In case you missed it last week, some guy who had a career batting average of .202 was enshrined in the Hall of Fame. In fairness, Michael Jordan did hit three home runs in that 1994 season with the Birmingham Barons. (Do you remember when he hit his first home run, the local TV crews had already left...so Hard Copy bought the exclusive video of the homer from some dude in the stands? Journalism at its finest. Those were the glory days.)
Prior to Michael Jordan's NBA Hall of Fame induction on Friday, ESPN's Rick Reilly suggested the NBA retire MJ's number 23 league-wide. Similar to what the NHL did with Gretzky's #99, and MLB did with Jackie's #42.
If you ask me (and by clicking on my measly little blog, you were obviously looking for something) I couldn't agree more. In my opinion, when you see a number and you immediately associate it with one, single player - that number is no longer an integer, it's a symbol. Therefore, it's time to keep every OTHER player from having the privilege of wearing it.
(And don't even get me started on other FANS wearing it. I've already addressed that.)
I'm not saying that the following players' numbers should be retired league-wide, but for me, #7 is Craig Biggio, #5 is Jeff Bagwell, #34 is Nolan Ryan, #33 is Larry Bird. Everyone else is just wearing their number. Also, whenever I see someone sporting the number 8, it just looks right - because 8 was my baseball number in both high school and college. I actually wore #22 (which is probably remembered by most for being Emmitt Smith's) all through my youth to be like New Orleans native Will Clark.
How about you? Did you ever fight for a number because your favorite professional player wore it? What are some of the uniform numbers (no matter the sport) that you instantly associate with ONE player? I know, I know...the "authorities" always say it's not safe to give your number out on-line, but we're in the trust tree here. Go ahead...share those digits people!