List of Major League Baseball retired numbers: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Major League Baseball and its participating clubs have retired various uniform numbers over the course of time, ensuring that those numbers will always be associated with particular players or managers of note. The use of numbers on uniforms to better identify one player from another, and hence to boost sales of scorecards, was tried briefly by the Cleveland Indians of 1916, and the St. Louis Cardinals of 1923. The first team to permanently adopt the practice was the New York Yankees of 1929. By 1932, all sixteen major league clubs were issuing numbers, and by 1937, the leagues passed rules requiring it.

The Yankees' original approach was to simply assign the numbers 1 through 8 to the regular starting lineup in their normal batting order. Hence, Babe Ruth wore number 3 and Lou Gehrig number 4. The first major leaguer whose number was retired was Gehrig, in January, 1940, following his retirement due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which became to be known popularly as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Since then, over 120 other people have had their numbers retired. This includes managers and coaches, as Major League Baseball is the only one of the major North American professional leagues in which the coaching staff wear the same uniforms as players. Some of the game's early stars, such as Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson, retired before numbers came into usage. Teams often celebrate their retired numbers and other honored people by hanging banners with the numbers and names. Early stars, as well as honored non-players, will often have numberless banners hanging along with the retired numbers.

Normally the individual clubs are responsible for retiring numbers. On April 15, 1997, Major League Baseball took the unusual move of retiring a number for all teams. On the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's breaking the major league color barrier, his number 42 was retired throughout the majors, at the order of Commissioner Bud Selig. This meant that no future player on any major league team could wear number 42, although players wearing #42 at the time were allowed to continue with it ( see below).

Some have advocated giving Roberto Clemente's number 21 a similar treatment. They feel that Clemente's impact on the Hispanic community is equal to that of Robinson's on the black community. The target goal for the retirement was in time for the 2006 MLB All-Star Game in Pittsburgh, where Clemente played. collected over 70,000 signatures for the effort. So far, MLB has taken no decisive action on this request.

Some teams do not retire jersey numbers, and instead celebrate their stars in other ways. The Toronto Blue Jays have a 'Level of Excellence,' where notable individuals in club history have their names posted under the fifth deck of the Rogers Centre.

Because fewer and fewer players stay with one team long enough to warrant their number being retired, some players believe that getting their number retired is a greater honor than going into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Ron Santo, upon his number 10 being retired on the last day of the 2003 regular season, enthusiastically told the Wrigley Field crowd as his #10 flag was hoisted, "This is my Hall of Fame!"

Some teams have not formally retired certain numbers, but nonetheless kept them out of circulation. For example, the Cincinnati Reds have only assigned Pete Rose's #14 to one other player after his retirement: his own son. #14 cannot be retired in honor of the older Rose at present, due to his lifetime ban from baseball. Also, after Darryl Kile's untimely death in 2002, the teams he played for (Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, and St. Louis Cardinals) took his #57 out of circulation, but have yet to formally retire the number.

List of retired numbers

Number Player or other figure Team
1 Billy Meyer Pirates
1 Pee Wee Reese Dodgers
1 Bobby Doerr Red Sox
1 Fred Hutchinson Reds
1 Ozzie Smith Cardinals
1 Richie Ashburn Phillies
1 Billy Martin Yankees
2 Red Schoendienst Cardinals
2 Nellie Fox White Sox
2 Tommy Lasorda Dodgers
2 Charles Gehringer Tigers
3 Babe Ruth Yankees
3 Earl Averill Indians
3 Bill Terry Giants
3 Harmon Killebrew Twins
3 Dale Murphy Braves
3 Harold Baines White Sox
4 Luke Appling White Sox
4 Earl Weaver Orioles
4 Duke Snider Dodgers
4 Ralph Kiner Pirates
4 Lou Gehrig Yankees
4 Paul Molitor Brewers
4 Mel Ott Giants
4 Joe Cronin Red Sox
5 Brooks Robinson Orioles
5 Carl Barger Marlins
5 Lou Boudreau Indians
5 George Brett Royals
5 Johnny Bench Reds
5 Willard Hershberger Reds
5 Hank Greenberg Tigers
5 Joe DiMaggio Yankees
5 Jeff Bagwell Astros
6 Johnny Pesky Red Sox
6 Steve Garvey Padres
6 Stan Musial Cardinals
6 Al Kaline Tigers
6 Tony Oliva Twins
7 Mickey Mantle Yankees
7 Craig Biggio Astros
8 Willie Stargell Pirates
8 Joe Morgan Reds
8 Yogi Berra Yankees
8 Bill Dickey Yankees
8 Gary Carter[Notes 1] Expos
8 Cal Ripken, Jr. Orioles
8 Carl Yastrzemski Red Sox
9 Ted Williams Red Sox
9 Reggie Jackson Athletics
9 Minnie Miñoso White Sox
9 Enos Slaughter Cardinals
9 Bill Mazeroski Pirates
9 Roger Maris Yankees
10 Sparky Anderson Reds
10 Dick Howser Royals
10 Phil Rizzuto Yankees
10 Andre Dawson[Notes 1] Expos
10 Rusty Staub[Notes 1] Expos
10 Ron Santo Cubs
11 Carl Hubbell Giants
11 Jim Fregosi Angels
11 Luis Aparicio White Sox
11 Paul Waner Pirates
12 Wade Boggs Rays
13 Dave Concepcion Reds
14 Ernie Banks Cubs
14 Kent Hrbek Twins
14 Larry Doby Indians
14 Ken Boyer Cardinals
14 Gil Hodges Mets
14 Jim Bunning Phillies
14 Jim Rice Red Sox
15 Thurman Munson Yankees
16 Ted Lyons White Sox
16 Whitey Ford Yankees
16 Hal Newhouser Tigers
17 Dizzy Dean Cardinals
18 Ted Kluszewski Reds
18 Mel Harder Indians
19 Bob Feller Indians
19 Billy Pierce White Sox
19 Jim Gilliam Dodgers
19 Tony Gwynn Padres
19 Robin Yount Brewers
20 Lou Brock Cardinals
20 Frank Robinson Orioles
20 Pie Traynor Pirates
20 Mike Schmidt Phillies
20 Don Sutton Dodgers
20 Frank White Royals
21 Bob Lemon Indians
21 Warren Spahn Braves
21 Roberto Clemente Pirates
22 Jim Palmer Orioles
23 Ryne Sandberg Cubs
23 Don Mattingly Yankees
23 Willie Horton Tigers
24 Tony Perez Reds
24 Willie Mays Giants
24 Walter Alston Dodgers
24 Jimmy Wynn Astros
24 Rickey Henderson Athletics
25 Jose Cruz Astros
26 Billy Williams Cubs
26 Gene Autry[Notes 2] Angels
26 Johnny Oates Rangers
27 Carlton Fisk Red Sox
27 Catfish Hunter Athletics
27 Juan Marichal Giants
29 Rod Carew Angels
30 Orlando Cepeda Giants
30 Nolan Ryan Angels
30 Tim Raines[Notes 1] Expos
31 Dave Winfield Padres
31 Greg Maddux Cubs
31 Ferguson Jenkins Cubs
32 Steve Carlton Phillies
32 Sandy Koufax Dodgers
32 Elston Howard Yankees
32 Jim Umbricht Astros
33 Mike Scott Astros
33 Eddie Murray Orioles
33 Honus Wagner Pirates
34 Rollie Fingers Brewers
34 Nolan Ryan Rangers
34 Kirby Puckett Twins
35 Randy Jones Padres
35 Phil Niekro Braves
36 Gaylord Perry Giants
36 Robin Roberts Phillies
37 Casey Stengel Yankees
39 Roy Campanella Dodgers
40 Don Wilson Astros
40 Danny Murtaugh Pirates
41 Eddie Mathews Braves
41 Tom Seaver Mets
42 Jackie Robinson Dodgers
42 Bruce Sutter Cardinals
43 Dennis Eckersley Athletics
44 Henry Aaron Braves
44 Reggie Jackson Yankees
44 Willie McCovey Giants
45 Bob Gibson Cardinals
49 Larry Dierker Astros
49 Ron Guidry Yankees
50 Jimmie Reese Angels
53 Don Drysdale Dodgers
72 Carlton Fisk White Sox
85 August Busch, Jr.[Notes 3] Cardinals
455 The Fans[Notes 4] Indians
  1. ^ a b c d See the section "Montreal Expos"
  2. ^ Team founder. The number represents the "26th man"—Major League Baseball rosters are limited to 25 players, except for games played on or after September 1, when rosters are expanded to 40.
  3. ^ Served as president, chairman, or CEO of the Cardinals from the team's purchase by Anheuser-Busch in 1953 until his death in 1989. The number represents his age at the time the number was retired in 1984.
  4. ^ Represents the number of consecutive sellouts of Jacobs Field, now Progressive Field, from 1995–2001, at that time a MLB record.

Retired in honour of multiple players

The following numbers have been retired in honour of multiple players:

Similar honors

Players who pre-date uniform numbers

Six players played before the advent of uniform numbers and have had their uniforms retired:

Boston Red Sox

The former official policy of the Red Sox, until 2008 was to retire numbers for players who have played at least 10 seasons with the Red Sox and been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Johnny Pesky who is not in the Hall of Fame but did play 10 years for the Red Sox had his number 6 retired in September of 2008. One player whose number has not yet been retired meets this policy:

  • Wade Boggs - 26 (11 seasons with Red Sox, elected to Hall of Fame in 2005. One theory is Boggs poor relationship with the Red Sox owners. No Red Sox player has been issued the number since Boggs' Hall of Fame election.)

Montreal Expos / Washington Nationals

The Montreal Expos retired the following numbers:

On August 14, 1993, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his first payment to the National League for the Montreal expansion franchise, Charles Bronfman was inducted to the Expos Hall of Fame as its inaugural member. In a pre-game ceremony, a circular patch on the right field wall was unveiled, with Bronfman's name, the number 83, which he used to wear during spring training, and the words "FONDATEUR / FOUNDER".[5]

The Washington Nationals did not keep these numbers retired after the Expos franchise relocated to DC in 2004. On October 18, 2005, the NHL's Montreal Canadiens honored the departed team by raising an Expos commemorative banner listing the retired numbers to the rafters of Montreal's Bell Centre.


  • Jack Buck - St. Louis Cardinals; honored with a drawing of a microphone on the wall with the retired numbers.
  • Lon Simmons and Russ HodgesSan Francisco Giants; honored with stylised old-style radio microphone displayed in place of a number.
  • Marty Brennaman, Waite Hoyt, and Joe NuxhallCincinnati Reds; honored with microphones by the broadcast booth.
  • Jerry ColemanSan Diego Padres; a "star on the wall" in reference to his trademark phrase "You can hang a star on that one!" The star is painted in gold on the front of the pressbox down the right field line, accompanied by Coleman's name in white.
  • Harry Kalas and Richie AshburnPhiladelphia Phillies; At Citizens Bank Park, the restaurant built into the base of the main scoreboard is named "Harry the K's" in Kalas's honor. After Kalas's death, the Phillies' TV-broadcast booth was renamed "The Harry Kalas Broadcast Booth". It is directly next to the radio-broadcast booth, which is named "The Richie 'Whitey' Ashburn Broadcast Booth".
  • Ernie Harwell - Detroit Tigers; honored with his name alongside the retired players on the Left-Centerfield Brick wall in Comerica Park and a statue & portrait at the stadium's front entrance.

Owners and Contributors

  • The initials of former San Diego Padres owner Ray Kroc are painted in gold on the front of the pressbox down the right field line, accompanied by his name in white.
  • Charles Bronfman was inducted into the Expos Hall of Fame as its inaugural member in 1993, and a circular patch placed on the right field wall with his name, the number 83, which he used to wear during spring training, and the words "FONDATEUR / FOUNDER".[5]
  • On April 8, 2008, the final opening day at Shea Stadium, the New York Mets unveiled a "Shea" logo which was displayed on the left-field fence next to the team's other retired numbers. The stadium was named for William Shea, a prominent lawyer who was responsible for the return of National League baseball to New York.

Major League players and managers with numbers retired from multiple teams

To date, only eight players have had their uniform number retired by more than one Major League Baseball team. In addition, Casey Stengel is the only manager to have had his number retired by more than one team. Although Stengel played for five teams, his number was only retired by teams that he managed.

Nolan Ryan is the only person to have a number retired by three different teams. Ryan, Carlton Fisk, and Reggie Jackson are the only people to have had two different numbers retired.

Hank Aaron's Hall of Fame plaque
Player Teams Number(s)
Hank Aaron Atlanta Braves
Milwaukee Brewers


Rod Carew Minnesota Twins
California Angels


Rollie Fingers Oakland Athletics
Milwaukee Brewers


Carlton Fisk Boston Red Sox
Chicago White Sox


Reggie Jackson New York Yankees
Oakland Athletics


Greg Maddux Chicago Cubs
Atlanta Braves


Frank Robinson Cincinnati Reds
Baltimore Orioles


Nolan Ryan Texas Rangers
Houston Astros
California Angels



Manager Teams Number(s)
Casey Stengel New York Yankees
New York Mets


External links

Additional reading

  • Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century, Marc Okkonen, 1991, Sterling Publishing.


  1. ^ a b c (2009). "Retired Uniform Numbers in the National League" (HTML). Retrieved 2009-10-02.  
  2. ^ MLB Advanced Media (2009). "Franchise Retired Numbers" (HTML). MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved 2009-10-02.  
  3. ^ MLB Advanced Media (2009). "Yankees Retired Numbers" (HTML). MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved 2009-10-02.  
  4. ^ MLB Advanced Media (2009). "Cardinals Retired Numbers" (HTML). MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved 2009-10-02.  
  5. ^ a b Blair, Jeff (1993-08-15). "This used to be his playground; Bronfman was always a fan; Original owner steps into Expos Hall of Fame". Montreal Gazette (Montreal Gazette): pp. D.1.  


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address