By RanterX on April 17, 2014
In sports, numbers are everywhere. From statistics to jerseys, numbers tell us who's who and how players, teams and coaches are remembered. Which athletes have the most skill compared to anyone else with the same number on their jersey? Here are my choices from 0 all the way to 99.
Hall of Fame center Robert Parish spent most of his 21-year career in the NBA with the Boston Celtics. Parish was a nine-time All-Star and a four-time NBA Champion. His number was retired by the Celtics.
Honorable Mention: Jim Otto
Warren Moon was a pioneer to the NFL, and his stats prove it. Moon finished with 49,325 passing yards, and was the first Black quarterback to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Honorable Mention: Jacques Plante
The captain of the New York Yankees, Derek Jeter is one of the most revered players in the game of baseball. In 20 seasons with the Yankees, Jeter won five World Series Championships and was named to the All-Star Team 14 times.
Honorable Mention: Moses Malone
In 1999, an ESPN poll ranked New York Yankees legendary slugger Babe Ruth as the third-greatest American athlete of the 20th century. Ruth won an epic seven World Series championships with the Yankees and was selected as a member of the MLB's All-Time Team in 1997. He retired in 1935 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame a year later.
Honorable Mention: Dwyane Wade
Nicknamed "The Iron Horse," Lou Gehrig teamed with Ruth to form the greatest duo in sports history. Gehrig played in 2,130 consecutive games, a record that stood until Cal Ripken Jr. several decades later. Gehrig won six World Series Championships and was a seven-time All-Star before he lost his bout with ALS.
Honorable Mention: Bobby Orr
Hall of Fame slugger Joe DiMaggio played each of his 13 MLB seasons for the New York Yankees and is one of the most beloved players in MLB history. Over his career, DiMaggio was a 13-time All-Star, nine-time World Series Champion and a three-time AL MVP. DiMaggio's number was retired by the Yankees.
Honorable Mention: Brooks Robinson
Hall of Fame center Bill Russell played his entire 14-year career with the Boston Celtics. With the Celtics, Russell was a 12-time All-Star, won 11 NBA Championships and was a five-time MVP and rebounding champion. Russell's number was retired by the Celtics.
Honorable Mention: Stan Musial
Legendary slugger Mickey Mantle played all 18 seasons of his Hall of Fame career with the New York Yankees where he was named an All-Star every season he played. Mantle won seven World Series Championships with the Yankees and was named the AL MVP three times. Mantle's number was retired by the Yankees.
Honorable Mention: John Elway
The best high school-to-NBA player ever, Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest competitors in NBA history. Since 1996, Bryant has won five NBA Championships, three with Shaquille O'Neal and two without him. Bryant is also third on the NBA's all-time scoring list.
Honorable Mention: Yogi Berra
Nicknamed "The Splendid Splinter," Ted Williams is the greatest player in Boston Red Sox history. In two stints with the Red Sox, Williams was a 17-time All-Star, six-time batting champion, and two-time AL MVP. Williams is also the last player to bat over .400 for a season.
Honorable Mention: Gordie Howe
The greatest soccer player who ever lived, Pele became legendary in Brazil and gave soccer a major boost in America. From 1957-71, Pele had 77 international goals in 92 games for the Brazilians.
Honorable Mention: Chipper Jones
Mark Messier played his first 11 NHL seasons with the Edmonton Oilers where he won five Stanley Cup championships. Messier also captained the 1994 Stanley Cup winning New York Rangers team, ending their 54-year championship drought. Messier is second only to Wayne Gretzky among the NHL's all-time point leaders and was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.
Honorable Mention: Isiah Thomas
Tom Brady's career isn't even over yet, but he's already one of the greatest players ever. Brady has won four Super Bowls for the Patriots, and was named Super Bowl MVP twice. Not bad for the 199th overall pick of the 2000 NFL Draft.
Honorable Mention: Roger Staubach
Hall of Fame center Wilt Chamberlain played 13 seasons in the NBA and won Championships with the Lakers and the 76ers. The 13-time All-Star was also named the league's MVP four times. Chamberlain is the only player in NBA history to score 100 points in a single game, and he is the league's fourth leading scorer of all-time.
Honorable Mention: Dan Marino
Hall of Fame point guard Oscar Robertson spent most of his 14-year career in the NBA with the Cincinnati Royals. Robertson was a 12-time All-Star and won a championship in 1971 with the Milwaukee Bucks. His number is retired by both the Bucks and the Kings (formerly the Royals).
Honorable Mention: Pete Rose
Packers legendary quarterback Bart Starr played his entire career in Green Bay where he won five championships (two Super Bowls, three NFL Championships). Starr was selected to the Pro Bowl four times and was named the MVP of Super Bowls I and II. The Packers retired Starr's number, and he was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1977.
Honorable Mention: Earl Monroe
Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana is the best quarterback of all-time with four Super Bowl Championships for the San Francisco 49ers. Montana was named Super Bowl MVP in three of them, was selected to the Pro Bowl eight times and was twice named the AP Press Male Athlete of the Year.
Honorable Mention: Brett Hull
Nicknamed "Hondo," John Havlicek starred for the Boston Celtics in the 1960s and the 1970s. A 13-time All-Star, John Havlicek was one of the first sixth men in NBA history, and won eight titles in Boston. Havlicek's No. 17 is retired by the team.
Honorable Mention: Dizzy Dean
Peyton Manning is the greatest regular season quarterback in NFL history and the 14-time Pro Bowler has the stats to back up that assertion. Manning has been named AP NFL MVP five times and led two franchises to the Super Bowl, Indianapolis twice, winning one in 2006. Manning also took Denver to Super Bowl XLVIII.
Honorable Mention: Dave Cowens
Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas was the greatest quarterback in the early history of the NFL. In the 1950s, Unitas led the Baltimore Colts to two NFL Championships, including the famous 1958 NFL Championship Game. In 1970, Unitas guided the Colts to a victory in Super Bowl V against Dallas.
Honorable Mention: Steve Yzerman
Detroit Lions legendary running back Barry Sanders never won a Super Bowl in his 10-year career in the NFL, but the 10-time Pro Bowler was one of the greatest rushers in NFL history. Over his career, Sanders led the NFL in rushing four times, was twice named AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year and is the third leading rusher in NFL history.
Honorable Mention: Frank Robinson
Since being drafted by San Antonio in 1997, Tim Duncan has turned the Spurs into a dynasty. In 18 seasons, Duncan has won five NBA Championships, appeared in 15 All-Star Games, and is a three-time NBA Finals MVP.
Honorable Mention: Roberto Clemente
Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith played all but two of his 15 seasons in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys. The eight-time Pro Bowler won three Super Bowls with the Cowboys and led the league in rushing three times. Smith is the NFL's all-time leading rusher and also holds the league records for the most rushing touchdowns and the most 100+ yards rushing games.
Honorable Mention: Elgin Baylor
Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan is the greatest player in the history of the NBA. Jordan won six NBA Championships with the Bulls and was named MVP of the NBA finals each time. Over his NBA career, Jordan was a 14-time All-Star, won the NBA scoring title 10 times, and was named the league's MVP five times.
Honorable Mention: LeBron James
Hall of Fame center fielder Willie Mays played all but one season of his legendary MLB career with the Giants—first in New York, then in San Francisco. Mays is tied for the most All-Star appearances with 24, was a 12-time Gold Glove Award winner, and a two-time NL MVP.
Honorable Mention: Ken Griffey Jr.
Barry Bonds' name has been tarnished due to his role in the current steroid scandal, but on the field, he was one of the greatest players in the history of baseball. Over Bonds' career, he was selected as an All-Star 14 times, was a 12-time Silver Slugger Award winner, and has 762 career home runs, the most all-time.
Honorable Mention: Mark McGwire
Hall of Fame slugger Wade Boggs played most of his 18 seasons with the Boston Red Sox, and he even had a short, but successful, four-season stint with the New York Yankees where he won his only World Series Championship in 1996. Boggs was a 12-time All-Star selection, and won the AL batting title five times.
Honorable Mention: Rod Woodson
Scott Niedermayer played 18 seasons in the NHL, and all but four were with the New Jersey Devils. Niedermayer is one of the greatest defensive scorers in NHL history, and he won three Stanley Cup Championships with the Devils before going on to with a fourth with the Anaheim Ducks.
Honorable Mention: Carlton Fisk
Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk was selected to the Pro Bowl in seven of his 12 seasons in the NFL and was named the NFL Offensive Player of the Year three times. One year after winning Super Bowl XXXIV with the St. Louis Rams, Faulk was named the AP NFL MVP.
Honorable Mention: Darrell Green
Satchel Paige played most of his career in the Negro leagues, but at the age of 42, he became the oldest man to ever debut in the major leagues in 1948. Paige was twice selected as an MLB All-Star and won a World Series Championship in 1948 as a member of the Cleveland Indians.
Honorable Mention: Ken Dryden
Martin Brodeur is one of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history. In his remarkable career that spanned two decades, Brodeur has won three Stanley Cups, two Olympic gold medals and is the NHL's all-time leader in regular season wins, shutouts and games played.
Honorable Mention: Terrell Davis
Pitcher Greg Maddux's career in MLB spanned 22 years, over which he played for five different teams and was named an All-Star eight times. In addition to being an 18-time recipient of the Gold Glove Award, Maddux was four-time winner of the NL Cy Young Award and won the World Series in 1995 with the Atlanta Braves.
Honorable Mention: Dave Winfield
Legendary point guard Earvin "Magic" Johnson won five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and was named NBA MVP three times. Over Johnson's career, he was a 12-time All-Star, nine-time All-NBA First Team selection and was named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. Johnson is also the NBA's all-time assists leader.
Honorable Mention: Jim Brown
Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played 20 seasons in the NBA and is the league's all-time scoring leader. Kareem won six NBA championships, one with the Milwaukee Bucks and five with the Los Angeles Lakers. Kareem was a 19-time All-Star, a six-time MVP, a 10-time All-NBA First Team selection and was named to the NBA'S 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
Honorable Mention: Larry Bird
One of the greatest running backs in NFL history, Walter Payton was the NFL's all-time leading rusher from 1984-2002 before Emmitt Smith broke the record. The No. 4 overall pick in 1975, Payton turned the Chicago Bears from laughing stocks to Super Bowl XX champions in 1985.
Honorable Mention: Shaquille O'Neal
Since Kevin Durant entered the NBA in 2007, he's established himself as one of the greatest talents playing in the NBA today. In 2008, Durant was named the NBA Rookie of the Year, and he's won multiple scoring titles while leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to the 2012 NBA Finals.
Honorable Mention: Frank Thomas
Former Rams and Steelers running back Jerome Bettis played 13 seasons in the NFL, 10 with Pittsburgh. Bettis was selected as the AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1993 and went on to appear in six Pro Bowls. Bettis won his only Super Bowl in 2006 and retired after that game. Bettis was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year.
Honorable Mention: Gaylord Perry
One of the best ballhawks in the 1980s, Lester Hayes was a dominant defender for the Oakland Raiders. During the 80s, Hayes helped the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders win two Super Bowls in 1980 and 1983. Hayes was a five-time Pro Bowler.
Honorable Mention: Rodney Harrison
Future Hall of Fame pitcher Curt Schilling won three World Series Championships, one with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and two with the Boston Red Sox before retiring after the 2007 season. A six-time All-Star, Schilling also helped get the Philadelphia Phillies to the 1993 World Series.
Honorable Mention: Eric Gagne
One of the greatest catchers in MLB history, Roy Campanella starred for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s and 1950s. A three-time NL MVP, Campanella was an eight-time All-Star, and helped the Dodgers win the 1955 World Series. Campanella's No. 39 is retired by the Dodgers organization.
Honorable Mention: Larry Csonka
In his short career, Gale Sayers was a four-time Pro Bowl selection, a five-time All-Pro selection and twice led the NFL in rushing. Despite his career being cut short by injuries, Sayers was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1977 as the youngest inductee ever. His number has been retired by the Bears.
Honorable Mention: Bill Laimbeer
One of the greatest pitchers of all-time, Tom Seaver played for four different teams, but his best was with the New York Mets. In 1969, Seaver helped the "Miracle Mets" win the World Series. Seaver was also a 12-time All-Star and three-time NL Cy Young Award winner.
Honorable Mention: Dirk Nowitzki
Jackie Robinson is the first Black player to break the color barrier in the MLB, and he was more than a pioneer. A six-time All-Star, Robinson won the MLB Rookie of the Year award in 1947, and was named NL MVP in 1949. The No. 42 is retired by every organization in baseball and will never be worn again.
Honorable Mention: Ronnie Lott
The No. 16 overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft, Troy Polamalu will be on his way to Canton when his career is over. An eight-time Pro Bowler, Polamalu has helped the Steelers to three Super Bowl appearances, winning two. Polamalu has also been a five-time first-team All-Pro and the winner of the 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.
Honorable Mention: Dennis Eckersley
Hall of Fame slugger Hank Aaron was a 25-time All-Star and is second only to Barry Bonds in career home runs. Aaron was the NL home run champion four times over his career and holds the MLB record with 17 consecutive seasons with 150 or more hits. In 1957, Aaron was a member of the World Series Champion Milwaukee Braves and was named the NL MVP.
Honorable Mention: Jerry West
Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson played his entire 17-year career in MLB with the St. Louis Cardinals. He was a nine-time All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner and a two-time recipient of the NL Cy Young Award. Gibson won two World Series Championships with the Cardinals and was named the World Series MVP in both.
Honorable Mention: Pedro Martinez
The all-time leader in postseason wins, Andy Pettitte made his name when it mattered most. His 19 postseason wins are the most all-time, and his pitching helped the Yankees and Astros to World Series berths. Pettitte was a three-time All-Star and a five-time World Series champion.
Honorable Mention: Todd Christensen
One of the greatest left-handed pitchers of all-time, Tom Glavine steadily guided the Atlanta Braves to success in the 1990s. In his career, Glavine won 305 games, was a two-time NL Cy Young Award winner, and helped the Braves win the 1995 World Series. Glavine was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.
Honorable Mention: Mel Blount
Torii Hunter has been in MLB for over two decades, and has been one of the most consistent players during that time. A five-time All-Star, Hunter helped the Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Detroit Tigers reach the ALCS. Hunter has 331 career home runs and 2,327 career hits.
Honorable Mention: Daryl Johnston
One of the 70 greatest players in Washington Redskins history, Bobby Mitchell became the first African American to play for the franchise. After being acquired from Cleveland, Mitchell spent three seasons in Washington and was named to three Pro Bowls. Mitchell also led the league in receiving yards twice.
Honorable Mention: Ron Guidry
Former Spurs center David Robinson played all 14 seasons of his NBA career for San Antonio. A 10-time All-Star, Robinson won two NBA championships with the Spurs and was named NBA MVP in 1995. Robinson was also named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
Honorable Mention: Mike Singletary
Dick Butkus is the best middle linebacker in NFL history and one of the greatest players to never reach the postseason. He played his entire nine-season career for the Chicago Bears and was selected to the Pro Bowl in all but one of those seasons. Butkus was also named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year twice.
Honorable Mention: Randy Johnson
From 1996-2012, Ray Lewis dominated the middle linebacker position. A first-round pick out of Miami, Lewis was the inspirational leader for the Ravens, guiding them to two Super Bowl Championships. During his career, Lewis was a 13-time Pro Bowler, a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and a seven-time first-team All-Pro.
Honorable Mention: Mike Webster
Hall of Fame pitcher Don Drysdale played all 12 seasons of his career with the Dodgers, first in Brooklyn, then in Los Angeles. Drysdale won three World Series Championships with the Dodgers and was a nine-time All-Star. In 1963, Drysdale won the Cy Young Award.
Honorable Mention: Harry Carson
Nicknamed "The Manster," Randy White dominated opposing offensive linemen in the 1970s and 1980s for the Dallas Cowboys. A nine-time Pro Bowler, White was named Co-MVP of Super Bowl XII.
Honorable Mention: Brian Urlacher
One of the greatest all-around linebackers of all-time, Junior Seau was the key to the San Diego Chargers' only Super Bowl team in 1994. A 12-time Pro Bowler, Seau was named Defensive Player of the Year in 1992, and also helped the 2007 New England Patriots go undefeated at 18-0.
Honorable Mention: Orel Hershiser
The greatest defensive player in NFL history, Lawrence Taylor made opposing offenses cringe and sent quarterbacks ducking for cover. A 10-time Pro Bowl selection, Taylor won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants, and was the last defensive player to win the NFL MVP Award in 1986.
Honorable Mention: Joe Schmidt
Bear Bryant called Dwight Stephenson "the best player he's ever coached," and its easy to see why. A five-time Pro Bowler, Stephenson snapped for Dan Marino and appeared in two Super Bowls for the Miami Dolphins. With only seven seasons in the NFL, Stephenson was still named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Honorable Mention: Clay Matthews
Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Lambert played all 11 seasons of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Lambert won four Super Bowls with the Steelers and was named to the Pro Bowl nine times. He was also named the 1974 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and the 1976 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Honorable Mention: Derrick Thomas
Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Ham played all 12 seasons of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ham won four Super Bowls with the Steelers and was named to the Pro Bowl eight times. Ham is one of the greatest outside linebackers of all-time.
Honorable Mention: London Fletcher
Nicknamed "Concrete Charlie," Chuck Bednarik was the last true 60-minute in the NFL. Bednarik played center and linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles, the two most physically demanding positions in the game. In 1960, Bednarik led the Eagles to their most recent championship.
Honorable Mention: Otto Graham
Hall of Fame defensive tackle Curley Culp played three decades in the NFL, and was a Super Bowl champion. A five-time Pro Bowler, Culp helped the Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl IV, and also helped the Houston Oilers reach the AFC Championship Game in 1978 and 1979.
Honorable Mention: Bill George
One of the greatest centers in NFL history, Hall of Famer Jim Langer was a cornerstone of the 1970's Miami Dolphins teams that won Super Bowls VII and VIII, including the record-setting 17-0 team. Over 12 seasons, Langer was a six-time Pro Bowl selection and a four-time first-team All-Pro.
Honorable Mention: Guy McIntyre
The first Black middle linebacker in NFL history, Willie Lanier was the leader of the famed Kansas City Chiefs' defense of the 1960s. A six-time Pro Bowler, Lanier had an interception in Kansas City's Super Bowl IV win. Lanier was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.
Honorable Mention: Gene Upshaw
Right guard Jerry Kramer spent his entire career as a Green Bay Packer, throwing one of the defining blocks in NFL history, opening a hole for Bart Starr's game-winning quarterback sneak in the 1967 NFL Championship known as the "Ice Bowl." In 11 seasons, the two-time Super Bowl champion was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and five-time first-team All-Pro.
Honorable Mention: Randall McDaniel
A transplant from the USFL, Gary Zimmerman starred for the Minnesota Vikings before winning a title in Denver. Zimmerman was a seven-time Pro Bowler and five-time First-Team All-Pro.
Honorable Mention: Tom Mack
Injuries aside, Mario Lemieux is one of the greatest players of all time and is the only person to ever win a Stanley Cup as both a player and an owner. Over the course of his career, Lemieux won three Hart Trophies, six Art Ross Trophies and two Conn Smythe Trophies.
Honorable Mention: Ray Nitschke
A mainstay of the Miami Dolphins offensive line, Bob Kuechenberg helped power the Miami Dolphins to wins in Super Bowls VII (the perfect season) and VII, Kuechenberg also played alongside Hall of Famers Jim Langer, Larry Little, and Dwight Stephenson. Kuechenberg was a six-time Pro Bowler and two-time first team All-Pro.
Honorable Mention: Les Richter
A dominant defensive end for the Pittsburgh Steelers, L.C. Greenwood was a major part of Pittsburgh's "Steel Curtain" defense that won four Super Bowls in the 1970s. Greenwood was a six-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro.
Honorable Mention: Russ Grimm
One of the best pass rushers in the 2000s, Jared Allen excelled for both the Kansas City and Minnesota Vikings. In Kansas City, Allen was a one-time Pro Bowler and had over 40 sacks. Traded to Minnesota in 2008, Allen was a four-time Pro Bowler who had over 70 sacks.
Honorable Mention: Mark Schlereth
From 1956-69, Sam Huff was the prototypical middle linebacker. A star for the New York Giants, Huff was featured on the cover of Time Magazine and helped the Giants win the 1956 NFL Championship.
Honorable Mention: Jim Marshall
A dominant left tackle for the Seattle Seahawks, Walter Jones became a perennial Pro Bowler and one of the best left tackles of all-time. During his career, Jones was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and helped the Seahawks reach their first Super Bowl in Super Bowl XL.
Honorable Mention: Alex Karras
Nicknamed "Too Tall," Ed Jones was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1974 NFL Draft. With the Dallas Cowboys, Jones was a dominant defender, teaming with Randy White and Harvey Martin to form one of the best defensive lines of the 1970s. In 1977, Jones helped the Cowboys win Super Bowl XII.
Honorable Mention: Dan Dierdorf
The best offensive guard in NFL History, John Hannah became the first New England Patriot to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. With the Patriots, Hannah's teams weren't dominant, but they did manage to reach Super Bowl XX where they were defeated by Chicago. It was also Hannah's final game.
Honorable Mention: Larry Allen
The first draft pick in Dallas Cowboys history, Bob Lilly is one of if not the greatest defensive tackle in NFL History. Lilly was also the team's first Ring of Honor member and Hall of Famer. In 1971, after years of coming so close, Lilly and the Cowboys won their first Super Bowl over the Miami Dolphins.
Honorable Mention: Merlin Olsen
Hall of Fame defensive tackle "Mean Joe" Greene is the most iconic member of the vaunted Pittsburgh "Steel Curtain" defense that helped lead the historic team to four Super Bowl championships in the 1970s. Over 13 seasons, Greene was a 10-time Pro Bowl selection and a five-time first team All-Pro.
Honorable Mention: Deacon Jones
A trailblazer in the early days of the NFL, Marion Motley overcame racism and prejudice to star for the Cleveland Browns. A big running back, Motley bowled over his opponents on his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Honorable Mention: Orlando Pace
Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ray Bourque spent two decades in the NHL, and set records for most career goals, points and assists by a defenseman. Bourque's other achievements include five Norris Trophies and a Stanley Cup win with the Avalanche in 2001.
Honorable Mention: Jim Parker
The most dominant left tackle of all-time, Anthony Munoz spent 13 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals and was selected to the Pro Bowl eight consecutive times. Munoz finished his 14-year career as an 11-time Pro Bowler and was named to the 1980's All-Decade Team.
Honorable Mention: Bruce Smith
A dominant defensive end, Harvey Martin was an anchor for the Doomsday Defense of the 1970s. A member of the 20-sack fraternity, Martin was named Co-MVP of Super Bowl XII along with fellow defensive lineman Randy White.
Honorable Mention: Roosevelt Brown
The greatest player in NFL History, Jerry Rice is still the record-holder in most significant receiving categories. Over his illustrious career, Rice guided the San Francisco 49ers to three Super Bowl wins, and was named MVP of Super Bowl XXIII.
Honorable Mention: Steve Largent
A dominant defensive back, Dick "Night Train" Lane played the position like a linebacker. His physical play intimidated receivers, but he also was a playmaker, intercepting a record 14 passes as a rookie in 1952.
Honorable Mention: Terrell Owens
A clutch receiver for the Baltimore Colts, Raymond Berry was an eight-time Pro Bowler and first-team All-Pro with the Baltimore Colts. Berry had one of the greatest individual performances ever in an NFL title game, catching 12 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown in 1958 against the New York Giants.
Honorable Mention: John Stallworth
Nicknamed "The Mad Stork," Hall of Famer Ted Hendricks won four Super Bowls, three with the Oakland Raiders. In addition to being a great linebacker, Hendricks had 25 blocked kicks during his career. Hendricks was named to the 1970s All-Decade Team.
Honorable Mention: Andre Reed
The best deep threat in NFL History, Randy Moss burnt defenses like he burnt locker rooms. A troubled player, Moss was part of the two most prolific offenses in NFL History, the 1998 Minnesota Vikings and the 2007 New England Patriots.
Honorable Mention: Shannon Sharpe
The leader of Miami's No-Name Defense, Nick Buoniconti manned the middle and led the Dolphins to a perfect season in 1972. Before starring with the Dolphins, Buoniconti was a perennial All-Pro player for the Boston Patriots.
Honorable Mention: Jack Youngblood
A dominant defensive tackle, Buck Buchanan anchored the Kansas City Chiefs' dominant defense of the 1960s. The first player chosen in the 1963 AFL Draft, Buchanan was part of two Super Bowl teams in Kansas City, the 1966 team that appeared in Super Bowl I, and the 1969 team that won Super Bowl IV.
Honorable Mention: Hines Ward
By the age of 23, Pittsburgh Penguins center and team captain Sidney Crosby had already won a Stanley Cup, a scoring title, the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy for most goals in a season and the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL MVP. Crosby also became an Olympic hero for Canada in 2010.
Honorable Mention: Willie Davis
The greatest tight end in NFL History, John Mackey starred for the Baltimore Colts winning Super Bowl V in 1970. Teamed with Johnny Unitas and Raymond Berry, Mackey helped form one of the best passing attacks of the 1960s.
Honorable Mention: Tony Gonzalez
One of the toughest players in NFL History, "Iron Mike" Ditka was a star for the Chicago Bears and is one of the best tight ends in NFL History. In the 1960s, Ditka had over 1,000 yards receiving in a season, a number previously unattainable for a tight end. Ditka also won Super Bowl XX as coach of the Bears.
Honorable Mention: Gino Marchetti
The No. 2 overall pick of the 2002 NFL Draft, Julius Peppers turned a previously pathetic Carolina Panthers franchise into Super Bowl contenders. For over a decade, Peppers wreaked havoc off the edge, recording 81 sacks and 30 forced fumbles.
Honorable Mention: Jevon Kearse
A great defender and a volatile personality, Dennis Rodman became a champion with two of the greatest teams in NBA History. In Detroit, Rodman was a valuable sixth man, winning two titles and appearing in three NBA Finals. After Detroit, Rodman won three more titles with Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls.
Honorable Mention: Sergei Fedorov
Nicknamed "The Minister of Defense," Reggie White led the Green Bay Packers to the promised land after signing as a free agent. Before arriving in Green Bay, White was terror off the edge with the Philadelphia Eagles. In 1993, White joined the Packers, and in 1996, Green Bay won Super Bowl XXXI.
Honorable Mention: Michael Strahan
One of the best pass rushers in the 2000s, Dwight Freeney used speed and his patented spin move to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks. Drafted in 2003 by the Indianapolis Colts, Freeney recorded over 100 sacks and won Super Bowl XLI in 2006.
Honorable Mention: John Randle
One of the best pass rushers in NFL History, Charles Haley is the only player to win five Super Bowl titles. Originally a San Francisco 49er, Haley won Super Bowls XXIII and XXIV. In 1992, Haley joined the Dallas Cowboys and won three more Super Bowls in Super Bowl XXVII, XXVIII, and XXX.
Honorable Mention: John Abraham
The MVP of Super Bowl XX, Richard Dent caused fear off the edge, and excelled in Buddy Ryan's 46 Defense. When Dent left Chicago in 1994, he had the Bears records for most sacks in a career (124), season (17.5), and single game (4.5).
Honorable Mention: Greg Lloyd
Only the second Hall of Famer in team history, former Seattle Seahawks DT Cortez Kennedy excelled on some very bad Seahawks teams. The Seahawks only played one postseason during Kennedy's tenure, but Kennedy was an eight-time Pro Bowler.
Honorable Mention: Sean Jones
One of the most controversial figures in NHL History, Jeremy Roenick was a passionate player, and a very outspoken personality as well. Still, Roenick scored over 1,000 points in his career.
Honorable Mention: Bryant Young
A powerful run-stuffer for the Steelers, former Pittsburgh NT Casey Hampton was drafted in 2001, and was a standout for over a decade. Hampton's presence allowed Pittsburgh's linebackers to roam free, and Hampton was part of two Super Bowl Champions and three Super Bowl teams.
Honorable Mention: Sam Adams
The greatest player in hockey history, Wayne Gretzky became the "Great One" by working behind the net. Gretzky holds many significant NHL records and helped guide the Edmonton Oilers to multiple Stanley Cup Championships in the 1980s.
Honorable Mention: George Mikan
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