Best by Number: Who Wore What... with Distinction

Best by Number: Who Wore What... with Distinction

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BEST NUMBER Who wore what... with distinction Go ahead, ask sports fans the numbers of their favorite players, and they'll rattle them off in a heartbeat. Derek Jeter? 2. LeBron James? 23. Peyton Manning? 18. Dale Earnhardt Jr.? 8. That one you've probably seen on enough back windshields that you don't even need to be a fan to know it. Numbers have been a part of sports lore since they first appeared on uniforms back in the Roaring '20s. Undeniably, players -Hall of Fame players-have become known by the numbers they wore. 32: Sandy Koufax. And Jim Brown. And OJ. Simpson. And Magic Johnson. And don't forget Shaquille O'Neal. Or Bill Walton. Or Marcus Alien. Or Franco Harris. Or Steve Carl ton. Or Karl Malone. But who's the best-the very best-player ever to wear 32? Or who's the best 44: Reggie Jackson, Hank Aaron or Jerry West? SPORTING NEWS, which has 120 years of covering sports as a foundation, has made those decisions. And 98 more just like them. Go behind the scenes as Best by Number recounts amazing anecdotes of why players chose -or were assigned-their famous numbers. Check out the list of greats -and some not-so-greats-who made a number famous. But most important, join the debate after SPORTING NEWS tells you - most authoritively, of course - who was the best of the best, 0 - 99. There's no way you can guess them all. That's a guarantee. some surprise selections take care of that. So, who will it be at No. 4: Bobby Orr or Lou Gehrig? Or Brett Farve? We didn't expect easy decisions.