Next to election to the Baseball Hall of Fame one of the great honors we bestow on our major league players is the retirement of their uniform number. According to baseball researcher and historian Al Kermisch, writing in the 1979 issue of the Baseball Research Journal , the very first example of a number appearing on player uniforms occurred in 1916 when the Cleveland Indians for a brief period attached numbers to uniform sleeves. The practice of wearing uniform numbers on a regular basis became typical in the 1930s. The New York Yankees are generally credited with being the first team to wear uniform numbers regularly during home and away games.

The first player to have his uniform number retired was Lou Gehrig. The Yankees retired his "4" in 1939. All together 117 players have been honored representing 44 different numbers. Several players have had their number retired by two teams. Eighty-one (81 or 69%) of the players to have their uniform number retired are also in the Hall of Fame. Some teams, like the Red Sox require a candidate to be in the Hall of Fame (and to have played ten years with the team) to qualify for uniform number retirement. The Yankees and the Astros lead all teams for the number of non-Hall-of-Fame number retirements with four.

Nolan Ryan holds the record for having had his uniform numbers "30" and "34" retired by three separate teams. On June 16, 1992 the California Angels retired Ryan's "30" jersey. On September 15, 1996 the Texas Rangers retired the pitcher's "34" uniform number and two weeks later on September 29 the Houston Astros also retired Ryan's uniform number "34"

Four numbers "1", "4", "5", and "20" have been retired seven times. The Yankees retired the number "8" shirt twice, once for Bill Dickey and once for Yogi Berra. While uniform number retirements are usually made at the discretion of an individual team, Major League Baseball has permanently retired number "42" to honor Jackie Robinson's contributions to the sport. "Number 85" worn by St. Louis' August Busch, Jr. is the highest number ever retired. All numbers between 1 and 20 have been retired with the exception of number "13." The Yankees lead all teams with fifteen uniform numbers retired.



Uniform Retirements by Team
No. Major League Baseball
42 JACKIE ROBINSON
No.
Anaheim Angels
11 JIM FREGOSI
26 GENE AUTRY
29 ROD CAREW
30 NOLAN RYAN
50 JIMMIE REESE
No. Baltimore Orioles
4 EARL WEAVER
5 BROOKS ROBINSON
20 FRANK ROBINSON
22 JIM PALMER
33 EDDIE MURRAY
No. Boston Red Sox
1 BOBBY DOERR
4 JOE CRONIN
8 CARL YASTRZEMSKI
9 TED WILLIAMS
No. Chicago White Sox
2 NELLIE FOX
3 HAROLD BAINES
4 LUKE APPLING
9 MINNIE MINo.SO
11 LUIS APARICIO
16 TED LYONS
19 BILLY PIERCE
72 CARLTON FISK
No. Cleveland Indians
3 EARL AVERILL
5 LOU BOUDREAU
14 LARRY DOBY
18 MEL HARDER
19 BOB FELLER
21 BOB LEMON
No. Detroit Tigers
2 CHARLIE GEHRINGER
5 HANK GREENBERG
6 AL KALINE
16 HAL NEWHOUSER
No. Kansas City Royals
5 GEORGE BRETT
10 DICK HOWSER
20 FRANK WHITE
No. Minnesota Twins
3 HARMON KILLEBREW
6 TONY OLIVA
14 KENT HRBEK
29 ROD CAREW
34 KIRBY PUCKETT
No. New York Yankees
1 BILLY MARTIN
3 BABE RUTH
4 LOU GEHRIG
5 JOE DIMAGGIO
7 MICKEY MANTLE
8 YOGI BERRA
8 BILL DICKEY
9 ROGER MARIS
10 PHIL RIZZUTO
15 THURMAN MUNSON
16 WHITEY FORD
23 DON MATTINGLY
32 ELSTON HOWARD
37 CASEY STENGEL
44 REGGIE JACKSON
No. Oakland Athletics
27 CATFISH HUNTER
34 ROLLIE FINGERS
No. Tampa Bay Devil Rays
12 WADE BOGGS
No. Texas Rangers
34 NOLAN RYAN
No. Atlanta Braves
3 DALE MURPHY
21 WARREN SPAHN
35 PHIL NIEKRO
41 EDDIE MATHEWS
44 HENRY AARON
No. Chicago Cubs
10 RON SANTO
14 ERNIE BANKS
26 BILLY WILLIAMS
No. Cincinnati Reds
1 FRED HUTCHINSON
5 JOHNNY BENCH
8 JOE MORGAN
18 TED KLUSZEWSKI
20 FRANK ROBINSON
No. Florida Marlins
5 CARL BARGER
No. Houston Astros
25 JOSE CRUZ
32 JIM UMBRICHT
33 MIKE SCOTT
34 No.LAN RYAN
40 DON WILSON
No. Los Angeles/Brooklyn Dodgers
1 PEE WEE REESE
2 TOMMY LASORDA
4 DUKE SNIDER
19 JIM GILLIAM
20 DON SUTTON
24 WALT ALSTON
32 SANDY KOUFAX
39 ROY CAMPANELLA
42 JACKIE ROBINSON
53 DON DRYSDALE
No. Milwaukee Brewers
19 ROBIN YOUNT
34 ROLLIE FINGERS
44 HENRY AARON
No. Montreal Expos
8 GARY CARTER
10 RUSTY STAUB
10 ANDRE DAWSON
No. New York Mets
14 GIL HODGES
37 CASEY STENGEL
41 TOM SEAVER
No. Philadelphia Phillies
1 RICHIE ASHBURN
20 MIKE SCHMIDT
32 STEVE CARLTON
36 ROBIN ROBERTS
No. Pittsburgh Pirates
1 BILLY MEYER
4 RALPH KINER
8 WILLIE STARGELL
9 BILL MAZEROSKI
20 PIE TRAYNo.R
21 ROBERTO CLEMENTE
33 HONUS WAGNER
40 DANNY MURTAUGH
No. St. Louis Cardinals
1 OZZIE SMITH
2 RED SCHOENDIENST
6 STAN MUSIAL
9 ENOS SLAUGHTER
14 KEN BOYER
17 DIZZY DEAN
20 LOU BROCK
45 BOB GIBSON
85 AUGUST BUSCH JR.
No. San Diego Padres
6 STEVE GARVEY
35 RANDY JONES
No. San Francisco/New York Giants
  CHRISTY MATHEWSON
  JOHN MCGRAW
3 BILL TERRY
4 MEL OTT
11 CARL HUBBELL
24 WILLIE MAYS
27 JUAN MARICHAL
30 ORLANDO CEPEDA
44 WILLIE MCCOVEY
Uniform
Number
Total
Retired
1 7
2 4
3 6
4 7
5 7
6 4
7 1
8 6
9 5
10 5
11 3
12 1
14 5
15 1
16 3
17 1
18 2
19 4
20 7
21 3
22 1
23 1
24 2
25 1
26 2
27 2
29 2
30 2
32 4
33 3
34 5
35 2
36 1
37 2
39 1
40 2
41 2
42 2
44 4
45 1
50 1
53 1
72 1
85 1




























































Uniform Retirements by Number
Number Player
1 Richie Ashburn-PHI
1 Bobby Doerr-BOS-A
1 Fred Hutchinson-CIN
1 Billy Martin-NY-A
1 Billy Meyer-PIT
1 Pee Wee Reese-LA-N
1 Ozzie Smith-STL
2 Nellie Fox-CHI-A
2 Charlie Gehringer-DET
2 Tommy Lasorda-LA-N
2 Red Schoendienst-STL
3 Earl Averill-CLE
3 Harold Baines-CHI-A
3 Harmon Killebrew-MIN
3 Dale Murphy-ATL
3 Babe Ruth-NY-A
3 Bill Terry-SF
4 Luke Appling-CHI-N
4 Joe Cronin-BOS-A
4 Lou Gehrig-NY-A
4 Ralph Kiner-PIT
4 Mel Ott-NY/SF-N
4 Duke Snider-LA-N
4 Earl Weaver-BAL
5 Carl Barger-FLA
5 Johnny Bench-CIN
5 Lou Boudreau-CLE
5 George Brett-KC
5 Joe Dimaggio-NY-A
5 Hank Greenberg-DET
5 Brooks Robinson-BAL
6 Steve Garvey-SD
6 Al Kaline-DET
6 Stan Musial-STL
6 Tony Oliva-MIN
7 Mickey Mantle
8 Yogi Berra-NY-A
8 Gary Carter-MON
8 Bill Dickey-NY-A
8 Joe Morgan-CIN
8 Willie Stargell-PIT
8 Carl Yastrzemski
9 Roger Maris-NY-A
9 Bill Mazeroski
9 Minnie MiNo.so-CHI-A
9 ENo.s Slaughter-STL
9 Ted Williams-BOS
10 Andrew Dawson
10 Dick Howser-KC
10 Phil Rizzuto-NY-A
10 Ron Santo-CHI-N
10 Rusty Staub
11 Luis Aparicio-CHI-A
11 Jim Fregosi-ANA
11 Karl Hubbell-SF
12 Wade Boggs-TB
14 Ernie Banks-CHI-N
14 Ken Boyer-STL
14 Larry Doby-CLE
14 Gil Hodges-NY-N
14 Kent Hrbek-MIN
15 Thurman Munson-NY-A
16 Whitey Ford-NY-A
16 Ted Lyons-CHI-A
16 Hal Newhouser-DET
17 Dizzy Dean-STL
18 Mel Harder-CLE
18 Ted Kluszewski-CIN
19 Bob Feller-CLE
19 Jim Gilliam-LA
19 Billy Pierce-CHI-A
19 Robin Yount-MIL
20 Lou Brock-STL
20 Frank Robinson-BAL
20 Frank Robinson-CIN
20 Mike Schmidt-PHI
20 Don Sutton-LA
20 Pie TrayNo.r-PIT
20 Frank White-KC
21 Roberto Clemente-PIT
21 Bob Lemon-CLE
21 Warren Spahn-ATL
22 Jim Palmer-BAL
23 Don Mattingly-NY-A
24 Walt Alston-LA
24 Willie Mays-SF
25 Jose Cruz-HOU
26 Gene Autry-ANA
26 Billy Williams-CHI-N
27 Catfish Hunter-OAK
27 Juan Marichal-SF
29 Rod Carew-ANA
29 Rod Carew-MIN
30 Orlando Cepeda-SF
30 Nolan Ryan-ANA
32 Steve Carlton-PHI
32 Elston Howard-NY-A
32 Sandy Koufax-LA-N
32 Jim Umbricht-HOU
33 Eddie Murray-BAL
33 Mike Scott-HOU
33 Honus Wagner-PIT
34 Rollie Fingers-OAK
34 Rollie Fingers-MIL-A
34 Kirby Puckett-MIN
34 No.lan Ryan-HOU
34 No.lan Ryan-TEX
35 Randy Jones-SD
35 Phil Niekro-ATL
36 Robin Roberts-PHI
37 Casey Stengel-NY-A
37 Casey Stengel-NY-N
39 Roy Campanella-LA-N
40 Danny Murtaugh-PIT
40 Don Wilson-HOU
41 Eddie Mathews-ATL
41 Tom Seaver-NY-N
42 Jackie Robinson-MLB
42 Jackie Robinson-LA-N
44 Henry Aaron-ATL
44 Henry Aaron-MIL-A
44 Reggie Jackson-NY-A
44 Willie Mcovey-SF
45 Bob Gibson-STL
50 Jimmy Reese-ANA
53 Don Drysdale-LA
72 Carlton Fisk- CHI-A
85 August Busch, Jr.-STL


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Baseball Uniform Number Retirements
URL: http://www.cosmicbaseball.com/bnr.html
Published: July 1, 2000
Updated: November 9, 2003; August 10, 2003
Copyright © 2000 by the Cosmic Baseball Association
email: editor@cosmicbaseball.com

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