Friday the 13th Superstitions: The Best No. 13s in Sports History

Jon StarSenior Writer IAugust 13, 2010

Friday the 13th Superstitions: The Best No. 13s in Sports History

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    Athletes are some of the most superstitious people in our society. Whether it is pre-game routines, eating the same meal everyday, wearing the same pair of underwear for three weeks straight or refusing step on a boundary line, athletes make many decisions based on their superstitious beliefs.

    That may be why the number 13 does not appear as prevalent on jerseys around sports as other numbers. Nevertheless, there are brave athletes who don the dreaded number despite their superstitions. 

    With today being Friday the 13th, we take a look at the 10 best players who ever rolled the dice and slapped the number on their backs.

10. Omar Vizquel

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    Omar Vizquel wasn't the biggest hitter throughout his career, but he will retire with roughly 2,800 hits and more notably 11 Gold Gloves. He was the bridge out of the Ozzie Smith Era when it comes to stellar defensive shortstops and he still shows it even at 43 years old. Like Ozzie, Vizquel could play his way into the Hall of Fame as an all-time defender, but the lack of a ring does hurt.

9. Gino Torretta

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    Torretta continued the run of strong quarterbacking at Miami as he geared the Hurricanes to the 1991 National Championship (he was also part of the 1989 title team) and led Miami to another title game in 1992.  That year, Torretta won the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's top quarterback and the Heisman Trophy.  He threw for over 6,100 yards and 39 touchdowns during his last two years with Miami. 

8. Mats Sundin

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    The Maple Leafs great shrugged off standard hockey superstition to become the greatest hockey play to wear the hexed number 13. Sundin, who retired in 2009, scored 564 goals and tallied 1,349 points in his 15-year NHL career.

7. Kurt Warner

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    One of the best quarterbacks of the last decade (yes even with the donut hole in his career), Warner became the prototype for big numbers and big production in the now pass-happy NFL. 

    Warner was named Super Bowl XXXIV MVP, going to three Super Bowls in all and becoming the second quarterback in NFL history to reach the Super Bowl with two different teams.He is also the only quarterback to throw for 14,000 yards with two different teams.

6. Steve Nash

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    It took him until he was 30 years old to truly break out, but Suns point guard Steve Nash has asserted himself as one of the best point guards in this generation of NBA players. The two-time MVP, three-time First-Team NBA Player, and seven-time All-Star has been of the most electrifying players in league history.

5. Don Maynard

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    Maynard was Jerry Rice before Jerry Rice was even a glimmer of an idea in the NFL.  The former Jets wide receiver dominated the league during the years when a designed passing attack was still something of a new concept.

    The Hall of Fame receiver retired from the NFL in 1973 with records in receptions (633) and receiving yards (11,834).  He still holds the NFL record for most yards per catch by any player with 600-plus receptions (18.7). 

4. Michael Ballack

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    Ballack is one of the top international scorers in German history, having scored 42 times for his nation on top of the 105 goals he has scored in his club career. His three straight goals scored in the 2002 World Cup elevated Germany to its first final in 12 years. He was also selected to the FIFA 100 list.

3. Dan Marino

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    So Marino didn't win a ring. That doesn't mean he's any less of one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the NFL.  Marino retired in the top three in many of the most important quarterbacking categories including touchdowns, completions and yards. 

    He still holds the mark for most passing yards in a season (5,084) and his 48 touchdowns in 1984 were a single-season record before it fell to Peyton Manning later Tom Brady.

    The big arm and the big numbers, Marino had it all as a quarterback.

2. Alex Rodriguez

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    One of the best baseball talents the game has ever seen, A-Rod has been the most productive player at his age in the history of baseball. He has reached home run, RBI and run-scoring plateaus faster than anyone in the game.

    He is projected to retire as the all-time home run leader with over 3,700 hits, 2,000 RBI and 2,000 runs scored.

    Of course, A-Rod only donned the number 13 upon his arrival to New York as his old number, three, was retired by the Yankees for obvious reasons.

1. Wilt Chamberlain

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    Was there any doubt here? Chamberlain was the best big man in the history of the NBA. He averaged 50 points per game one season and retired with an average of 22 rebounds per game.  He is an icon of the sport and a legend for his seemingly insurmountable 100 points scored in one game.