10 MLB Superstars Who Will Have Their Numbers Retired

Mark MillerCorrespondent IMarch 3, 2013

10 MLB Superstars Who Will Have Their Numbers Retired

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    A new season provides every MLB veteran with a new opportunity to add to the resume they've built up throughout their careers.

    Extended tenures in one city aren't always the norm in professional sports these days, though there are a number of players in the league that have called one clubhouse home for the majority of their careers. Once they do opt to call it quits their fans surely won't forget that loyalty.

    A number of players on this list will be in the league for years to come. Nevertheless, here are some players that could find themselves forever etched in the history books of their franchise once they're no longer in the league.

Chipper Jones

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    When you look at the statistics Chipper Jones compiled over his 19 years with the Atlanta Braves, it's not all that difficult to see that he'll have a place in Cooperstown in a matter of years.

    The one-time NL MVP finished his career just 32 home runs shy of 500 and is one of the best power-hitting third basemen in the league, evidenced by a career OPS approaching 1.000.

    Jones never let his strong swing get in the way of his ability to get on base, as he hit for a career .303 batting average and .401 on-base percentage.

    His playing days are now in the rear view, and the Braves aren't wasting any time in honoring his contributions, as he'll have his number retired on June 28.

Ichiro Suzuki

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    Having only known one team in Major League Baseball, it was hard to imagine Ichiro Suzuki playing in anything other than a Seattle Mariners uniform.

    His 2011 season showed a slight decline from his past seasons in Seattle, but he's still a great outfielder and remains a constant threat in the batter's box. That's something the Yankees found helpful in 2012 when they acquired him from the Mariners.

    With at least 200 hits in all but one season with the Mariners and an average of nearly 40 stolen bases per year, his stat line should certainly be even more Cooperstown-worthy by the time he hangs it up.

    Even though he won't be ending his career in Seattle, the fans will always remember what he brought to the diamond for 11 great seasons and he should definitely find his number being retired when all is said and done.

David Ortiz

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    It's hard to find a player in the league that has more fun than David Ortiz.

    Since being released by the Minnesota Twins a decade ago, Ortiz has been a superstar for the Red Sox, making eight All-Star appearances and averaging 34 home runs per season along the way.

    Under contract for the next two seasons, it's looking more and more likely that the 37-year-old will be finishing his strong career in Fenway. If he continues to produce on offense he could very well end up with only Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski ahead of him on Boston's all-time home run list.

Justin Verlander

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    After taking home both AL Cy Young and MVP honors in 2011, Justin Verlander was back at it again last season, posting a 17-8 record and 2.64 ERA in 33 starts.

    He's won at least 17 games in six of the last seven seasons. With him headed in that direction again, the 30-year-old ace may very well still have his best days ahead of him—scary thought.

    The Tigers most certainly won't let him play for another team while he's in his prime. Once all is said and done it's hard to believe that he'll go down as anything other than the best pitcher to ever take the mound for Detroit.

Ryan Braun

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    Ryan Braun's name and reputation may have taken a hit last winter when word broke that he was facing a 50-game suspension for violating the PED policy in MLB, but the overturning of the suspension cleared his name and brought massive expectations.

    He answered in a big way in 2012, hitting a career-high 41 home runs and carrying the load on offense after the departure of Prince Fielder left a big hole in the Brewers' lineup.

    With at least 32 home runs in all but one of his six seasons in the league, Braun is just now entering the prime of his career. When he finally does hang up his cleats he could very well go down as the best Brewer of all time.

Paul Konerko

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    Having worn a White Sox jersey since 1999, it's hard to picture Paul Konerko playing for any other team as he winds down his career.

    Another strong season from Konerko could give him the White Sox's all-time lead in home runs. With his batting average actually getting better as he ages, he'll likely continue to put up MVP-caliber numbers this season as he enters the final year of his current contract.

Mariano Rivera

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    Baseball's greatest closer took a step in the wrong direction last spring, as Mariano Rivera's 2012 season was ended after he sustained a torn ACL while shagging fly balls.

    He'll be back with the Yankees this season. No matter what he does in 2013, taking into account his regular-season and postseason prowess, we should all realize that we won't see a closer like this for years to come.

    A 2.21 career ERA and astonishing 0.70 career postseason ERA will certainly help ensure that his number is retired by the Yankees. The No. 42 won't be worn anywhere else in the league in honor of Jackie Robinson.

Joe Mauer

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    Hometown favorite Joe Mauer may take some heat for having a contract that pays him better than 25 percent of the team's payroll, but the fact remains that he's one of the game's best hitters. When he's behind the plate he's one of the league's best defensive catchers as well.

    The expectations set for Mauer and Justin Morneau may have been too high a few years back when some dubbed them the next "M&M boys," but Mauer will be a staple in the Twins clubhouse for years to come.

Todd Helton

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    Some critics out there may give Todd Helton's statistics less notice since he plays in the relatively hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field.

    While the thin air certainly doesn't hurt, just as important to Helton's success has been his durability.

    Since his debut in 1997, he has played in 2,123 games over 16 seasons. The 2008 season, in which Helton appeared in only 83 games, and this past season, when he played only 69 times, are the only significant blemishes on an otherwise reliable resume.

    He's earned a .320 career batting average in 16 seasons with the Rockies and will reach the 2,500 hit mark this year.

Derek Jeter

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    Derek Jeter's consistency has led the New York Yankees to multiple World Series rings and has put him up there with some of the best shortstops to play the game.

    After appearing in only 15 games in 1995, Jeter found a permanent home with the team the following season. He would prove to be one of the most clutch players in Yankee history.

    Since 1996, he has appeared in less than 148 games in a season only once (119 games played in 2003). Spending so much time in the lineup can bring a player's numbers down a bit, but not Jeter.

    His .313 career average and 3,304 hits only add to the legacy that he'll leave behind when he eventually hangs up his cleats.