- 47

Greg Jackson wore jersey number 47 for the Giants between the years of 1989 and 1993. The defensive back who played collegiately at LSU was drafted in the third round of the 1989 NFL entry draft by the New York Giants.

In five seasons with New York, Jackson picked off 14 passes for 114 yards and had four sacks. He played strong safety for the Giants en route to their Super Bowl XXV victory.






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Sunday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 46

The jersey number 46 hasn't been worn prolifically in the history of the New York Giants. But there have been a handful of players to wear the number for Big Blue in recent times. Of those athletes, the best could be considered to be Greg Lasker, who suited up as a defensive back for New York during the season of their first run to a Super Bowl Championship.

In 1986, Lasker appeared in 16 regular season games as a Giant. He was a contributor to their Super Bowl Championship over the Denver Broncos in January of 1987, recording two tackles in the big game.






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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 45

Emlen Tunnel is one of the best NFL athletes of all-time and is my selection as the best NFL athlete to ever wear the jersey number 45.  So, outside of Tunnel, who is the next best New York Giant to wear the same number?

Homer Jones wore number 45 for the New York Giants between the years 1964 and 1969.  Jones was drafted by the Houston Oilers of the AFL, but injured his knee in training camp and was subsequently cut from the team.  So the Giants, apparently recognizing Jones' talent and the injury for what it was, invited Jones to New York and payed for the required surgery on his knee.

Jones would see just three games of regular season action in the following year, 1964.  But the Giants keen eye for talent and their associated investment in Jones began paying off in 1965.  That season, Jones would catch the ball 26 times for 709 yards and six touchdowns.  Blessed with incredible speed, Jones had one catch that went for 89 yards, a league best for that season.  

The following season, playing at split-end, Jones would crack the 1,000 yard mark in receiving and up his touchdown total to 8.  He wasn't done improving though.  1967 would prove to be Jones' finest statistically speaking.  He racked up a hefty 1,209 yards receiving with a league-best 13 touchdowns.  He also ran the ball five times for 60 yards and another touchdown.  That effort was good enough for Jones to earn his first All-Pro honor from the UPI, amongst other publications.

In his relatively short career with the Giants (6 years), Jones amassed 4,845 yards receiving with 35 receiving touchdowns.  

His career yards per reception is number one overall in the NFL all-time.  

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 44

The Giants have had a few players wear the jersey number 44 with excellence on the gridiron.  The pick here goes beyond statistics however.  He played a position where contributions to the team's success aren't necessarily measured in "numbers".


Maurice Carthon played the fullback position for the New York Giants, wearing number 44, between the years 1985 and 1991.  During that time span, Carthon stopped defenders from attacking Joe Morris, Phil Simms and Jeff Hostetler among others, en route to not one, but two Super Bowl Championships.

Although the big, bruising fullback did not accumulate massive statistics, considering he spent his first few years in the USFL, his offensive numbers in the regular season with the New York Giants are still nothing to sneeze at.  In seven seasons with New York, Carthon rushed for 941 yards and two touchdowns.  He also caught the ball for 735 yards for one touchdown.  

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Saturday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 43

"Spider" Lockhart wore jersey number 43 for his entire NFL career, spent wholly with the New York Giants.  Drafted in the thirteenth round of the 1965 NFL entry draft out of North Texas State University, Lockhart would turn out to be a gem of a late round pick for the Giants.

The relatively tall, for a defensive back (6' 2"), Lockhart made an immediate positive impression on Giants coaches, players and fans as a rookie.  In his first season with New York, he put up some impressive defensive numbers, playing in 14 regular season games as a defensive back.  He picked off 4 passes for a total of 117 yards returned.

The rest of the NFL was now aware of Lockhart's talents.  That didn't stop him from intercepting six passes in his sophomore season with New York, en route to a Pro Bowl campaign.


Despite leading the league in recovered fumbles (with 4), and picking off 5 passes, Lockhart was not nominated for the Pro Bowl in his third NFL season.  His respite from that honor didn't last long however, as he was once again picked in 1968, after gobbling up 8 throws from the opposing teams' quarterbacks for a total of 130 yards returned and two touchdowns.

Over his full career as a New York Giant, Lockhart would tally 41 regular season interceptions for 475 yards returned and three touchdowns.  And in addition to returning punts and kicks, Lockhart also punted the ball several times for the Giants.

Did you know.......that the New York Giants wore a number 43 "Spider" patch during their 1986 Super Bowl season and the actual Super Bowl game which was played in January of 1987?


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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 42

Wearing jersey number 42 for his entire lengthy professional football career with the New York Giants, Charlie Conerly established himself as one of the best quarterbacks to ever take to the gridiron with Big Blue.

Charlie ConerlyThe story of how Charlie Conerly came to be a New York Giant is an interesting one.  He was a standout player in college for the University of Mississippi.  He was enrolled at "Ole Miss" when he joined the American forces as a Marine during World War II, serving in the South Pacific.  The war ended in 1945, and that same year, the Washington Redskins drafted Conerly.

But Conerly chose to return to Mississippi, and in doing so, he became one of the best collegiate passers in the nation.  For the 1947 season, Conerly set new collegiate records for completions, yards and passes without an interception.

As the Redskins were established at quarterback when Conerly came out of Mississippi, his rights were traded by Washington to the New York Giants.  And so began Conerly's career as a Giant in 1948.

Conerly started in four regular season games as a rookie, playing in 12 total.  And as a matter of fact, number 42's first campaign as a Giant was his best, or at least most prolific statistically speaking.  He completed 162 passes for 2,175 yards and 22 touchdowns.  Only Sammy Baugh threw for more yards than Conerly that season, and only Tommy Thompson threw for more touchdowns (Conerly and Baugh both threw for 22 TDs).

Over his illustrious career throwing the ball for New York, Conerly would lead his team to the NFL championship game three times, winning it all in 1956 with a lopsided 47-7 victory over the Chicago Bears.  His regular season career marks were 1,418 completions for 19,488 yards and 173 touchdowns.  In 1959 he led the league in yards per pass attempt, and was named NFL MVP.

Did you know..........that Conerly's image was used for one version of the "Marlboro Man" advertisements?


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Friday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers- 41

Frank Walker wore jersey number 41 for the New York Giants between the years 2003 and 2006. The defensive back who was selected in the 6th round of the 2003 NFL entry draft out of Tuskegee, saw action in ten regular season games as a rookie, starting seven of them.

He put up some pretty good numbers in that first season with the Giants. He contributed 34 total tackles with two interceptions, one of which was for a touchdown.

Walker's rookie season would prove to be his finest as a member of the New York Giants, although he did make three interceptions, a forced fumble and 32 total tackles over the next three seasons, before signing with the Green Bay Packers for the 2007 NFL season.





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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 40

Number 40 has been retired by the New York Giants in honor of longtime Giant great Joe Morrison. Morrison wore number 40 over a stellar 14-year career with New York, playing a myriad of offensive positions.

Drafted in the third round of the 1959 NFL draft out of Cincinnati, Morrison contributed to the Giants' offensive attack in several different ways as a rookie. He rushed the ball 62 times, caught the ball 17 times, and also returned both punts and kicks.

Morrison's statistics were most voluminous as a receiver where he caught the ball enough times to rank in the top five all-time for New York Giants' receptions. Between 1959 and 1972, Morrison notched 395 receptions for 4,993 yards and 47 touchdowns.

Add to that his rushing numbers of 677 attempts for 2,474 yards and 18 touchdowns and it quickly becomes evident why the Giants retired his jersey number.

Did you know that Morrison was also a head football coach for three college teams between 1973 and 1988?






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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 39

Although his jersey number 39 is most associated with him as a member of the Miami Dolphins, Larry Csonka also wore number 39 as a member of the New York Giants towards the latter half of the 1970s.

After his much heralded contribution to the Miami Dolphins as a bruising fullback, Csonka joined the World Football League (WFL) in 1975. That league folded not long after, and Csonka became a free agent. He joined the New York Giants for their 1976 season.

Csonka started 12 games for the Giants, toting the football 160 times for 569 yards and 4 touchdowns. An injury to his knee would cut his first season short as a member of the Giants.

Being the tough dude he was on the football field, Csonka was back at it with New York for the 1977 season, running the ball 134 times for 464 yards and a touchdown.

His final campaign as a Giant saw his rushing yardage number dip to 311 yards on 91 carries, but his number of touchdowns scored jump up to 6 during the 1978 NFL season.



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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 38


Number 38 was worn by Bob Tucker for the New York Giants between the years 1970 and 1977. Tucker played his college football at Bloomsburg before joining the New York Football Giants in 1970 as a tight end.

In his rookie season, Tucker would see action in 14 regular season games, starting 13 of them.  He immediately contributed with 40 receptions and 571 yards to go with 5 touchdowns.

Tucker's offensive production would remain fairly steady through his tenure with the Giants. In total, with New York, Tucker amassed 327 receptions for 4,376 yards and 22 touchdowns.

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 37


James Butler played defensive back for the New York Giants, wearing the jersey number 37, between the years 2005 and 2008.  Playing safety in a stellar collegiate career at Georgia Tech University, Butler joined New York as an undrafted free agent in 2005.

The tall (6' 3") safety would see plenty of action as a rookie, getting into 16 regular season games and starting in one of them.  He played well in first NFL season, gathering 2 interceptions, a fumble recovery and 30 solo tackles.

Butler's sophomore campaign as a Giant saw him spend much time on special teams, putting up similar tackle stats as his rookie year.

2007 would be somewhat of a breakout season for Butler as he saw more action at the strong safety position, both during the regular season, and on the Giants run to the Super Bowl Championship that season.  During the regular season, Butler notched a very healthy 61 combined tackles and one interception with seven passes defended.

In Super Bowl XLII, Butler led all New York Giants in tackles with 11 total and 10 solo.










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