The Best Players Currently Wearing Each Number From 0 to 99

August 24, 2009 – 9:35 pm by Ryan Phillips


Often times as a blogger you get ideas. Really big ideas that sound like they’d turn into awesome posts. The downside? Then you have to actually do the post. I’ve been sitting on this idea for a bit but executing it turned out to be quite an ordeal.

What follows is a list of the best players to wear each number, from 0 to 99, in all of sports. In  making this list we decided to consider players from the NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, NASCAR and soccer.

Here are the rules:
1. A player has to have actually played professionally to be considered (so no Steven Strasburg, Blake Griffin or Tim Tebow, etc.).
2. We only considered  active players who currently wear the number listed.
3. When choosing between two players, we typically favored the guy who we thought was performing at a higher level at this point in his career.
4. We mostly favor performance over potential.

If you don’t agree with any of our picks, or think we omitted someone, you’re more than welcome to argue with us in the comments section. We welcome a healthy debate over each of the selections and understand that you may not agree with each.

*all stats current as of August 23, 2009

0 – Gilbert Arenas, SG, Washington Wizards
A three-time All-Star and three-time member of an All-NBA team (third team twice, second team once), Agent Zero is easily the best to wear the number that’s not actually a number, it’s a concept.

1 – Amar’e Stoudemire, PF, Phoenix Suns
While he’s struggled since microfracture surgery on his knee in 2005, Stoudemire is still one of the best young post players in the NBA. The 2003 NBA Rookie of the Year and a four-time All-Star is only 26-years-old.
Honorable Mention: Robert Luongo, G, Vancouver Canucks; Iker Casillas, GK, Real Madrid (ESP).

2 – Hanley Ramirez, SS, Florida Marlins
Ramirez edges Jeter because of what he’s done the past two seasons. The 2006 NL Rookie of the Year won a Silver Slugger in 2008 and has been to two straight All-Star games. So far this year he’s hitting an NL-best .361 with 19 home runs and 85 RBI. He’s also leading the NL with 163 hits and 37 doubles.
Honorable Mention: Derek Jeter, SS, New York Yankees
Up and Comer: Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

3 – Dwyane Wade, SG, Miami Heat
D-Wade had a strong comeback in the 2008-09 season, winning his first scoring title and regaining the form that’s gotten him five All-Star selections, one spot on the All-NBA first team (in 2009) and two spots on the NBA All-Defensive team (2005, 2009). Those achievements and his championship ring net him the spot over Chris Paul
Honorable Mention: Chris Paul, PG, New Orleans Hornets
Up and Comer: Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays

4 – Chris Bosh, PF, Toronto Raptors
Four All-Star appearances and a Gold Medal in 2008 get CB4 this spot. His career averages of 19.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per game don’t hurt either. Finished 2008-09 with a career-best 22.7 ppg.
Honorable Mention: Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis Cardinals; Vincent Lecavalier, C, Tampa Bay Lightning

5 – Albert Pujols, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals
The best, most feared hitter in major league baseball, his year-by-year numbers look like stats you’d aim for in a video game. Pujols is an eight-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger winner and a two-time MVP.
Honorable Mention: David Wright, 3B, New York Mets; Kevin Garnett, PF, Boston Celtics; Nicklas Lidstrom, D, Detroit Red Wings

6 – Ryan Howard, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies
The 2006 NL MVP, Howard was the fastest player to 100 and 200 home runs in major league history.
Honorable Mention: Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears

7 – Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
A Pro Bowl selection and two Super Bowl wins before his 27th birthday put Big Ben ahead of the wonder and amazement that is the “Joe Mauer Experience.”
Honorable Mention: Joe Mauer, C, Minnesota Twins; Brandon Roy, SG, Portland Trailblazers; David Villa, F, Valencia (ESP); Franck Ribery, MF, Bayern Munich (GER)
Up and Comer: Ashley Young, MF, Aston Villa (ENG)

8 – Alexander Ovechkin, LW, Washington Capitals
A three-time 50 goal scorer, two time Hart Trophy winner, back-to-back Rocket Richard Trophy winner and basically the best pure goal scorer to enter the NHL in the past two decades. Plus, any guy who does this or this, deserves his spot.
Honorable Mention: Ryan Braun, LF, Milwaukee Brewers; Kaka, MF, Real Madrid (ESP); Steven Gerrard, MF, Liverpool (ENG)

9 – Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
A three-time Pro Bowler, Brees has a career 89.4 QB rating and 26,258 career yards. He’s been a two-time All-Pro and was the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2008. His lack of doucheyness and the fact that his teammates don’t hate him earns him the spot over Cristiano Ronaldo.
Honorable Mention: Cristiano Ronaldo, MF, Real Madrid (ESP); Zlatan Ibrahimovic, F, Barcelona (ESP); Fernando Torres, Liverpool (ENG)

10 – Lionel Messi, F, Barcelona (ESP)
At just 22-years-old the Argentinian Messi is quite simply the most gifted soccer player on the planet.
Honorable Mention: Chipper Jones, 3B, Atlanta Braves; Michael Young, 3B, Texas Rangers; Landon Donovan, F, Los Angeles Galaxy.
Up and Comer: Adam Jones, CF, Baltimore Orioles

11 – Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
The 25-year-old Larry Fitzgerald is already regarded as one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. He’s been a Pro Bowler three times and was a first team All-Pro selection in 2008. He had 96 catches for 1,431 yards and 12 touchdowns last season while leading Arizona to an NFC Championship.
Honorable Mention: Yao Ming, C, Houston Rockets; Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Washington Nationals
Up and Comer: Mesut Ozil, MF, Werder Bremen (GER)

12 – Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
Four Pro Bowls, three Super Bowl titles, two Super Bowl MVPs, SI’s 2005 Sportsman of the Year, the 2007 NFL MVP and a Victoria’s Secret Model for a wife get Brady the nod here.
Honorable Mention: Dwight Howard, C, Orlando Magic; Jerome Iginla, RW, Calgary Flames
Up and Comer: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

13 – Alex Rodriguez, 3B, New York Yankees
He’s a cheater, and I hate cheaters. But even without steroids A-Rod probably would have been one of the best baseball players of his generation. He’s got 12 All-Star selections, 10 Silver Sluggers, four Hank Aaron Awards, three MVPs, two Gold Gloves and 575 career home runs.
Honorable Mention: Pavel Datsyuk, C, Detroit Red Wings; Kurt Warner, QB, Arizona Cardinals; Maicon, D, Inter Milan (ITA)

14 – Tony Stewart, NASCAR
Two-time NASCAR champion with 36 career wins and 225 top 10 finishes.
Honorable Mention: Martin Havlat, RW, Minnesota Wild; Paul Konerko, 1B, Chicago White Sox; Thierry Henry, F, Barcelona

15 – Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Boston Red Sox
The 25-year-old Pedroia was the 2007 AL Rookie of the Year, has been a two-time All-Star, won a World Series in 2007 and was the 2008 AL MVP while winning a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove.
Honorable Mention: Ryan Getzlaf, C, Anaheim Ducks; Dan Haren, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks; Dany Heatley, LW, Ottawa Senators; Carmelo Anthony, SF, Denver Nuggets

16 – Pau Gasol, PF/C, Los Angeles Lakers
Gasol is arguably the most skilled 7-footer in the history of the NBA. His performance during the 2008-09 season and his play in the 2009 playoffs further solidified his spot as one of the elite post players in all of basketball.
Honorable Mention: Brian McCann, C, Atlanta Braves; Daniele De Rossi, MF, Roma (ITA)

17 – Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers
Rivers was statistically the NFL’s best quarterback in 2008. He led the league with 34 touchdowns, a 105.5 Passer Rating and a league best 8.4 yards per attempt. He also threw for a career-high 4,009 yards. He went to the Pro Bowl in 2006 and was robbed of a spot in 2008. He also just inked a gigantic six-year, $92 million extension to stay in San Diego.

18 – Peyton Maning, QB, Indianapolis Colts
Probably no explanation needed here. Nine Pro Bowls, seven selections to either the first or second team All-Pro, three MVPs and a Super Bowl title. Not to mention the fact that he’ll probably break every meaningful record for quarterbacks eventually.
Honorable Mention: Gareth Barry, MF, Manchester City (ENG)

19 – Josh Beckett, SP, Boston Red Sox
Two-time All-Star, two-time World Series Champion, 2003 World Series MVP, 2007 ALCS MVP. Beckett has career marks of 103-67 with a 3.76 ERA and 1,276 strikeouts. This season may end up being his best yet. He’s 14-5 with a 3.65 ERA so far. He’s also one of the best postseason pitchers in baseball.
Honorable Mention: Jonathan Toews, C, Chicago Blackhawks
Up and Comer: Karim Benzema, F, Real Madrid

20 – Ed Reed, S, Baltimore Ravens
Five-time Pro Bowler and a five-time All-Pro selection, Reed was also the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2004. He also led the NFL in interceptions in both 2004 and 2008.
Honorable Mention: Kevin Youkilis, 1B/3B/LF, Boston Red Sox; Brian Dawkins, S, Denver Broncos
Up and Comer: Steve Slaton, RB, Houston Texans

21 – LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, San Diego Chargers
Tomlinson was arguably the NFL’s best player until an injury riddled 2008 dropped his numbers down to 1,110 yards and just 11 touchdowns. In 2006 and 2007 Tomlinson won NFL rushing titles. With a 1,000-yard season in 2009 LT could move all the way up to seventh on the all-time rushing list. He could retire as this generation’s best running back. He barely gets the nod over Tim Duncan. This one could have gone either way.
Honorable Mention: Tim Duncan, PF, San Antonio Spurs; Nnamdi Asomugha, CB, Oakland Raiders; Bob Sanders, S, Indianapolis Colts

22 – Asante Samuel, CB, Philadelphia Eagles
One of the NFL’s top cover corners, Samuel is a two-time Super Bowl champion, a two-time Pro Bowler and a 2007 All-Pro selection.
Honorable Mention: Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears; Jussi Jaaskelainen, GK, Bolton (ENG)
Up and Comer: Andrew McCutchen, CF, Pittsburgh Pirates

23 – LeBron James, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers
Do I really need to explain this one?
Honorable Mention: Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, San Diego Padres
Up and Comer: Grafite, F, Wolfsburg (GER)

24 – Kobe Bryant, SG, Los Angeles Lakers
Again, do we really need an explanation?
Honorable Mention: Jeff Gordon, NASCAR; Champ Bailey, CB, Denver Broncos; Adrian Wilson, S, Arizona Cardinals; Tim Howard, GK, Everton (ENG)

25 – Mark Teixeira, 1B, New York Yankees
This season (.288, 31 home runs, 93 RBI) has solidified Teixeira as one of the top hitters in all of baseball. He’s been an All-Star twice, has won two Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers.
Honorable Mention: Pepe Reina, GK, Liverpool (ENG)

26 – Chase Utley, 2B, Philadelpha Phillies
A four-time All-Star selection (2006-09), three-time Silver Slugger (2006-08) and a World Series championship in 2008, Utley is arguably the top all around second baseman in baseball.
Honorable Mention: Antoine Winfield, CB, Minnesota Vikings; Clinton Portis, RB, Washington Redskins; John Terry, D, Chelsea (ENG)

27 – Scott Niedermayer, D, Anaheim Ducks*
The public has spoken and Niedermayer is their man at this spot. Frankly, they’re right. Aside from winning titles at the Olympics (2002), World Championships (2004), World Cupof Hockey (2004) and World Junior Championships, Scott has won four Stanley Cups. He’s the only player to take home every major North American and international championship in his career. He’s also won a Conn Smythe Trophy, a James Norris Trophy and been a six-time All-Star.
Honorable Mention: Matt Kemp, CF, Los Angeles Dodgers; Brandon Jacobs, RB, New York Giants; Alexei Kovalev, RW, Ottawa Senators
*changed due to public outcry

28 – Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings
The guy’s nickname is “Purple Jesus,” that’s enough for us.
Honorable Mention: Prince Fielder, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers; Diego, MF, Juventus (ITA)
Up and Comer: Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans

29 – Raul Ibanez, RF, Philadelphia Phillies
Ibanez has developed into one of the most reliable bats in baseball. Since 2005 he’s had 169 doubles, 124 home runs and 505 RBI while hitting .288.
Honorable Mention: Chris Carpenter, SP, St. Louis Cardinals

30 – Martin Brodeur, G, New Jersey Devils
Brodeur is a 10-time All-Star, three-time Stanley Cup champion, four-time Vezina Trophy winner (2003, 04, 07, 08) and has the most regular season wins all-time (557).
Honorable Mention: David West, PF, New Orleans Hornets; Theodore Roosevelt Lilly, SP, Chicago Cubs

31 – Al Harris, CB, Green Bay Packers
Harris has long been one of the best cover corners in the NFL. He’s a two-time Pro Bowl selection (2007, 08) and was a 2007 All-Pro pick as well.
Honorable Mention: Jason Terry, PG/SG, Dallas Mavericks; Antonio Cromartie, CB, San Diego Chargers

32 – Roy Halladay, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
Most dominant, most consistent starter in Major League Baseball.
Honorable Mention: Josh Hamilton, OF, Texas Rangers; Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

33 – Justin Morneau, 1B, Minnesota Twins
Though often overshadowed by Joe Mauer, Morneau is an incredible hitter in his own right. A three-time All-Star (2007, 08, 09) and two-time Silver Slugger winner (2006, 08), he was also the 2006 AL MVP. He’s currently the AL leader in RBI with 94 this season.
Honorable Mention: Zdeno Chara, D, Boston Bruins; Michael Turner, RB, Atlanta Falcons

34 – DeAngelo Williams, RB, Carolina Panthers
This 2008 Pro Bowler set the Panthers’ single season rushing record last season with 1,515 yards and added 18 rushing touchdowns and two more receiving.
Honorable Mention: Felix Hernandez, SP, Seattle Mariners; Cliff Lee, SP, Philadelphia Phillies
Up and Comer: Kevin Smith, RB, Detroit Lions

35 – Justin Verlander, P, Detroit Tigers
After a down year last season, Verlander is back to being dominant. He leads the AL in strikeouts this season with 204, and has a 13-7 record with a 3.29 ERA. From 2006-07 he combined to go 35-15 while striking out 307. He’s a two-time All-Star (2007, 09).
Honorable Mention: Jean-Sebastian Giguere, G, Anaheim Ducks

36 – Brian Westbrook, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Westbrook is probably the most versatile running back in the NFL right now. He has career totals of 5,721 rushing yards and 3,609 receiving yards. He’s averaged 4.6 yards per carry during his career and has 64 career touchdowns. He’s a two-time Pro Bowler and was an All-Pro pick in 2007.
Honorable Mention: Joe Nathan, CP, Minnesota Twins

37 – Ron Artest, SF, Los Angeles Lakers
The 2004 NBA Defensive Player of the Year has rounded out his game over the past few seasons. He’s a four-time member of the NBA’s All-Defensive Team and we have a feeling his marriage with Kobe in LA will either be spectacular or a spectacular failure. Either way it’ll be fun to watch.
Honorable Mention: Mike Adams, RP, San Diego Padres

38 – Carlos Zambrano, SP, Chicago Cubs
The “Big Z” is a three-time All-Star, has two Silver Sluggers and a career 103-65 record

39 –  Nicolas Anelka, F, Chelsea (ENG)
Last year’s goal scoring leader in the English Premier League.
Honorable Mention: Steven Jackson, RB, St. Louis Rams; Rafael Soriano, RP/CP, Atlanta Braves

40 – Henrik Zetterberg, C, Detroit Red Wings
The Swedish alternate captain of the Red Wings won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2008 for his work in Detroit’s run to another Stanley Cup title. He was also named TSN’s NHL Player of the Year in 2008 as well.
Honorable Mention:  Brian Fuentes, CP, Los Angeles Angels
Up and Comer: Andrew Bailey, CP, Oakland A’s

41 – Dirk Nowitzki, PF, Dallas Mavericks
Dirk is an eight-time NBA All-Star and a four-time first team All-NBA pick (he’s also been picked second team All-NBA three times and third team twice). He was also the 2007 NBA MVP.

42 – Mariano Rivera, CP, New York Yankees
This 10-time All-Star has won four World Series titles and is second on the all-time saves list.
Honorable Mention: Juan Pablo Montoya, NASCAR

43 – Troy Polamalu, S, Pittsburgh Steelers
The linchpin at the back of the Steelers’ defense, Polamalu has helped the Steelers to two Super Bowl titles. He’s also been first team All-Pro twice and second team once. Add in five Pro Bowl appearances and you’ve got one of the best players in the NFL.
Up and Comer: Darren Sproles, RB, San Diego Chargers

44 – Adam Dunn, 1B/OF, Washington Nationals
Say what you want about Dunn’s strikeouts and fielding ability, but the guy can flat out mash. Since his first full season in 2002, “The Big Donkey” has averaged 39 home runs and 97 RBI per year. He’s got 33 home runs, 89 RBI and an NL-leading 94 walks so far this season on an awful Nationals team. Despite Washington’s struggles, Dunn is well on his way to a sixth consecutive 40 home run season.
Honorable Mention: Dallas Clark, TE, Indianapolis Colts; Jason Bay, LF, Boston Red Sox

45 – Carlos Lee, LF, Houston Astros
Options were surprisingly thin at this number, but luckily Lee fits the bill. The three-time All-Star has won two Silver Sluggers and has averaged around 30 home runs and 100 RBI for his career, despite some injury shortened seasons. He also has a career .292 average to go along with an .850 OPS.

46 – Paris Lenon, LB, New England Patriots
This is one of the biggest holes on this list, luckily Lenon had a great 2008 and can fill the spot nicely. The seven-year veteran (and former XFL player) was a starter the last two seasons for the Lions and led Detroit in tackles last year with 121. That earned him a chance to move on up in the world, inking a one-year deal with the Patriots this offseason.
Honorable Mention: Jacoby Ellsbury, CF,  Boston Red Sox; Andy Pettitte, SP, New York Yankees

47 – Chris Cooley, TE/FB, Washington Redskins
Cooley isn’t just a blogger apparently. Not to go all Merril Hoge on you, but he’s a heck of a football player. Cooley is a two-time Pro Bowler and was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2006, as well as an All-Pro pick in 2005.

48 – Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR
Johnson has won three consecutive NASCAR championships, won the Daytona 500 in 2006 and is a three-time winner of the Brickyard 400. He also has 43 career wins and 110 top five finishes in eight seasons on the NASCAR circuit.
Honorable Mention: Torii Hunter, CF, Los Angeles Angels

49 – Tim Wakefield, SP, Boston Red Sox
Old reliable has been at it again this year, as he’s topped 10 wins for the 11th time and earned his first trip to an All-Star Game. At 42-years-old, he became the second oldest first time All-Star. He’s been a two-time World Series champion, and currently ranks third in all-time wins in a Red Sox uniform (175) behind Roger Clemens and Cy Young (who are tied at 192). This year Wakefield is 11-3 and is ready to come off the disabled list after being inactive since July 8.
Honorable Mention: Jair Jurrjens, SP, Atlanta Braves

50 – Ernie Sims, LB, Detroit Lions
Sims is an undersized linebacker who has been extremely productive during his first three NFL seasons. He’s played in all 48 games of his career and has averaged 124 tackles per season. Sims looks like the second-coming of Derrick Brooks and if he wasn’t on such an epically bad team we think he’d be talked about as one of the best linebackers in the NFL.
Honorable Mention: Eric Barton, LB, Cleveland Browns, David Thornton, LB, Tennessee Titans

51 – Ichiro Suzuki, RF, Seattle Mariners
At 35 Ichiro is still one of the best hitters in baseball. He’s been an All-Star in each of his nine seasons in Major League Baseball, he’s won eight gold gloves, two batting titles, was the 2001 AL MVP and Rookie of the Year, and set the single-season major league record for hits with 262 in 2004. He also carries a .333 career batting average, has led the AL in hits five times and is in position to make it six this season as he currently leads the league with 184.
Honorable Mention: James Farrior, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers; Trevor Hoffman, CP, Milwaukee Brewers; Barrett Ruud, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

52 – Ray Lewis, LB, Baltimore Ravens
Lewis, like Ichiro, has shown few signs of age. The 34-year-old can still bring it. He’s a 10-time Pro Bowler, was selected first team All-Pro six times and second team twice, while earning Defensive Player of the Year honors twice as well. You’ll find few who argue  against him being the best linebacker of his generation.
Honorable Mention: Jon Beason, LB, Carolina Panthers; D’Qwell Jackson, LB, Cleveland Browns
Up and Comer: Patrick Willis, LB, San Francisco 49ers

53 – Keith Bulluck, LB, Tennessee Titans
The word for Bulluck is solid, not spectacular. The guy isn’t flashy, he just gets the job done. He’s a two-time AP All-Pro pick (2002-03) and made Sports Illustrated’s All-Pro team once (2004). His 98 tackles led the No. 7 ranked Titans defense in 2008.
Honorable Mention: Thomas Howard, LB, Oakland Raiders

54 – Brian Urlacher, LB, Chicago Bears
While his skills have slowly diminished, no one wearing 54 is as good as Urlacher. The six-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro was also the AP’s pick for Defensive Player of the Year in 2005. In 2008 he had 93 tackles and 10 tackles for loss.

55 – Tim Lincecum, SP, San Francisco Giants
Despite his ridiculous hair and girly tattoo, Tim Lincecum has become one of baseball’s most dominant starters. In just his third season Lincecum has already been a two-time All-Star and the 2008 NL Cy Young winner. This year he’s making a case to repeat, as he currently has a 12-4 record with a 2.43 ERA, while leading the NL with four complete games, two shutouts, 185.1 innings and 214 strikeouts.
Honorable Mention: Joey Porter, LB, Miami Dolphins; Lance Briggs, LB, Chicago Bears

56 – Shawne Merriman, LB, San Diego Chargers
Before missing all but one game of the 2008 season, no player in the NFL was more feared than Merriman. He was a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro pick in each of his first three seasons (his fourth would have been 2008). And in 33 career games he’s racked up 39.5 sacks.
Honorable Mention: Mark Buehrle, SP, Chicago White Sox
Up and Comer: LaMarr Woodley, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers

57 –  Johan Santana, SP, New York Mets
This one was easy. A four-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young Award winner, Santana has been one of the few bright spots for the Mets over the past two seasons. He also won a Gold Glove in 2007 and the pitching Triple Crown in 2006. Last year he led the NL in ERA (2.53), games started (34) and innings pitched (234.1) while going 16-7.
Honorable Mention: Olin Kreutz, C, Chicago Bears, Dhani Jones, LB, Cincinnati Bengals

58 – Jonathan Papelbon, CP, Boston Red Sox
While he still hasn’t allowed a run in the postseason (in 25 innings), Papelbon is pretty darn good during the regular season as well. He’s been a four-time All-Star, won a World Series and in four years as a closer has racked up 142 saves against 18 blown, with a career 1.88 ERA.
Honorable Mention: Karlos Dansby, LB, Arizona Cardinals; Thomas Davis, LB, Carolina Panthers

59 – DeMeco Ryans, LB, Houston Texans
Ryans burst onto the scene in 2006 and was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He followed that up by making the Pro Bowl and getting picked for the All-Pro team in 2007. His production slipped a little in 2008 but he still racked up 112 tackles to lead the Texans.
Honorable Mention: Julian Peterson, LB, Detroit Lions, London Fletcher, LB, Washington Redskins

60 – Shaun O’Hara, C, New York Giants
O’Hara has emerged as one of the best centers in the NFL. He earned his first Pro Bowl nod in 2008 and helped the Giants win Super Bowl XLII. The 32-year old has been remarkably consistent, starting 63 of his last possible 64 games.
Honorable Mention: Jason Brown, C, St. Louis Rams

61 – Rick Nash, LW, Columbus Blue Jackets
A four-time All-Star Rick Nash is one of the most skilled wingers in the NHL. In 441 career games  Nash has scored 194 goals and put up 355 points. He had his best season in 2008-09, finishing with 40 goals and 79 points.
Honorable Mention: Casey Rabach, C, Washington Redskins

62 – Joba Chamberlain, SP, New York Yankees
Chamberlain has shown excellent ability as he’s transitioned to a starting role. So far this season he’s 8-3 with 109 strikeouts in 126.2 innings pitched. His ability and how his future projects earns him this spot over the always-solid Hartwig.
Honorable Mention: Justin Hartwig, C, Pittsburgh Steelers

63 – Jeff Saturday, C, Indianapolis Colts
Without Saturday, Peyton Manning’s career could have been very different. The rock of the Indianapolis offensive line has been a three-time Pro Bowler, two-time first team All-Pro (2005, 2007) and one-time second team All-Pro (2006). He went undrafted in 1999 (a year after Manning went No. 1 overall) and the two have been together ever since.
Honorable Mention: Roberto Garza, G, Chicago Bears

64 – Jake Grove, C, Miami Dolphins
This is easily the thinnest number in all of pro sports. Grove is nothing more than a very consistent center. Now in his first season with the Dolphins, he’ll lead a young line trying to get better. When healthy he can be one of the top five or six centers in the NFL, but injuries have plagued him almost constantly.
Honorable Mention: Samson Satele, C, Oakland Raiders

65 – Andre Gurode, C, Dallas Cowboys
A three-time Pro Bowler and an All-Pro pick in 2007, Gurode just kills it at the center of the Cowboys line.
Honorable Mention: Eric Steinbach, G, Cleveland Browns; Jeremy Trueblood, T, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

66 – Alan Faneca, G, New York Jets
One of the best linemen in the NFL, Faneca is an eight-time Pro Bowler, a five-time first team All-Pro pick and a three-time second teamer.
Honorable Mention: Ben Grubbs, G, Baltimore Ravens; David Diehl, G, New York Giants

67 – Dan Koppen, C, New England Patriots
Koppen is rated by scouts inc. as one of the top three centers in the NFL. In 2007 he went to the Pro Bowl and was second team All-Pro. He’s also been a part of two Super Bowl wins in New England.
Honorable Mention: Jamaal Jackson, C, Philadelphia Eagles

68 – Kris Dielman, G, San Diego Chargers
Scouts inc. has Dielman listed as the fourth-best guard in the NFL but that ranking might be low. He’s a two-time Pro Bowler and was a second team All-Pro pick in 2008.
Honorable Mention: Kevin Mawae, C, Tennessee Titans

69 – Jordan Gross, OT, Carolina Panthers
The No. 8 pick of the 2003 NFL Draft has blossomed into a stout tackle. In 2008 he was a first team All-Pro pick and made his first Pro Bowl appearance.
Honorable Mention: Chester Pitts, G, Houston Texans; Jared Allen, DE, Minnesota Vikings

70 – Leonard Davis, G, Dallas Cowboys
Though drafted No. 2 pick in 2001 as a tackle, Davis has become a dominant guard. In his two seasons with the Cowboys he’s been an All-Pro pick (2007) and a two-time Pro Bowler.
Honorable Mention: Jammal Brown, OT, New Orleans Saints

71 – Evgeni Malkin, C, Pittsburgh Penguins
The No. 2 pick in the 2004 NHL Draft has become one of the league’s most dangerous players. In 242 games over three seasons he’s raked up 304 points (115 G, 189 A). He’s been a two-time All-Star starter, and a two-time member of the NHL’s First All-Star Team. At just 23-years-old he won the Conn Smythe Trophy after leading the Penguins to the 2009 Stanley Cup. He also led the NHL in points (with 113) for the 2008-09 season earning him the Art Ross Trophy. Walter Jones may be the best offensive tackle in football, so the fact that Malkin displaces him on this list should tell you how good he is.
Honorable Mention: Walter Jones, OT, Seattle Seahawks; Jason Peters, OT, Philadelphia Eagles

72 – Osi Umenyiora, DE, New York Giants
Before having his entire 2008 season wiped out because of injury, Osi was developing into one of the best ends in the NFL. He has been a two-time Pro Bowler and was an All-Pro in 2005.

73 – Joe Thomas, OT, Cleveland Browns
In just two seasons, Thomas has already established himself as a rock on the left side of the Browns line. He has started all 32 games of his young career and has been a Pro Bowler in each of his first two seasons.

74 – Nick Mangold, C, New York Jets
The former Ohio State Buckeye was a Pro Bowler in 2008 and rates as a top three center according to Scouts Inc.
Honorable Mention: Julio Cruz, F, Lazio (ITA)

75 – Francisco Rodriguez, CP, New York Mets
Since appearing on the scene in 2002, K-Rod has been one of the best relief pitchers in baseball. He helped the Anaheim Angels to a World Series title as a rookie in 2002, has been a four-time All-Star, three-time AL Saves champion, and a two-time Rolaids Relief Man of the Year. In 2008 he set the record for most saves in a season with 62 (in 69 chances). He parlayed that into a three-year, $37 million contract with the Mets. He currently has 235 career saves, and was the youngest player to reach the 100 and 200 save plateaus.
Honorable Mention: Davin Joseph, G, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

76 – Steve Hutchinson, G, Minnesota Vikings
This six-time Pro Bowler and five-time first team All-Pro (and one-time second teamer) has been nothing short of nasty since arriving in the NFL via Michigan in 2001. At 31-years-old he is often considered the best offensive lineman in all of football.
Honorable Mention: Flozell Adams, OT, Dallas Cowboys; Chris Snee, G, New York Giants; Jamal Williams, DT, San Diego Chargers

77 – Jake Long, OT, Miami Dolphins
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft made an immediate impact with the Dolphins. He started all 16 games in 2008, was named to Pro Football Weekly’s All-Rookie Team and went to the Pro Bowl. Scouts Inc. already grades Long out as one of the 10 best tackles in the NFL.
Honorable Mention: Kris Jenkins, DT, New York Jets

78 – Ryan Clady, OT, Denver Broncos
The 6’6, 325-pound Clady was the No. 12 pick of the 2008 NFL Draft. He was good enough in his first season to warrant a selection to the AP’s NFL All-Pro second team. He started all 16 games for the Broncos and currently grades out as the eighth-best tackle in the NFL according to Scouts Inc.
Honorable Mention: Max Starks, OT, Pittsburgh Steelers

79 – Andrei Markov, D, Montreal Canadiens
Markov was the second-leading scorer among defensemen in the NHL for the 2008-09 season, with 64 points (12 goals, 52 assists). His 16 goals and 42 assists, plus his solid play on the defensive end, earned him starting spot in the 2007-08 All-Star Game, a feat he repeated during the 2008-09 season.

80 – Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans
There might be better receivers in the NFL, but it’s tough to argue that anyone is as physically gifted as Andre Johnson. The 28-year-old Miami product has made three Pr o Bowls and two All-Pro teams in his six year career. He had 103 receptions for 1,147 yards and five touchdowns in 2006 and 115 catches for 1,575 yards and eight touchdowns in 2008. In his 86 career games Johnson has 486 receptions for 6,379 yards and 33 touchdowns.
Honorable Mention: Ronaldinho, MF, AC Milan (ITA)

81 – Randy Moss, WR, New England Patriots
There are a ton of great wideouts who wear No. 81, but Randy Moss has produced on a level that surpasses almost every receiver of his era, especially considering the constant double-teams he faces. Moss is a six-time Pro Bowler, a four-time All-Pro selection and was the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1998. He’s led the NFL in touchdown receptions four times, including 2007, when he had a record-setting 23. At just 31 he’s reeled in 843 receptions which puts him 15th on the all-time list. His 13,201 receiving yards are good enough for ninth all-time and his 135 receiving touchdowns have him third all-time.
Honorable Mention: Terrell Owens, WR, Buffalo Bills, Anquan Boldin, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Up and Comer: Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions

82 – Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys
There are few things in life you can count on with absolute certainty, Jason Witten is one of them. The six years of his NFL career have been nearly perfect for a tight end. He’s a five-time Pro Bowler, and a two-time All-Pro pick. He’s snagged 429 catches for 4,935 yards and 25 touchdowns in his career and he’s only 27. He currently has the second-most receptions for any active tight end (behind Tony Gonzalez).
Honorable Mention: Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

83 – Wes Welker, WR, New England Patriots
Welker came out of nowhere for a 67-catch season in 2006, before heading to New England in 2007. Once a Patriot, Welker took off. He snagged a league-leading 112 catches for 1,175 yards and eight touchdowns in 2007 and added a 111-catch, 1,165-yard season in 2008. He was a Pro Bowler in 2008 and is a two-time All-Pro pick. Not bad for a guy who was an undrafted free agent out of Texas Tech.
Up and Comer: Vincent Jackson, WR, San Diego Chargers

84 – T.J. Houshmanzadeh, WR, Seattle Seahawks
For years T.J. was “the other receiver” in Cincinnati, but in 2006 he started to step out of Chad Johnson’s shadow. In ’07 he had 90 receptions for 1,081 yards and nine touchdowns. He followed that up with a league-high 112 receptions in 2008, for 1,143 yards and 12 touchdowns. In 2009, his production slipped a bit with Carson Palmer on the disabled list but he still had 92 catches for 904 yards. Now as the No. 1 receiver in Seattle he should continue to produce.

85 – Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers
Gates is, quite simply, the best tight end in football. In his six-year career, he’s been to the Pro Bowl five times. He’s also been a first team All-Pro selection three times. Since 2004 only Marvin Harrison, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens have caught more touchdown passes than Gates. He also holds the single season touchdown reception record for tight ends with 13.
Honorable Mention: Chad Johnson Ochocinco, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

86 – Hines Ward, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Ward is always referred to as one of the toughest players in the NFL, but he doesn’t often get credit for being a phenomenal receiver as well. A four-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro pick, Ward was the MVP of Super Bowl XL, the Steelers MVP in 2003 and co-MVP in 2002 and 2005. He’s also Pittsburgh’s career leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. Entering the 2009 season, Ward’s 800 career receptions put him 22nd on the all-time list and he’s only 32-years-old.
Honorable Mention: Todd Heap, TE, Baltimore Ravens

87 – Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh Penguins
In just four NHL seasons, Crosby has established himself as one of the top three players in the league. He’s gone to three All-Star games, in 2007 he won the Art Ross Trophy, the Hart Memorial Trophy, the Lester B. Pearson Award and in 2008-09 he took the Penguins to a Stanley Cup title. In 290 career games he has 397 points (132 goals, 265 assists). Oh yeah, he’s also just 22-years-old.
Honorable Mention: Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts

88 – Tony Gonzalez, TE, Atlanta Falcons
Though he’s certainly on the downside of his career, this was an easy pick. Gonzalez is a 10-time Pro Bowler, a six-time first team All-Pro pick and a three-time second teamer. He holds the career tight end records for receptions (916), receiving yards (10,940) and touchdowns (76). He’s also currently ninth on the all-time receptions list for all players.
Up and Comer: Patrick Kane, RW, Chicago Blackhawks

89 – Steve Smith, WR, Carolina Panthers
Despite his small frame (5’9, 185) Smith is a big-time playmaker. He’s a four-time Pro Bowler, a two-time All-Pro and he’s a prolific pass catcher. He led the NFL with 103 receptions, 1,563 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2005, and has also had seasons of 88 (2003), 83 (2006), 87 (2007) and 78 (2008) catches.
Honorable Mention: Antonio Bryant, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

90 – Mario Williams, DE, Houston Texans
Sure, we laughed when the Texans selected Williams over Reggie Bush back in 2006, but we’re willing to admit that mockery looks pretty bad in hindsight. After a tough first season Williams has settled in. He was second team All-Pro in 2007 and in 2008 was a first teamer and made the Pro Bowl. Despite near constant double teams, he racked up 14 sacks in 2007 and added 12 in 2008. Williams is rocketing up the charts as one of the best defensive ends in football at just 24-years-old. Thanks to his youth, he barely edges Peppers for this spot.
Honorable Mention: Julius Peppers, DE Carolina Panthers

91 – Tommie Harris, DT, Chicago Bears
Harris is one of the most active, difficult to block linemen in the NFL. A three-time Pro Bowler and 2005 All-Pro pick, he’s often played with nagging injuries that have made him less effective that he really is. He may have the quickest first-step and strongest hands of any interior lineman in football. Scouts Inc. grades him out as the sixth best defensive tackle in the NFL.
Honorable Mention: Marc Savard, C, Boston Bruins

92 – Albert Haynesworth, DT, Washington Redskins
While we’re not totally convinced he’s worth seven-years and $100 million, one thing is for sure: At 6’6, 350 Haynesworth is an absolute monster. Though he developed a bit slowly, he’s one of the most dominant players in the NFL as he enters his eighth year. He’s made the Pro Bowl and been selected to All-Pro teams in each of the past two seasons. Scouts Inc. rates him as the best defensive tackle in the league and has him in a seven-way tie for the second best overall rating in football at 93.
Honorable Mention: James Harrison, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers; Haloti Ngata, DT, Baltimore Ravens

93 – Dwight Freeney, DE, Indianapolis Colts
This four-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro pick was also the 2005 AFC Defensive Player of the Year. He’s the Colts all-time leader in sacks (70.5), helped lead them to a Super Bowl title in 2004 and led the NFL with 16 sacks in 2004. After a down year in 2006, he missed nearly half the 2007 season but bounced back in 2008 with 10.5 sacks and another Pro Bowl appearance.
Honorable Mention: Kevin Williams, DT, Minnesota Vikings, Richard Seymour, DE, New England Patriots

94 – DeMarcus Ware, LB, Dallas Cowboys
In four short years in the NFL, Ware has become a terror and one of the best players in the league. In fact, Scouts Inc. grades him out at a 94, tied with Tom Brady as the top-rated player in the NFL. Ware is a three-time Pro Bowler, a two-time first team All-Pro pick and has been a second teamer once. He won the 2008 NFL Butkus Award after racking up a league-high 20 sacks. His sack numbers have improved each year in the league, from 8.0 as a rookie, to 11.5, 14.0 and finally 20.0 last year.
Honorable Mention: Pat Williams, DT, Minnesota Vikings

95 – Shaun Phillips, LB, San Diego Chargers
I’m shocked there aren’t more good players who wear No. 95. Phillips formed one of the better outside rushing pairs in 2006 and 2007 with Shawne Merriman. Despite missing two games in 2006, he tallied 11.5 sacks and was a second-alternate for the Pro Bowl. He followed that with 8.5 sacks in 2007 and without Merriman last year he still got to the quarterback 7.5 times. There’s no reason his numbers shouldn’t jump back up in 2009, with the addition of a healthy Merriman and first round pick Larry English.
Honorable Mention: Kamerion Wimbley, LB, Cleveland Browns

96 – Adalius Thomas, LB, New England Patriots
Again, shocked there aren’t more guys wearing 96. Thomas fits the bill here though. A two-time Pro Bowler and an All-Pro pick in 2006, he was also part of the Ravens team that won Super Bowl XXXV. Injuries derailed his second season with the Patriots in 2008, but he has 50 career sacks and his 78 tackles during his first year in New England helped them to an undefeated regular season. He should be back healthy and a factor for the Pats once again in 2009.

97 – Patrick Kerney, DE, Seattle Seahawks
Kerney is a two-time Pro Bowler and has been picked to the first and second All-Pro teams once each. He was the 2007 NFC Defensive Player of the Year after racking up 14.5 sacks and five forced fumbles during his first season in Seattle. In 144 career games Kerney has 77.5 sacks and 16 forced fumbles. He was injured for most of 2006 and 2008 but should be back healthy in 2009.
Honorable Mention: Calvin Pace, LB, New York Jets

98 – Casey Hampton, DT, Pittsburgh Steelers
Hampton has been one of the best interior linemen in the NFL during his eight year career. He’s been a four-time Pro Bowler and a two-time Super Bowl champion (XL, XLIII). Scouts Inc. grades him out as an 87, which makes him the fifth-best defensive tackle in football.
Honorable Mention: Robert Mathis, DE, Indianapolis Colts

99 – Carl Edwards, NASCAR
You’d think 99 would be a loaded number but other than a tw0-time cheater, there aren’t many big names here. Edwards gets the nod for his 16 career wins, 61 top fives and 96 top 10s. He also finished second in the 2008 Nextel Cup standings and had nine wins on the season. He won the Busch Series in 2007 and finished second in 2008. He’s currently in fifth place in the 2009 Nextel Cup Standings.
Honorable Mention: Antonio Cassano, F, Sampdoria (ITA); Jason Taylor, DE, Miami Dolphins
Dishonorable Mention: Manny Ramirez, LF, Los Angeles Dodgers

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  1. 106 Responses to “The Best Players Currently Wearing Each Number From 0 to 99”

  2. Haha I love this list…awesome player, awesome player, Paris Lenon, awesome player. Nice job!

    By Tim on Aug 24, 2009

  3. Not even an honarable mention for Jason Taylor at 99? Active all-time sacks leader, isn’t he?

    By Rupert on Aug 25, 2009

  4. Props on Joe Thomas – I knew LBJ would get the nod, but scanned just to make sure that JT was front and center for No. 73.

    Then again, there may not be many others given the lack of honorable mention.

    Good stuff, guys.

    By Scott @ WFNY on Aug 25, 2009

  5. Two things, Dany Heathly wears #15 and no Jared Allen at #69? Come On Man!

    By Travis on Aug 25, 2009

  6. worst. list. ever.

    No MJ? Really?!

    By chris on Aug 25, 2009

  7. Lots of Philadelphia love on this list, not that I mind. I definitely think Ibanez has cooled off since the break, and I was surprised that McNabb was missing.

    By Chris on Aug 25, 2009

  8. What team does MJ play for now?

    By Chris on Aug 25, 2009

  9. Nicklas Lidstrom doesn’t even rate an honorable mention wearing no. 5?

    By Alex on Aug 25, 2009

  10. Seriously…

    You need to explain number 23…

    How can you leave out the greatest basketball player of all time? I guess 6 rings are easy to forget…compared to, ZERO!


    By WTFisThisShit on Aug 25, 2009

  11. Touche, sir. Touche. I swear I didn’t see “Currently”.

    By WTFisThisShit on Aug 25, 2009

  12. Dude, read the rules. ACTIVE PLAYERS. MJ unretires, he can be on the list again.

    By McD on Aug 25, 2009

  13. #15 Nemanja Vidic of Manchester United. Barclays Premier Player of the year and one of the D in the world

    By Kyle on Aug 25, 2009

  14. Thanks for the fix on Heatley, for some reason the site I looked him up on had him at #51. And Jason Taylor was definitely an oversight. He’s been added as an Honorable Mention to for #99. I still think Carl Edwards takes it at that number but it’s certainly close.

    By Phillips on Aug 25, 2009

  15. where’s shaq?

    By DMike on Aug 25, 2009

  16. #15 – Carmelo Anthony. Not even an honorable mention?

    By CB on Aug 25, 2009

  17. I believe you like the chargers too much….they aren’t that good to have so many ppl on here….you should revise it

    By paul on Aug 25, 2009

  18. CB,
    Carmelo was considered, and on further consideration I put him as an Honorable Mention. His play in 2009 plus the playoffs definitely solidified him a spot.

    It’s less about the Chargers being good and more about them vs. other players at their numbers.

    By Phillips on Aug 25, 2009

  19. DMike,
    Shaq doesn’t make the cut at 33. Too many other guys.

    By Phillips on Aug 25, 2009

  20. Seriously, Tony Stewart over Thierry Henry? Henry has won a World Cup, Champions League, Premiere League and Spanish League titles…and you put Tony Stewart’s fat redneck ass ahead of him? That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen.

    And then Brees over CR9? WTF @ that? CR9 is widely regarded as THE BEST PLAYER IN THE BIGGEST SPORT IN THE WORLD. Brees is good, but he’s won 0 titles, 0 MVPs, 1 Offensive Player of the Year award. CR9 has won 3 Premiership titles, and various other team accolades, as well as the Balloon D’or, and several Footballer of the Year awards. The Balloon D’or is awarded to the best player on the entire continent of Europe. Imagine if there were 4 or 5 NFL leagues, all with their own mega superstars…and you were named the best of the best of them all. Ronaldo should’ve won for #9 for his club team and #7 for his national team. Though at least Roethlisberger has won two Super Bowls.

    Just because you don’t know much about soccer doesn’t mean the American footballers are better.

    By Jesus on Aug 25, 2009

  21. You better hope John Madden doesn’t come out of retirement, or he would publicly tear you a new one for leaving Brett Favre out of the #4 spot.

    Still, nice work in completing the list. A lot easier to critique one number at a time than to do the whole list. Kudos.

    By AndCounting on Aug 25, 2009

  22. Jesus,
    I know plenty about soccer and watch european ball weekly. Henry is not what he once was, he’s clearly on the backside of his career while Stewart is at the top of his profession.

    And while Ronaldo might be the best player in the world not named Messi, he’s also a destructive force to a team (ask his former ManU teammates how they feel about him), whereas Brees is the ultimate team guy and one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. I’m not saying it was an obvious pick, but I also can’t stand Ronaldo, so that made it much easier.

    By Phillips on Aug 25, 2009

  23. Jesus,

    The best player in Europe receives the BALON d’or (“Golden Ball”), not the BALLOON d’or as you have posited. If you choose to launch ad hominem attacks on Mr. Phillips in the future, please kindly make sure you pull your head out of your ass first. Thank you.

    -The Management

    P.S. Mr. Ronaldo’s penchant for boning hookers instead of his smoking hot girlfriend is reason enough to choose Mr. Brees at #9.

    By Booter on Aug 25, 2009

  24. Cesc Fabregas, Dan Carter, and Bryan Habana wish to ask you something.

    By B.A. on Aug 25, 2009

  25. nothing for the nl triple crown cy young winner and arguably most dominant pitcher in the nl jake peavy?

    By big country on Aug 25, 2009

  26. B.A.,
    Yes, I’m sure rugby players would love a spot on this list, but we had to make a cutoff somewhere. Picking guys from every single sport would have taken months. We stuck to the basics.

    And Fabregas just missed inclusion. He was considered.

    By Phillips on Aug 25, 2009

  27. Big Country,
    Again, Peavy was considered but because of his injury issues and the fact that Dunn has been more consistent, we went in another direction.

    By Phillips on Aug 25, 2009

  28. Roddy White at least deserves an up-and-comer nod at #84. I’d even say that I’d take him over TJ Houshyomama currently as I’d rather have Matty Ice throwing to me than Hasselback. Just one Falcon fan’s biased opinion.

    By J on Aug 25, 2009

  29. Decent list. Although, Scott Niedermayer should be the top guy with the number 27. Niedermayer is the only player to take home every major North American and international championship in his career.

    And for #5, Nicklas Lidstrom should be above Albert Pujols. He has 4 Stanley Cups, a world championship, Conn Smythe (Playoffs MVP) trophy winner, 6 time Norris trophy (Best defenseman) award winner, World Championship and Olympic Gold Medalist, 11 time all-star, first European captain to win a Stanley Cup, and has won a ton of other awards.

    By T-Bone on Aug 25, 2009

  30. Number 34 needs to be the reigning CY YOUNG award winner Cliff Lee

    By MRO on Aug 25, 2009

  31. @Booter, it’s the Ballon D’or, so I guess we both have our heads up our asses. :)

    By Jesus on Aug 25, 2009

  32. I would also have to advocate for Lidstrom at #5 — when his career is over people will arguing about whether or not he is the second best defenseman of all time, next to Bobby Orr.

    (And Niedermayer obviously crushes Kovalev.)

    By Dave on Aug 25, 2009

  33. @Jesus, I think we can both agree to blame the French (and their silly spelling rules) for our collective head up our ass-ness…=)

    By Booter on Aug 25, 2009

  34. Nice list, but two things I don’t agree with. 1) 21 – LaDainian Tomlinson, If this is based one who’s better RIGHT NOW, both Nnamdi Asomugha, and Bob Sanders,are and will do better this year. ESPECIALLY Nnamdi, and I’m a Broncos fan so this is not byest talk. 2) 84 – T.J. Houshmanzadeh, he’s not that great, and I really don’t think he’ll be all the great, or a worthy #1 WR this year. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think your right! lol

    By Jon Krause on Aug 25, 2009

  35. um, 99–the greatest hockey player to ever live

    and what about Super Mario Lemieux??

    By dan on Aug 25, 2009

  36. oh and let’s not forget the other greatest player….but for basketball…MJ.

    By dan on Aug 25, 2009

  37. Dan,
    Once again, it’s CURRENT players.

    Jon Krause,
    I know Asomugha is great, as is Bob Sanders. The idea was to figure out who the best player at that spot. When guys were essentially even, we looked at track record. So when guys like LT, Asomugha and Bob Sanders were close we took past performance/accomplishments into account.

    Obviously, in the end, the list comes down to personal opinion. We welcome the discussion that’s going on in the comments section though for sure.

    Oh and Lidstrom and Niedermayer were both considered, don’t know how I left him off the Honorable Mention list. Will correct that now.

    By Phillips on Aug 25, 2009

  38. The only one I have a problem with is #27. It NEEDS to be Scott Niedermayer. Scott has won at every level he has played at. Memorial Cup, World Juniors, World Cup, World Championship, Olympic Gold and the Stanley Cup. Top that with a Norris Trophy and the Conn Smythe. If that doesn’t make him the top player at #27 than I don’t know what does.

    By BH on Aug 25, 2009

  39. Overall, not a bad list, but my first impressions were: (1) Joe Thornton for #19, at least an honorable mention, and (2) Dale Earnhardt Jr. for #88, again, at least an honorable mention. I would also agree with other posters that Niedermayer should be the best #27 over Kovalev.

    It’s cool to see the inclusion of soccer players on the list, too.

    By Justin on Aug 26, 2009

  40. Great list and great effort putting this together. But no Jared Allen at 69 is an egregious oversight. I think 32 out of 32 NFL GM’s take Allen over Gross without even thinking. Most sacks in the NFL the past 4 years.

    Otherwise, great list.

    By Kirk on Aug 26, 2009

  41. Who doesn’t immediately think of Brett Favre when they see the number 4?

    By Dianna on Aug 26, 2009

  42. Where in the hell did you get your soccer stats from? Brees over Ronaldo due to doucheyness? You put Ovechkin up – At least Ronaldo looks the part. Oh, and Jeter over Ramirez. Coming from a total anti-Yankee.

    By Dan on Aug 26, 2009

  43. 95- Lightning McQueen won the Piston Cup as a Rookie!! :)

    By knight on Aug 26, 2009

  44. #60 = Chris Samuels, tackle, Redskins. Selected to 6 pro bowls and is the anchor of the Skins O-line. Certainly better than Shaun O’Hara.

    By Redskinsfan on Aug 26, 2009

  45. Cristiano Ronaldo > Drew Brees. It’s really not even close.

    By Hank Q. Manly on Aug 26, 2009

  46. #1 has to be Luongo. He is recognized as the best goaltender in the game and has awards to prove it. Amare? Nice dunks I guess. Also, picks are based on CURRENT PERFORMANCE. Nothing says “I failed reading comprehension portions of tests religously” like advocating for MJ, Gretzky or Super Mario.

    By Adam on Aug 26, 2009

  47. I like this list…but the best #69 is Jared Allen…I think the author completely missed on that one!

    By glenssourdog on Aug 26, 2009

  48. no devin hester #23?? so he had a bad year last year, so did half this list…

    By Anonymous on Aug 26, 2009

  49. Joba Chamberlin made the list and no mention of Adam Wainwright or Chris Carpenter.

    By Anonymous on Aug 26, 2009

  50. Really, Pau Gasol the most skilled 7 footer in the history of NBA? Really? He is more skilled than Garnett, Nowitzki, Olajuwon, Ewing, O’Neal, David Robinson and all other great NBA 7 footers? Maybe you should think more than twice before putting it to context.

    By Markhood on Aug 26, 2009

  51. Hey, LT over Duncan? Are you serious? Duncan is a multi MVP, multi Finals MVP and multi Champion. He should get a nod over LT

    By Markhood on Aug 26, 2009

  52. you forgot andrey arshavin for #23 if you don’t know who this guy is youtube these exact words arshavin 4 goals vs liverpool

    By PJ on Aug 26, 2009

  53. Hanley over Jeter? C’mon

    By living with balls on Aug 26, 2009

  54. Markhood,
    From a pure basketball skill set, yes I believe Gasol may be the most SKILLED 7-footer in NBA history. I didn’t say he was the best, just possesses the most basketball skill (dribbling, passing, shooting, etc).

    Hakeem was 6’11, so are Garnett and Nowitzki. Gasol is a legit 7-footer.

    By Phillips on Aug 26, 2009

  55. #46 – Ellis Lankster, CB Buffalo Bills

    By holden mcgroin on Aug 26, 2009

  56. And due to public outcry and further research, I am switching Scott Niedermayer to the spot at 27. The readers are correct.

    Jared Allen will also be added as an honorable mention at 69.

    By Phillips on Aug 26, 2009

  57. Hey you forgot the biggest baseball player playing in the biggest baseball market CC Sabathia.

    By CC on Aug 26, 2009

  58. Think you missed on #88, Dale Jr ring a bell for association with a number over Tony Gonzalez?

    By Mike on Aug 26, 2009

  59. Cortland Finnegan should have received the “up and comer” mention for #31. He’s better and FAR more consistent than Cromartie.

    By FinnyRulez on Aug 26, 2009

  60. #74 Really?? No mention of Aaron Kampman. Mangold is a 2 year player with one pro bowl. Only Ware and Allen have more sacks than AK in the past 3 seasons. Oh by the way he had 2 pro bowls (and 1 alternate) and 1 2nd team all pro in that span as well. Nick F-ing Mangold. Author must be a Luckeye

    By EB on Aug 26, 2009

  61. No way 2 great years beats a hall of famer.The number 2 will be retired in the Bronx.Not only does Jeter have more hits this year than Ramirez but he has more hits than anyone who ever played their position.Jeter plays in the American league not that weak ass national league with the watered down pitching.He has played in 6 world series(won 4)and has only missed the playoffs once in his entire career.He is so great they use him as an adjective.That play was JETERESQUE.

    By bigern on Aug 26, 2009

  62. Raul Ibanez over Cy Young award, past and next, winner, Chris Carpenter? Get a clue.

    Raul Ibanez?

    By Michael Martin on Aug 26, 2009

  63. I agree with # 65, 70, 82, & 94.

    By BigPimpin' on Aug 26, 2009

  64. how does paul pierce not get a mention wearing #34??? finals mvp in 08…. countless allstar appearances…..

    By Anonymous on Aug 26, 2009

  65. Really? Tomlinson over Duncan for #21. No way. One has 4 rings, 3 MVPs, 2 league MVPs, and is the unquestioned leader of his team. The other is yet to play in a championship game.

    By Anonymous on Aug 26, 2009

  66. Really cool idea and i agree with most everything, but no Jumbo Joe Thorton at #19?? That is a travesty…

    By G-Money on Aug 26, 2009

  67. Actually I hate Ohio State. Just think Mangold has been great in his first three seasons and was a Pro Bowler in 2008, whereas Kampman wasn’t.

    By the way, it’s cool if you don’t agree with our picks, but seriously some of you are getting WAY too offended by them.

    As to the Jeter/Hanley comparison. I personally feel Ramirez is one of the top five players in all of baseball right now. Jeter is fantastic and has been for a long time, but I think Ramirez is better right now.

    By Phillips on Aug 26, 2009

  68. Not even an honorable mention for Henrik Lundqvist for #30?

    By Rich on Aug 26, 2009

  69. How can #34 not go to Paul Pierce? 8 time all star, 4 time all NBA, NBA Finals MVP. DeAngelo Williams played well for half a season in his career. His resume doesn’t even compare.

    By Greg on Aug 26, 2009

  70. The fact that you acknowledge considering Fabregas and then going with Bosh instead is laughable, but the rest of the list looks pretty good, although I do have to agree that Jared Allen should be up there as well.

    By Derek on Aug 26, 2009

  71. Especially with allegations of cheating included in the post, how is the best #13 not Steve Nash? 2 time MVP (should have been 3), lead the league in assists God knows how many times by now, and he’s a good role model for a change. But since you put together a list of 100 and included honorable mentions, I’ll let it slide. :-P

    By Eduardo on Aug 26, 2009

  72. “Jesus” said:
    “Seriously, Tony Stewart over Thierry Henry? Henry has won a World Cup, Champions League, Premiere League and Spanish League titles…and you put Tony Stewart’s fat redneck ass ahead of him? That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen.”

    Well, Not only has Tony won two NASCAR Sprint Cup Championships, he has won (as a driver) an IROC Championship; an Indy Car Series Championship; Won USAC National Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown championships, becoming the first driver ever to win the “Triple Crown” in a single season.

    As an owner, he has Two World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series championships and seven USAC championships.

    So yeah, he kinda deserves it (oh, and I forgot — he is currently leading the NASCAR Sprint Championship points as an owner-driver — first time that has happened since Alan Kulwicki)

    By Jerry on Aug 26, 2009

  73. I think #5 should have at least had an honorable mention for Mark Martin. Tied for most wins in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this year, AT AGE FIFTY!?!

    By Jerry on Aug 26, 2009

  74. no love for soccer period

    By Tim on Aug 26, 2009

  75. What about Andy Pettitte at 46? He’s still active, and a WAY better choice than Paris Lenon.

    By Jered on Aug 26, 2009

  76. How can you give Manny Ramirez a “dishonorable mention” at #99 but give A-Rod #13 over Pavel Datsyuk, the best two-way player in the NHL?

    By Tim on Aug 26, 2009

  77. Dale Earnhardt (#3) and Richard Petty (#43) don’t even get honorable mentions ? I guess winning 7 championships (each) 200 overall wins (Petty) doesn’t count for much.

    By Tom on Aug 26, 2009

  78. Alright, that’s it, from now on I’m deleting any comments that suggest non-active players. Seriously people, learn to read. Letters, left to right, bunch of words together is a sentence … anything?


    By Phillips on Aug 26, 2009

  79. NASCAR, Really? There should not be anyone from that activity lumped into a list with actual athletes, NASCAR requires no athletic ability and is definitly NOT a sport.

    By Kevin on Aug 26, 2009

  80. #13 Pavel Datsyuk over A-Rod, atleast he doesn’t cheat!

    By Pat on Aug 26, 2009

  81. No Deron Williams at #8…????


    By Anoymous on Aug 27, 2009

  82. What number does Tiger wear?

    By underpar on Aug 27, 2009

  83. Pathetic that you give Brian McCann an honorable mention ahead of Aramis Ramirez. Just an awful list.

    By Awful on Aug 27, 2009

  84. #7 – Joe Mauer for sure.. come one… the guys hitting .370 right now!

    By KYLE on Aug 27, 2009

  85. #96 – Pierre-Marc Bouchard should be an honorable mention. #32 – Niklas Backstrom should be the same. No honorable mention for Bobby Ryan at #54?

    As far as Mauer is concerned at #7…Yeah, he’s really good…But he hasn’t won a thing yet. Roethlisberger has two super bowls…I’m a Minnesota fan and that’s even convincing for me.

    By Blake on Aug 27, 2009

  86. Aramis hasn’t exactly been amazing. Just a two-time All-Star and a career .285 hitter. He’s also missed a significant portion of three of the past five seasons.

    By Phillips on Aug 27, 2009

  87. Nascar isn’t a sport anyone can turn left and with practice anyone can turn left at high speeds the legitamacy of this list is comprimised based on that alone. More creativity for zero should have been done too just put federer there because arenas is overrated and federer’s lack of number could be a zero, also Usain Bolt thats all that needs to be said. If nascar is included then track needs to be included.

    By md on Aug 27, 2009

  88. and if your including football(soccer) Samuel Eto’o needs to be at least an honorable mention and wheres Brandon Roy and Shaq Daddy

    By md on Aug 27, 2009

  89. Good Job guys but I can’t believe that you left Jeter out. I love Hanley especially since he’s Dominican but I’d rather have Mr. October on my team any day before Hanley. Jeter is a proven winner. plus he’s batting 331 right now with 16 homers. Jeter is clutch

    By Wopdiddy on Aug 27, 2009

  90. kobe over jeff gordon, possibly the best nascar driver of all time, a 4x champ, and he didnt have shaq supporting him, and you say you need no explanation? really?

    By jgfan on Aug 27, 2009

  91. First up, props for a very interesting column.

    I would, however, take issue with Big Ben over Mauer…not even close in my opinion. Reluctantly I will accept Kobe over Jeff Gordon, though, only marginally and because Jeff isn’t as dominant as he once was.

    However, I really am amazed that not only did you pick Lebron at 23 over M.J. but not even an honorable mention for Mike…what’s up with that?

    Overall a pretty good job at an incredibly difficult task!

    By Ron on Aug 28, 2009

  92. Blake…did you forget Mauer’s two and soon to be three batting titles? As a left handed catcher? Pretty compeling for this Minnesotan.

    M.D. Your ignorance of NASCAR and the athleticism both mentally and physically of it’s athletes has now been painfully made aware to the entire world…thanks for sharing it.

    By Ron on Aug 28, 2009

  93. I also disagree with Mario Williams over Julius Peppers, C’mon. Mario Williams has a long way….

    By Wopdiddy on Aug 28, 2009

  94. How about just major league baseball players,all time, since 1900? I don’t know what you mean by Website.I’m computer illiterate.

    By Roy Shelton on Aug 28, 2009

  95. What about Donald Driver at 80 and Greg Jennings at 85? They at least deserve honorable mentions, don’t they?

    By Kyle on Aug 28, 2009

  96. #11 Steve Kinser

    By Ray on Aug 29, 2009

  97. Kyle Busch deserves an honorable mention on #18 for sure.

    By BlackCatMn on Aug 30, 2009

  98. #4 farve. hate his guts, but he should get hononable mention (i think)(maybe).

    By dan on Sep 1, 2009

  99. #21, with LT over Duncan is evidently a mistake. Championships and MVP’s are’nt even close on this one. As for #5, I agree that Mark Martin should have gotten at least an Honorable Mention, 39 cup wins, 48 Nationwide wins (most of all time) and 4 IROC championships (most of all time), 3 ASA championships.

    By Jetpusher on Sep 1, 2009

  100. Hey Travis.

    2. We only considered active players who currently wear the number listed.

    REad the rules idiot

    By Trae on Sep 1, 2009

  101. No Steve Nash at #13? Two-time MVP. And he’s been on Entourage.

    By Vince on Sep 8, 2009

  102. KYLE, Bobby Ryan is now #9

    By KD on Sep 26, 2009

  103. #4, Brett Favre…. “Active Player”, Whether you like the antics of Mr. Favre or not you’ve got to have him on this list.

    By JoeOuzo on Jan 11, 2010

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