Today we reveal the greatest athletes by number. Here are the best to wear 00 through 10.
Jim Otto is “Double-O.” The Hall-of-Fame center was named all-league 12 straight years and played in six AFL title games. Runners up: Robert Parish, Ken Burrough.
0 – Russell Westbrook is one of two players in NBA history to average a triple-double for a season. The six-time All-Star was 2016-17 NBA MVP. Runners up: Al Oliver, Gilbert Arenas.
1– Oscar Robertson is the first player to average a triple-double for a season. The Big O was a three-time All-American, won an Olympic gold medal, an NBA title, was NBA MVP in 1964. Runners up: Warren Moon, Ozzie Smith.
2 – Derek Jeter led the Yankees to five world championships. The 1996 AL Rookie-of-the-Year won five Gold Gloves and five Silver Slugger Awards in 20 years with the Yankees. Runners up: Secretariat, Moses Malone, Brian Leetch.
3 – Babe Ruth is the greatest and most important player in baseball history. He led the AL in ERA, homers, RBI, and batting during his epic career. Runners up: Dale Earnhardt, Dwayne Wade, Allen Iverson.
4 – Number Four is Bobby Orr. The greatest defenseman in NHL history forever changed the way the game is played and remains the only blue-liner to win a scoring title. Runners up: Lou Gehrig, Brett Favre, Jean Beliveau.
5 – Baseball alone has so many great Number Fives, but we chose Johnny Bench above the rest. The best catcher in MLB history won ten Gold Gloves, two NL MVPs and two World Series titles. Runners up: Joe DiMaggio, Brooks Robinson, George Brett Albert Pujols, Paul Hornung, Nicklas Lidstrom.
6 – Perhaps the greatest winner in the history of team sports, Bill Russell won two NCAA titles, an Olympic gold medal and 11 NBA championships. Runners up: Julius Erving, Stan Musial, Al Kaline.
7 – Mickey Charles Mantle won seven world championships, the 1956 Triple Crown, a Gold Glove and three AL MVP Awards. And he did it on one leg, playing nearly his entire career with a damaged knee. Runners up: John Elway, Nate Archibald, Phil Esposito.
8 – A member of both the college and pro football halls of fame, Troy Aikman won the 1989 Davey O’Brien Award as the best college quarterback in America before leading the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles. Runners up: Yogi Berra, Cal Ripken, Carl Yastrzemski, Steve Young, Alexander Ovechkin.
9 – In a close race between Teddy Ballgame and Mister Hockey, we are going with Gordie Howe. In a career that spanned four decades, Howe won four Stanley Cups, six NHL MVPs and set nearly every scoring record imaginable. Runners up: Ted Williams, Bobby Hull, Drew Brees, Roger Maris.
10 – The greatest footballer ever is Pele. Second on the list is Messi. Both wore Number Ten. A brilliant playmaker, Pele was elected IOC Athlete of the Century and World Player of the Century in 1999. Runners up: Lionel Messi, Walt Frazier, Guy Lefleur, Chipper Jones.
Agree or disagree with this list? Let us know who are your greatest athletes by number.