Welcome to Part II of Athletes By The Numbers.
If you notice along the way that my math isn't great and I missed a few numbers, please don't worry.
Although I was not a math major in college, I do know how to count. Therefore, if I miss a number every now and then (probably be more now), it's because the athletes who have worn that jersey was and always will be irrelevant in the sports world.
And I do not feel like wasting my time, and especially your time, writing about someone who no one cares about.
So without further ado, here's the second and final edition of Athletes By The Numbers.
Do I go with the great closer Lee Smith, who finished his career with 487 saves, compiled 1,251 strikeouts and was a seven-time all-star?
Or, do I go with Andy Pettitte, who won five championships as member of the New York Yankees and is Major League Baseball's all-time postseason wins leader with 18.
I think you all know my answer, and if you don't, use your imagination.
From what I've read, Mel Blount was the best cornerback of his era, was a four-time Super Bowl champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and also won the NFL defensive player of the year award in 1975.
And as much as I want to give this slot to Tom Glavine, who was a five-time 20-game winner, two-time Cy Young Award winner, and one of only 24 pitchers in major league history to earn 300 career wins, sounds to me like this member of the Steel Curtain is the greatest athlete to wear No. 47.
I know I previously stated NASCAR is not a sport, and I still don't believe it is, but Jimmie Johnson is the greatest athlete associated with the No. 48.
Johnson is a four-time NASCAR Sprint Series champion, and in 2009 he became the only driver to win four consecutive Sprint Cup Series Championships, on his way to being voted the 2009 Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press.
But no matter how great his accomplishments are, he's still just a race car driver.
Don't you love when the greatest athlete to wear No. 49 is a New York Yankee?
I certainly do.
Ron Guidry, nicknamed "The Gator" and "Louisiana Lightning" was the team captain of the Yankees, was the 1978 Cy Young award winner, and during that season, Guidry went 25-3, posted an ERA of 1.74, had 16 complete games and nine shutouts.
Guidry was also a two-time World Series champion, and five-time Gold Glove award winner, leaving no doubt, Guidry is the greatest player ever to wear this number.
I hope Mike Singletary doesn't find out that he wasn't chosen as the greatest athlete to wear No. 50 because everyone knows how he gets when he's furious.
(See his October 26, 2008 press conference)
The NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1985 and 1988, Singletary was a staple in the Chicago Bears’ defense during the 1980s. During the 1985 season, he was the defensive leader of a Bears’ defense that allowed fewer than 11 points per game, as the team compiled an impressive 15-1 record.
Singletary was the NFL 1980s All-Decade linebacker and was a member of the Bears' Super Bowl XX championship team, but David "The Admiral" Robinson has tackled Singletary as the greatest player ever to wear this number.
Robinson won the NBA MVP award in 1995, along with two NBA championships with the San Antonio Spurs. He's the only male basketball player in U.S. history to appear in three Olympic Games. He's a 10-time NBA All-Star.
He also the only player in NBA history to win the rebounding, blocked shots, and scoring titles and Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and MVP award, and is one of only four players to have recorded a quadruple-double.
Robinson is a member of the NBA Hall of Fame, and was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history, as both accolades are well deserved.
All NFL middle linebackers dream to be the next Dick Butkus, as he was named to eight straight Pro Bowls.
But the athlete who deserves to be named the greatest athlete to wear the No. 51 is Randy Johson.
Johnson was a 10-time All-Star. He currently ranks 2nd on the all-time strikeout list with 4,876 strikeouts. He won the NL Cy Young award four-times, and won the AL Cy Young award in 1995. He had 5 consecutive 300 strikeout seasons, a MLB record. He threw a perfect game on May 18, 2004, and has 37 career shutouts.
Johnson, along with his 303 career victories and one dead bird, is arguably the most dominant pitcher baseball has ever seen.
Anytime you don't want to meet the greatest player to wear the No. 52 jersey in a dark alley, that should tell the story.
Everyone, meet the two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Ray Lewis.
I heard this guy Don Drysdale was pretty good, but he doesn't get the nod.
Harry Carson was a dominating linebacker for the New York Giants during his thirteen year career, from 1976-1988. Carson was named the starting linebacker in his rookie season, was captain for ten years and led the team in tackles for five years. Along with teammates Lawrence Taylor and Carl Banks, the Giants defense was a primary reason for the Giants Super Bowl Championship in 1986.
Maybe I went with Carson because of my love for the Giants, but I'd rather watch a dominating middle linebacker than a dominating pitcher any day of the week.
When a defensive lineman only misses one game in 14-years, that accomplishment alone is worthy of being named the greatest athlete to wear No. 54, and Randy White of the Dallas Cowboys gets my vote.
Although Rich "Goose" Gossage had 310 career saves and 1,502 strikeouts, his mustache really bothered me, and I'm glad he's not the greatest athlete to ever wear this number.
Junior Seau would've gotten the nod over "Hersh", if he decided to retire and stay retired. But instead, Seau has attempted multiple comebacks to the NFL, which has lead to the demise of his playing career.
However, Orel Hershiser is one of the greatest postseason pitchers of all time (record of 7-5, 2.59 ERA). And in 1988, he won a Gold Glove, the Cy Young Award, the NLCS MVP and the World Series MVP with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
As Hershiser will be remembered as the greatest player to wear the jersey of the "Double-Nickel."
Two Letters: L.T.
Put in charge of protecting Dan Marino, Dolphins Hall of Fame center Dwight Stephenson was elected to five consecutive Pro Bowls, and started in 80 consecutive games until the 1987 season, when his left knee sustained an injury.
He's the greatest center to ever play the game, and is my choice for the greatest athlete to wear No. 57.
Jack Lambert is a 9-time Pro Bowler. He won the Defensive Player of the Year award in 1974 and 1976. He's a four-time Super Bowl champion, member of the Hall of Fame, and was the leader of the "Steel Curtain" defense.
Lambert is one of the toughest S-O-B's to play in the history of the NFL, and this linebacker is my vote for the greatest athlete to wear the No. 58.
Another member of the Pittsburgh Steelers' "Steel Curtain" defense makes the list, as Jack Ham is the greatest athlete to wear the No. 59.
Ham was a seven-time All-Pro in twelve seasons for the Steelers. The 1988 NFL Hall of Fame inductee was a key member of the Steelers' defense during the 1970s, and racked up 25 sacks, 32 interceptions, and 21 fumbles recovered during his career.
Ham was just another reason why the Steelers dominated during the 1970s.
It's been a while since the city of Cleveland had something to celebrate.
So here you go as I selected Otto Graham as the greatest athlete to wear No. 60.
Graham lead the Browns to 10 straight titles games and won four AAFC and three NFL Championships.
Now all the Cleveland fans are asking the question, will we ever see a Super Bowl championship ever again?
Finally, an athlete who we could be aprecciate for his greatness.
(Sorry offensive linemen)
Mario Lemieux was drafted 1st overall by the Penguins in 1984.
What a selection that was, and what a player "Super Mario" turned out to be.
He won six Art Ross Trophies, three Hart Trophies, complied 199 points during the 1988-1989 season, and is a member of the hockey Hall of Fame.
Lemieux is the only player in NHL history to score 5 goals all in different ways in one game, and if he wasn't plagued by injuries, Lemieux would've been remembered as the greatest NHL player of all-time.
Not Wayne Gretzky.
Instead, with his 1,723 career points, he's the greatest athlete to wear No. 66.
In honor of the 1968 Prague rebellion and the Czechoslovakian freedom movement, Jaromir Jagr elected to wear No. 68 during his hockey career, and is the greatest athlete to wear this number.
Overshadowed by playing most of his career with Mario Lemieux, Jagr was an unbelievable talent.
Jagr finished his NHL career 13th all-time goals scored (646), 9th all-time in points (1599) and 7th all-time in points per game (1.256).
Jagr was a five-time Art Ross Trophy winner, one time Hart Trophy winner , two-time Stanley Cup champion, and holds the NHL record for most consecutive 30-goal seasons with 15.
Jagr would end his NHL career playing for the New York Rangers, and it was certainly a joy watching him every time he took the ice.
Known for his stint as a Monday Night Football announcer, along with Al Michaels and Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf was also a pretty good offensive tackle, and is the best player to ever wear No. 72.
He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1996, is a 6-time Pro Bowler, is a 3-time NFC Offensive Lineman of the year, and a 5-time All-Pro.
But to me, Dierdorf will always be remembered for being part of the greatest Monday Night Football crew that was ever assembled.
Two great defensive sack masters are battling for the title of the greatest athlete to wear No. 75.
Is it the 6'5" defensive end, Deacon Jones, or the longtime Oakland and Los Angeles Raider, Howie Long, the greatest athlete to wear the No. 75 jersey?
The scorecard is in: Don't let the picture fool ya. The match ends in a draw.
Can't go wrong with either one.
Can anyone win by default?
We have a winner and his name is Orlando Pace.
And just in case you knew nothing about Pace, he's started 154 consecutive games.
He was the first overall pick in the 1997 NFL Draft, and was the first offensive lineman chosen first overall since 1968.
He's also a five-time All-Pro, seven-time Pro-Bowler and earned a Super Bowl ring with the St. Louis Rams for the victory in Super Bowl XXXIV.
And at 6'7", 325 pounds, Pace is a running back's dream and a defensive lineman's worst nightmare.
Ray Bourque's only Stanley Cup championship came as a member of the Colorado Avalanche, but he will forever be known as captain of the Boston Bruins.
Bourque won the Calder Memorial Trophy, set the NHL record for most goals by a defenseman at 410, was a five-time Norris Trophy Winner, and finished his career with 1,579 career points.
Bourque's accomplishments on the ice has earned him the title of the greatest athlete to wear No. 77.
I am passing on Anthony Munoz, who was the most dominant offensive tackle of his era playing in 13 seasons for the Cincinnati Bengals (1980-92) and was elected to the Pro Bowl 11 straight times.
Instead, I'm choosing the all-time NFL sack leader as the greatest athlete to wear No. 78.
Bruce Smith is the all-time Buffalo Bills sack leader with 171. He won the AFC defensive player of the year award four-times, and was a longtime feared defender of the Bills.
But unfortunately, Smith never won the Lombardi Trophy as a Super Bowl champion.
That's the price Smith paid when he was drafted by the Bills with the first overall pick in the 1985 NFL draft.
Harvey Martin was the co-MVP of Super Bowl XII, 1977 defensive player of the year, and is a member of the 1970s NFL All-decade team.
Martin was one of the most ferocious pass-rushing defenders in NFL history, and is the greatest athlete to wear No. 79.
Another one of these numbers where there is no debate.
Jerry Rice, the greatest wide receiver in NFL history is the greatest athlete to wear No. 80.
He ended his career being ranked first in: career touchdowns (208), receptions (1,549), yards gained (22,895) and was a four-time Super Bowl champion as a San Francisco 49er.
Besides for being thirteen time Pro Bowler, and the MVP of Super Bowl XXIII, Jerry can also dance.
What can (Tim) Brown do for you?
Only end a remarkable 17-year career ranked second all-time in receiving yardage (14, 934), third in catches (1.094), and tied for 16th in touchdowns with 105.
Brown is the greatest player ever to the No. 81 jersey.
Besides for the being the greatest athlete to wear No. 82, Raymond Berry was Johnny Unitas' favorite target from 1956-1967, leading the NFL in receptions four times.
How bad could Berry's career really have been?
He did play with Johnny U.
Shannon Sharpe, who played the majority of his NFL career with the Denver Broncos, is the best professional athlete to wear the number 84 jersey.
Sharpe earned first-team NFL All-Decade honors for the 1990s, was named to the Pro Bowl eight times, and is the league's all-time leader in receptions (815), yards (10,060) and TDs (62) by a tight end.
He did win two Super Bowl championships (three total) with Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, but Sharpe would have excelled no matter where he played his NFL career.
Hall of Fame defensive end, Jack Youngblood, was a seven-time Pro Bowler in 14 seasons with the Los Angeles Rams. Youngblood played in 201 straight games, and will forever be remembered as one of the toughest men in NFL history.
Despite having a broken leg, he played in all of Super Bowl XIV.
Youngblood was the NFC Defensive Player of the Year award in consecutive seasons, (1975-1976), was a five-time All-Pro selection, and holds numerous St. Louis Rams records, including 17 playoffs starts and 8.5 career sacks in the playoffs.
Youngblood is not only the greatest athlete to wear No. 85, but is also the toughest and most durable to don the 85 jersey.
Hines Ward has had a stellar NFL career. He's a four-time Pro Bowler, and a two-time Super Bowl champion.
He was the named the MVP of Super Bowl XL, and holds the Steelers record in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns making Ward the greatest athlete to wear the No. 86 jersey.
He might be too young to be on the list now, but by the time his career is over, Sidney Crosby will be the greatest athlete to wear the No. 87 jersey.
He might even become the greatest hockey player of all-time, and that is not a far fetch.
Marvin Harrison had Peyton Manning throwing him the football, and a gun in his back pocket.
Michael Irvin had Troy Aikman, along with three Super Bowl championships.
But I would've taken "The Playmaker" over Harrison, and that is why I'm selecting Irvin, as the greatest athlete to wear the No. 88 jersey.
"Ditka vs. G-d"
"Trick question: Ditka is G-d"
A force at defensive line for the Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, and San Diego Chargers, Neil Smith is the best professional athlete to ever wear the jersey number 90.
Smith accumulated 15 sacks in 1993, and 105.5 sacks over a thirteen year career.
Smith played the majority of his NFL career wearing a Kansas City Chiefs' jersey, from 1988 to 1996. However, in 1997, Smith became a member of a Denver Broncos that won two Super Bowls (XXXII and XXXIII.)
Smith's career was complete when he was inducted to the Chiefs' Hall of Fame, and his number 90 was retired by the Kansas City Chiefs during the 2006 season.
Arguably the greatest defensemen in NBA history, Dennis Rodman, doesn't get the nod, but Sergei Federov does as the greatest athlete to wear the No. 91 jersey.
Federov scored 30-plus goals 10 times during his career, won three Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings, and holds the record for most goals by a Russian-born NHL player (483).
Federov was awarded the Hart Trophy as the 1993-94 MVP and the Selke Trophy twice as best the league's best defensive forward.
Although Federov was able to get the ladies, as he was "linked" to Anna Kournikova for a short period of time, he will be remembered as one of the most talented and versatile players in NHL history.
His nickname was the "Minister of Defense."
Reggie White, was a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1987, '98), played in a record 13 straight Pro Bowls and retired in 2000 as the NFL's all-time sacks leader with 198 sacks, but that record eventually broken by Bruce Smith.
White tragically passed away in 2004 at the age of 43. He was enshrined into the Hall of Fame, two years after his death - a place where the legend of White certainly belongs.
The best athlete to wear number 93 is the longtime NHL forward, Doug Gilmour. Over Gilmour's career from 1983-2003, Gilmour played for seven different NHL teams, including scoring the Stanley Cup-winning goal for the Calgary Flames in 1989.
Gilmour complied 450 goals and 964 assists during his career, and accomplished the unusual feat of winning best defensive forward honors while scoring 127 points for the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1992-93 season.
Listed at 5'10", Gilmour racked up 1299 penalty minutes for his career. Even though, at times he was the smallest guy on the rink, Gilmour played with a lot of heart, passion, and had a desire for the game that was second-to-none.
Having the distinction of being the only player in NFL history to have been on five Super Bowl winning teams, Charles Haley was a five-time Pro Bowler, and had the reputation of being volatile and unpredictable.
Haley retired in 1996, but not before he was named to the All-Pro team, twice during his career.
Haley was a great pass-rusher, and the greatest athlete to wear No. 94.
During the 1985 championship season of the Chicago Bears, Richard Dent was a major factor in Chicago's success, leading the NFL with 17 sacks. And during the playoffs, Dent arguably had the most impressive defensive post-season performance in NFL history.
Besides for the being the greatest athlete to wear No. 95, he earned Super Bowl XX MVP honors as he earned 2 sacks, forced 2 fumbles, and blocked a pass in a 46-10 rout of the New England Patriots.
At 6'3", 306 pounds, Cortez Kennedy was a monster at the defensive tackle position.
The seven-time Pro Bowler played his entire 11-year career with the Seattle Seahawks, and won the 1992 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.
As much as I want to give the honors to Pavel Bure for being the greatest athlete to wear the 96 jersey, Kennedy takes the honor.
Jeremy Roenick, Simeon Rice, or Cornelius Bennett?
You be the Judge.
But I will have a picture of Roenick to represent the NHL.
The best athlete to wear the number 98 jersey is NFL defensive lineman, Tony Siragusa.
Siragusa split his twelve-year NFL playing career between the Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore Ravens, and won a Super Bowl championship with the Ravens in 2000.
But I will always remember Siragusa for his appearance on The Sopranos.
The Great One.
Did you think there was anyone else?