Can You Match the Sports Legend to His Retired Number?

By: Gavin Thagard

Can You Match the Sports Legend to His Retired Number?
Image: WikiCommons via Keith Allison

About This Quiz

What is a number? That's the question you have to ask when you think about the most gifted athletes to ever take the field in their respective sports. After all, players often become as associated with the numbers on the back of their jerseys as with the names that run across them. How often do you hear an announcer say QB 12 threw a touchdown or number 8 slams one down? 

Of course, you might say that it seems silly to put so much weight behind a simple number, but there's a reason they retire a great player's number when their career is finished. Sure, it's an honor, but it's also a recognition of all the spectacular moments that occurred as that number flashed past the eyes of fans over and over. 

From football to basketball to various other sports, do you know the great players across these sports and the numbers they wore? Do you know which teams retired those numbers that put on miraculous performance after miraculous performance? 

If you have knowledge of all the retired numbers across an array of sports, here's your chance to test your knowledge. Get started and see how well you really know these legendary athletes! 

Known as the "Black Mamba," which Lakers' player had his number 8 and 24 retired?
Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant spent the first half of his career playing beside Shaquille O'Neal. However, conflict over who should lead the team forced the Lakers to part ways with O'Neal, as Kobe went on to win two more championships with the Lakers.
Earvin "Magic" Johnson
Shaquille O'Neal
Wilt Chamberlain

Advertisement

This home run king had his number 3 retired by the Yankees. Who is he?
Alex Rodriguez
Derek Jeter
Mickey Mantle
Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth changed the game of baseball in the 1920s by continuously pushing the home run bar further and further. He finished his career with 714 home runs, a record that wouldn't be broken until Hank Aaron came along.

Advertisement

A former Super Bowl champion, who had their number 4 retired by the Green Bay Packers?
Bart Starr
Brett Favre
Brett Favre started an astounding 297 straight games during his NFL career. That's an NFL record that may never be broken, as no current player is anywhere close.
Paul Hornung
Jerry Kramer

Advertisement

This NHL player had his number 99 retired across the entire league. Who is he?
Gordie Howe
Martin Brodeur
Wayne Gretzky
Playing from 1979 until 1999, Wayne Gretzky set a host of NHL records during his career, including most goals and most assists. For his play, he was selected to 18 All-Star games.
Brett Hull

Advertisement

An 11-time NBA champion, who had their number 6 retired by the Celtics?
Larry Bird
Bob Cousy
Bill Russell
Bill Russell was instrumental in breaking down racial​ barriers in the NBA. His hiring as the first black NBA head coach was particularly important for the development of the league.
Elgin Baylor

Advertisement

Which former quarterback had his number 18 retired by the Indianapolis Colts?
Johnny Unitas
Reggie Wayne
Dwight Freeney
Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning suffered a neck injury that forced him to miss the 2011 season. His team went 2-14, the worst record in the league, and earned the first pick in the 2012 NFL draft. The Colts decided to move on from Manning, drafting quarterback Andrew Luck to take his place.

Advertisement

Wearing number 4, he was the first player to have his number retired in MLB. Which Yankees player is he?
Lou Gehrig
Lou Gehrig's career was cut short by his battle with ALS. Two years after his retirement, the disease took his life.
Joe DiMaggio
Mickey Mantle
Yogi Berra

Advertisement

Often regarded as the greatest basketball player of all-time, who had their number 23 retired by the Bulls?
Allen Iverson
Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan retired during the prime of his NBA career to play baseball after the death of his father. He returned a few years later, winning three more NBA titles.
Julius Erving
Charles Barkley

Advertisement

Nicknamed "The Golden Jet," who had their number 9 retired by the Arizona Coyotes?
Bobby Orr
Bobby Hull
Bobby Hull had a level of athleticism that few other NHL players could match. He was often a defensive nightmare and opposing teams would assign players just to guard him.
Mario Lemieux
Mark Messier

Advertisement

This player spent his entire career with the Boston Red Sox, who retired his number 9. Who is he?
Willie Mays
Ty Cobb
Ted Williams
Ted Williams left baseball to serve in WWII and the Korean War. During both wars, Williams served as a naval aviator.
Carl Yastrzemski

Advertisement

Wearing number 12, he is one of only three players from the Buffalo Bills with a retired number. Who is he?
Jim Kelly
Jim Kelly guided the Buffalo Bills to four straight Super Bowls from the 1990 season to the 1993 season. However, his team lost all four games.
Drew Bledsoe
Dan Marino
Andre Reed

Advertisement

Which legendary point guard for the Detroit Pistons had his number 11 retired?
Dennis Rodman
Karl Malone
Patrick Ewing
Isiah Thomas
Isiah Thomas was famously left off the 1992 U.S. Olympic basketball team, which would win gold that year. According to speculation, Michael Jordan had a hand in keeping Thomas from participating.

Advertisement

Known as "The Iron Man," who had their number 8 retired by the Orioles?
Cal Ripken Jr.
Cal Ripken Jr. spent his entire MLB career with the Baltimore Orioles. One of his greatest achievements while playing for the Orioles was winning the 1983 World Series against the Phillies.
Nolan Ryan
Barry Bonds
Rickey Henderson

Advertisement

One of the greatest running backs in NFL history, the Bears retired number 34 for which player?
Emmitt Smith
Walter Payton
Walter Payton finished his career as the NFL all-time leading rusher. However, that record was broken by Emmitt Smith who still holds the record with 18,355 yards.
Barry Sanders
Frank Gore

Advertisement

A giant at the center position, which NBA player had their number 11 retired by the Houston Rockets?
Tracy McGrady
Vince Carter
Yao Ming
Yao Ming was a physical force on the basketball court, especially in an era with other great big men like Shaquille O'Neal. Injuries eventually slowed him down, and he finally retired in 2011 after only eight seasons in the league.
Kevin Garnett

Advertisement

After playing 23 seasons in the NHL, who had their number 2 retired by the Calgary Flames?
Maurice Richard
Mark Messier
Guy Lafleur
Al MacInnis
Al MacInnis had a very lengthy playing career that lasted 23 seasons in the NHL. He also played on Canada's international team, winning gold at the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Advertisement

This player had his number 14 retired by the Chicago Cubs where he spent his entire career. Who is he?
Ron Santo
Hank Aaron
Ernie Banks
Ernie Banks was so popular among Cubs' fans that he earned the nickname "Mr. Cub." Banks never won a World Series with the team, but he was selected to 14 All-Star games and was twice named the NL MVP.
Andre Dawson

Advertisement

Which former Browns player had number 32 retired by the team?
Ozzie Newsome
Lou Groza
Gary Collins
Jim Brown
Jim Brown went into acting after he left the NFL. He played in such movies as "The Condor," "Dirty Dozen," and "100 Rifles."

Advertisement

Known as the first player to average a triple-double for a season in the NBA, which player's number 1 was retired by the Milwaukee Bucks?
Oscar Robertson
In 1971, Oscar Robertson led the Bucks to the franchise's only NBA championship. Robertson won the title after averaging 18.3 points and 8.9 assists in the playoffs.
Jerry West
Elgin Baylor
Moses Malone

Advertisement

The Atlanta Braves retired number 10 for this former NL MVP. Who is he?
Hank Aaron
Chipper Jones
Chipper Jones was taken by the Atlanta Braves with the first overall pick in the 1990 MLB draft. Jones spent his entire career with the​ organization, helping the team win a World Series in 1995.
Greg Maddux
Tom Glavine

Advertisement

The Los Angeles Rams retired number 28 for which three-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year?
Kurt Warner
Isaac Bruce
Torry Holt
Marshall Faulk
Marshall Faulk was a centerpiece in a Rams' offense that was known as "The Greatest Show on Turf." The offense also included quarterback Kurt Warner along with receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt.

Advertisement

This player spent his entire NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs who retired his number 21. Who is he?
Manu Ginobili
Tim Duncan
Tim Duncan played the early part of his career alongside David Robinson. Known as "The Twin Towers," they were a dominant force underneath the basket.
Tony Parker
David Robinson

Advertisement

Nicknamed "The Say Hey Kid," which MLB player's number 24 was retired by the San Francisco Giants?
Willie Mays
Willie Mays was elected to 24 All-Star games, a record he shares with Hank Aaron and Stan Musial. His first All-Star selection came in 1954, the same season he won the NL MVP.
Barry Bonds
Pete Rose
Frank Robinson

Advertisement

Known for a 1970s Coca-Cola commercial, the Pittsburgh Steelers retired number 75 for which player?
Franco Harris
Lynn Swann
Joe Greene
Joe Greene was part of the "Steel Curtain" defensive line that dominated the NFL throughout the 1970s. As a leader on the defense, he was a centerpiece in the Steelers' four Super Bowl victories during that era.
Terry Bradshaw

Advertisement

A great enough hockey player to be named "Mr. Hockey," who had their number 9 retired by the Detroit Red Wings?
Bobby Orr
Maurice Richard
Ted Lindsay
Gordie Howe
Gordie Howe played 26 seasons in the NHL, which is the longest career span of any player in the history of the league. 25 of those seasons were spent with the Detroit Red Wings.

Advertisement

Which famous quarterback's number 13 was retired by the Miami Dolphins?
John Elway
Troy Aikman
Dan Marino
Drafted in 1983, Dan Marino had a successful career as he set a host of records and won numerous awards. However, the elite quarterback never won a Super Bowl.
Joe Montana

Advertisement

This NBA star was the leader of the "Showtime" Lakers who retired his number 32. Who is he?
Earvin "Magic" Johnson
Earvin "Magic" Johnson initially retired from the NBA in 1991 after finding out he had HIV. He made a return to the league in 1996, playing one season before retiring permanently.
Byron Scott
Jamaal Wilkes
James Worthy

Advertisement

The Pirates retired number 21 for this MLB legend who died in a plane crash. Who is he?
Sandy Koufax​
Roberto Clemente
Roberto Clemente was selected to the MLB Hall of Fame the year following his death. His selection was unique because players initially had to wait five years before they could be selected.
Reggie Jackson
Nolan Ryan

Advertisement

A three-time NBA champion, who had their number 33 retired by the Celtics?
Kevin McHale
Larry Bird
Larry Bird had a successful career as a player and later as a coach and executive. His success was evident by his three NBA MVP awards, an NBA Coach of the Year award, and an Executive of the Year award.
Charles Barkley
Patrick Ewing

Advertisement

The New York Giants retired number 56 for this game-changing linebacker. Who is he?
Phil Simms
Harry Carson
Lawrence Taylor
Lawrence Taylor revolutionized the linebacker position in the NFL. He was particularly great at getting after the quarterback in passing situations, racking up 132.5 sacks throughout his career.
Tiki Barber

Advertisement

Before having his number 6 retired, this MLB player made 24 All-Star games for the Cardinals. Who is he?
Stan Musial
Stan Musial helped the Cardinals win the 1942 World Series. Deputing at the end of the 1941 season, 1942 was his first full season in the league.
Earl Weaver
Barry Bonds
Lou Brock

Advertisement

Playing beside Michael Jordan for the Chicago Bulls, who had their number 33 retired by the team?
Dennis Rodman
Charles Barkley
Karl Malone
Scottie Pippen
Scottie Pippen was a dominant force on the defensive side of the ball. His defensive prowess was evident by his selection to eight NBA All-Defensive First Teams.

Advertisement

One of the greatest wide receivers to ever lace up, the 49ers retired number 80 for which player?
Jerry Rice
Jerry Rice played beside two Hall of Fame quarterbacks during his career in San Fransisco. He won two Super Bowls with Joe Montana and a single Super Bowl with Steve Young.
Randy Moss
Terrell Owens
Deion Sanders

Advertisement

The first African-American in baseball, who had his number 42 retired across the entire league?
Barry Bonds
Satchel Paige
Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson came into the league as an immediate star, earning the Rookie of the Year award in 1947. Two years later, he won the NL MVP, cementing his legacy as a great player.
Bo Jackson

Advertisement

The Milwaukee Bucks retired number 33 for this former legend. Who is he?
Elvin Hayes
Moses Malone
Karl Malone
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar finished his career as the all-time leading scorer in the NBA. He also finished third on the list of all-time rebounds, behind only Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell.

Advertisement

You Got:
/35

Featured