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Who should get their number retired and by which team(s)?

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With free agency and blockbuster trades, it seems normal nowadays for star players to have played for multiple teams before their careers are finished. But have they done enough to have their number retired? If so, which team(s) would retire their number?

Similarly, if they're Hall of Fame-worthy, what logo would they wear on their plaque (I know only baseball technically does this, but I know everyone things about it)?

This can be for any sport, and any player (who played for a single team or multiple ones) you think has earned a jersey retirement or equivalent (like inclusion in a team's Ring of Honor or what not). Also, keep in mind specific teams' organizational inclinations (eg, the Spurs have retired a number of jerseys of players who are nowhere near Hall of Fame status, but who have contributed much to the team, while the Lakers have basically retired almost only Hall of Fame-worthy players).

Credit to tigerslionspistonshabs for inspiring this thread. The original player of thought was Kevin Garnett. I think it's a lock that his 21 will be retired by the Timberwolves, but what about his 5? I think if Dennis Johnson gets his number retired by the Celtics, then so should KG, but he's going into the Hall as a T-wolf.

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Steelers: Hines Ward #86 Jerome Bettis #36

wait, nevermind, they've been with 1 team for their entire careers, except for a few years with the rams for the bus

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A lot of people aren't going to remember KG much for his time with the Wolves since the Celtics are a much more stroied and covered franchise. They hype surrounding the Big Three was ridiculous, and them winnin the championship will always make that image of KG clearer than him terrorizing people in Minnesota. I think his number gets retired by both teams, but he goes into the hall as a Celtic if he gets chosen.

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Mets #8 Gary Carter, #16 Dwight Gooden, # 17 Keith Hernandez, #18 Darryl Strawberry, #31 Mike Piazza, #36 Jerry Koosman

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I view it as your a slam dunk HOFer with that team or close to it. For instance Billy Pierce is not in the HOF (I think he should be) but because of fact that he spent virtually his entire career with the White Sox, I would say he's deserving of that honor. On the other hand, Gaylord Perry who is a slam dunk HOFer, but is not even close if you only take into account his numbers for Giants, I don't think should have his number retired by anybody.

If teams wanted to do like a ring of honor thing and have a separate section for retired numbers, I wouldn't be against that.

With a team like the Mets the only number that should be retired IMO is Tom Seaver. But if they want to have a honor ring type of thing where they have like Alfonzo, Gooden, Hodges, Koosman, PIazza, Strawberry, etc. I would be fine with that. I just look at the retired number as something that should be extremely difficult to earn.

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The Angels desperately need to retire Tim Salmon and Troy Percival. The fact that ten years later and nobody from the championship team is up there is just bizarre. Hopefully this'll happen soon seeing as how the retired numbers just were updated from the generic ones to the current number font.

Plus, Maple Leafs precedent should mandate that Nick Adenhart be retired. However, no way in hell should that apply to Donnie Moore.

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Steelers: Hines Ward #86 Jerome Bettis #36

wait, nevermind, they've been with 1 team for their entire careers, except for a few years with the rams for the bus

That's okay, this thread is for any player you think should have their number retired (whether they played for only 1 team or multiple ones).

We can even extend this to college players. I mean, Ralph Sampson got elected to the Hall of Fame for his entire body of work, but he's probably still best known as a Virginia player more than his NBA career.

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A lot of people aren't going to remember KG much for his time with the Wolves since the Celtics are a much more stroied and covered franchise. They hype surrounding the Big Three was ridiculous, and them winnin the championship will always make that image of KG clearer than him terrorizing people in Minnesota. I think his number gets retired by both teams, but he goes into the hall as a Celtic if he gets chosen.

Do they have a "team" for basketball the way they have a "cap" for baseball?

If so, I'd say KG would go in as a Celtic.

But yeah, the T-Wolves will retire his number...they don't get much chance to do that (save for Malik Sealey who was killed by a drunk driver while playing for the Wolves). And they should. He's the one true superstar they've ever had. If the Celtics retire it, so be it. I have no problem with someone being retired by two teams. For example, if Pujols has a great stint with the Angels, then he'll have that.

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I'm with pmoehrin on this. You need to be pretty :censored:-ing incredible to have your number retired. He's right, a retired number should be very difficult to earn. I'm all for "rings of honor" etc. but I think retiring a number needs to be reserved for the very elite. Players like Babe Ruth or Willie Mays in baseball. Jim Brown, Walter Payton, maybe Joe Montana in football. Bird, Magic, Jordan, Kareem, Russell, Wilt, in basketball.

One of the many things that bugs me about the Yankees is all of those retired numbers. Billy Martin? Phil Rizzuto? Elston Howard? Don Mattingly? Really? (Granted, Elston Howard was the first black player on the Yankees...in 1955. That's only 8 years after Jackie Robinson. :rolleyes: )

So far, the only player I've seen in this thread that I'd reluctantly agree with is Tom Seaver. And I'd be on the fence with that one.

(I don't know anything about Billy Pierce, but if pmoehrin thinks he deserves it then he probably does.)

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I'm with pmoehrin on this. You need to be pretty :censored:-ing incredible to have your number retired. He's right, a retired number should be very difficult to earn. I'm all for "rings of honor" etc. but I think retiring a number needs to be reserved for the very elite. Players like Babe Ruth or Willie Mays in baseball. Jim Brown, Walter Payton, maybe Joe Montana in football. Bird, Magic, Jordan, Kareem, Russell, Wilt, in basketball.

One of the many things that bugs me about the Yankees is all of those retired numbers. Billy Martin? Phil Rizzuto? Elston Howard? Don Mattingly? Really? (Granted, Elston Howard was the first black player on the Yankees...in 1955. That's only 8 years after Jackie Robinson. :rolleyes: )

So far, the only player I've seen in this thread that I'd reluctantly agree with is Tom Seaver. And I'd be on the fence with that one.

(I don't know anything about Billy Pierce, but if pmoehrin thinks he deserves it then he probably does.)

I'm not nearly as hard line about criteria for retired numbers simply because it's up to the individual teams, but there are definitely some instances where I think they shouldve thought twice about specific numbers. The Yankees definitely have a couple numbers (Maris is the first that comes to mind) that probably should've been thought over a bit more. Also, the Twolves could've probably found another way to honor Malik Sealy. Outside of those instances, I don't think the player has to be Hall of Fame worthy to have their number retired.

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I'm with pmoehrin on this. You need to be pretty :censored:-ing incredible to have your number retired. He's right, a retired number should be very difficult to earn. I'm all for "rings of honor" etc. but I think retiring a number needs to be reserved for the very elite. Players like Babe Ruth or Willie Mays in baseball. Jim Brown, Walter Payton, maybe Joe Montana in football. Bird, Magic, Jordan, Kareem, Russell, Wilt, in basketball.

One of the many things that bugs me about the Yankees is all of those retired numbers. Billy Martin? Phil Rizzuto? Elston Howard? Don Mattingly? Really? (Granted, Elston Howard was the first black player on the Yankees...in 1955. That's only 8 years after Jackie Robinson. :rolleyes: )

So far, the only player I've seen in this thread that I'd reluctantly agree with is Tom Seaver. And I'd be on the fence with that one.

(I don't know anything about Billy Pierce, but if pmoehrin thinks he deserves it then he probably does.)

I'm not nearly as hard line about criteria for retired numbers simply because it's up to the individual teams, but there are definitely some instances where I think they shouldve thought twice about specific numbers. The Yankees definitely have a couple numbers (Maris is the first that comes to mind) that probably should've been thought over a bit more. Also, the Twolves could've probably found another way to honor Malik Sealy. Outside of those instances, I don't think the player has to be Hall of Fame worthy to have their number retired.

Mattingly I'm alright with because he spent his entire career with the Yankees and was a dominating player for them as well. Rizzuto I would say is a borderline. I don't think he's a HOFer but again he spent his entire career with the Yanks and he was a good shortstop for a number of years. Elston Howard is in that same borderline category. But Roger Maris and Billy Martin I would definitely say no to.

The worst in baseball I can come up with is Steve Garvey for the Padres. If the Dodgers had retired his number I would have probably protested a little but it wouldn't have been the worst thing in the world. Former MVP and a career .300 hitter for the Dodgers over 14 seasons. Ok. That's not too bad. But the Padres? Just because he hit a big home run in October?

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I'm with pmoehrin on this. You need to be pretty :censored:-ing incredible to have your number retired. He's right, a retired number should be very difficult to earn. I'm all for "rings of honor" etc. but I think retiring a number needs to be reserved for the very elite. Players like Babe Ruth or Willie Mays in baseball. Jim Brown, Walter Payton, maybe Joe Montana in football. Bird, Magic, Jordan, Kareem, Russell, Wilt, in basketball.

One of the many things that bugs me about the Yankees is all of those retired numbers. Billy Martin? Phil Rizzuto? Elston Howard? Don Mattingly? Really? (Granted, Elston Howard was the first black player on the Yankees...in 1955. That's only 8 years after Jackie Robinson. :rolleyes: )

So far, the only player I've seen in this thread that I'd reluctantly agree with is Tom Seaver. And I'd be on the fence with that one.

(I don't know anything about Billy Pierce, but if pmoehrin thinks he deserves it then he probably does.)

I'm not nearly as hard line about criteria for retired numbers simply because it's up to the individual teams, but there are definitely some instances where I think they shouldve thought twice about specific numbers. The Yankees definitely have a couple numbers (Maris is the first that comes to mind) that probably should've been thought over a bit more. Also, the Twolves could've probably found another way to honor Malik Sealy. Outside of those instances, I don't think the player has to be Hall of Fame worthy to have their number retired.

I am definitely OK with reduced standards. Great players that were truly important for a franchise...whatever that means to most franchises. In my opinion that does not even have to mean Hall of Famer.

Looking at the Twins, I am OK with most of it:

  • 3 Killebrew (HOF)
  • 6 Oliva
  • 14 Hrbek
  • 28 Blyleven (HOF)
  • 29 Carew (HOF)
  • 34 Puckett (HOF)

Puckett and Killebrew are no-brainers...maybe neither would make Infrared's criteria, but what they meant to the franchise during their times was immeasurable. Puckett played his entire career with the Twins (yeah, it was short but he really only missed his declining years) and Killebrew had that one year with KC at the end.

To me, Oliva's the next one...he's sort of in that "just missed" HOF group and played his career with the franchise.

You could debate Blyleven and Carew. Both have Twins caps on their plaques and had their best years in Minnesota, but they also did play elsewhere for significant periods, particularly Blyleven, who bounced around. But I am still OK with it.

Hrbek is the one that does not belong. He was a productive player (who should have won multiple gold gloves), but just a shade under that level of greatness. If he'd had the exact same career with any other team, his number would not be retired. He's from Minnesota and he got some hometown treatment.

While we're talking about numbers that should not be retired, these bug me:

  • Seahawks retired #12 for "the 12th man"
  • Wild retired #1 for "the fans".
  • I am sure there are more of these I am missing.

I miss when goalies used to wear #1 more often. And it drives me nuts that the Wild retired #1 right off the bat and there will never be a chance for a goalie to wear one for the team. It's a stupid hollow gesture.

Other things:

  • MLB retiring #42: I am OK with this. Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier was important not just for baseball, but was a big deal for America. I don't know that this was the right approach, but it does not bother me (though every player wearing the number once a year does)
  • NHL retiring #99. No. Just retiring "the best player's" number leaguewide is goofy. Gretzky meant a lot to his sport and he was the greatest of his era (or ever?). But that's what the HOF is for, along with team number retirements.
  • Things like the Wolves retiring Malik Sealey after his death. I am on the fence. Obviously Sealey, a solid player, was not on the road to ever having his number retired by any team. So I guess if up to me, I'd say "no". But given that he died tragically while playing for the team, I cannot think of a tribute that would work as well...Actually, maybe they could have a "Malik Sealey Scholarship" or some kind of "Malik Sealey" award for someone who does exemplary work in drunk driving prevention/education

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I am definitely OK with reduced standards. Great players that were truly important for a franchise...whatever that means to most franchises. In my opinion that does not even have to mean Hall of Famer.

Looking at the Twins, I am OK with most of it:

  • 3 Killebrew (HOF)
  • 6 Oliva
  • 14 Hrbek
  • 28 Blyleven (HOF)
  • 29 Carew (HOF)
  • 34 Puckett (HOF)

Puckett and Killebrew are no-brainers...maybe neither would make Infrared's criteria, but what they meant to the franchise during their times was immeasurable. Puckett played his entire career with the Twins (yeah, it was short but he really only missed his declining years) and Killebrew had that one year with KC at the end.

To me, Oliva's the next one...he's sort of in that "just missed" HOF group and played his career with the franchise.

You could debate Blyleven and Carew. Both have Twins caps on their plaques and had their best years in Minnesota, but they also did play elsewhere for significant periods, particularly Blyleven, who bounced around. But I am still OK with it.

Hrbek is the one that does not belong. He was a productive player (who should have won multiple gold gloves), but just a shade under that level of greatness. If he'd had the exact same career with any other team, his number would not be retired. He's from Minnesota and he got some hometown treatment.

  • MLB retiring #42: I am OK with this. Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier was important not just for baseball, but was a big deal for America.

Based on your criteria, I'm fine with Puckett and Killebrew. In fact, I'd probably be OK with Killebrew based on my own criteria. He was a really great player and he should be more "famous" than he is. The downside of not playing in a big market I suppose.

Where you lose me is with Carew. Using your criteria, I think Carew is as much of a no-brainer as Puckett and Killebrew. More of a no-brainer than Puckett in my opinion. Rod Carew was one of the best hitters of his era.

Hrbek? I can see it from the team's perspective but overall I'd have to say no.

I like that MLB retired the number 42. That one makes perfect sense. Retiring #99? I was a huge Gretzky fan but c'mon.

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Count me as one who has no problem with Gretzky's number being retired league-wide. I think Michael Jordan deserves the same honor.

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Numbers the Yankees should un-retire: #9, #1, #44

Numbers the Yankees should retire: #42, #2, #6, #51, #46, #20

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I really wish the Wild would retire 24 as a tribute to Boogaard, he was a fan favorite and it was tragic how he died.

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It's tough to decide to retire a jersey or not. For me it still is weird to see someone on the Broncos wearing 30 (Davis) or 80 (Smith). Those guys could be retired but obviously won't be. I'd love to see them but their careers aren't on par with Elway. However the one thing that differentiates Rod Smith for me is how he was an undrafted free agent that worked his butt off every single day and was always trying to prove himself. Personally I would retire 80, but I realize it would be fairly unwarranted.

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Count me as one who has no problem with Gretzky's number being retired league-wide. I think Michael Jordan deserves the same honor.

To me that comes off as this was the greatest player in this sport without question. And nobody in any of the major four sports has that on lock.

Jackie is the only guy where I'm ok with because of the big deal they make over Jackie Robinson day, which I'm alright with. By no means the greatest player ever, but from a historical significance perspective he might be.

I'm also not a big fan of retiring numbers because of tragic circumstances associated with the player. Obviously there are some Don Wilson, Malik Sealy, Jerome Brown. But in every case it was purely an emotional decision and I'm not sure you can really give it a proper perspective when your rational is coming from there.

And with the Rod Smith comment I don't think it would be unwarranted at all. 10K+ receiving yards all with the Broncos. I thought a very underrated player who didn't get the proper respect he deserved from the mainstream because he wasn't outspoken. I would say he has a halfway decent argument for the HOF, so certainly if Denver wanted to retire his number I don't see why there should be much protest over it.

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Here are a couple more players/situations where a jersey retirement would be up in the air:

-Ray Allen+??: he's been on so many teams with varying levels of success. He might have won his ring with the Celtics, but given the relatively short time he spent with them, and his recent jump to the Heat, it's possible he might not get his number retired anywhere.

-LeBron James+Cavs: not as long as Gilbert owns the team, despite LeBron owning almost all of the team's major records.

-Vince Carter+Raptors: with the way he left town, I don't know...

-Carmelo/Amare+Nuggets/Suns, respectively: very hard to tell for either

-Dikembe Mutombo+??: I think he played the longest with the Hawks, but they don't seem to care too much, plus he probably had his most memorable moment with the Nuggets. I think he's a borderline Hall of Famer though (it's always hard to quantify defensive contributions as a whole).

-Shaq+Heat: he's a lock with the Lakers, but what about Miami? the Heat don't have much history or criteria (I mean, they retired/honored both Marino and Jordan's numbers), so I think he gets his number retired someday when ticket sales are slow. Though, I think it's a good possibility Haslem gets his # retired someday by the Heat.

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