Sporting News did this really awesome thing today where they looked at all the uniform numbers in baseball history, and they came away with a list of the best players with each number. In the end, quite a few Los Angeles Dodgers players made the list.
In total, there were at least seven players featured on the list who spent some time in the Dodgers organization, but only a few spent the vast majority of their careers with the organization. Greg Maddux (#31) and Joe Beimel (#97) were on the list, just to rattle off two names before we begin.
The major players on the list as far as Los Angeles was concerned were
- Sandy Koufax (#32)
- Don Drysdale (#53)
- Orel Hershiser (#55)
- Yasiel Puig (#66)
- Kenley Jansen (#74)
- Manny Ramirez (#99).
If you’re wondering where Clayton Kershaw (#22) is, then you’re going to be disappointed. Jim Palmer received the nod for the jersey number over Kershaw, and the main reason was because of Palmer’s longevity in the sport and the three titles he helped deliver to the Baltimore Orioles. As Sporting News notes, Kershaw will probably end up holding that spot when it’s all said and done.
There were some interesting selections, though. For instance, Bob Feller over Tony Gwynn for #19, Johnny Damon over Joe Morgan for #18, and Johan Santana over Francisco Rodriguez for #57. The list was a real intriguing one and it makes you realize just how many numbers have been worn throughout history.
The numbers 76, 78, 80, 82, 83, 86, 87, 89, 90, 92, 93, 94, 95, and 98 were all missing. As was 00. Then again, 00 was never worn for more than two consecutive years. The last players to wear the number were Brennan Boesch when he was with the Los Angeles Angels, and Brian Wilson when he was with the Dodgers. Both in 2014.
Numbers are apart of the game, whether that be through counting stats or uniforms, so it’s always fun to look at the players of yesteryear, and some from today, to see who ranks where on the all-time jersey number list.