List of Major League Baseball retired numbers

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Plaques of numbers retired by the New York Yankees in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium
Boston Red Sox retired numbers as hung on the right-field facade during the 2011 season in Fenway Park

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. 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 July 1939, following his retirement due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which became known popularly as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Since then, over 150 other people have had their numbers retired, some with more than one team. 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. Three numbers have been retired in honor of people not directly involved on the playing field - all three for team executives. 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. 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!"[1] However, Santo would be inducted into the Hall of Fame in July 2012, nearly two years after his death, after being voted in by the Veterans Committee.

List of retired numbers[edit]

daggerElected to the Baseball Hall of Fame
NumberPlayer or other figureTeamDate
1Meyer, BillyBilly MeyerPirates1954
1Reese, Pee WeePee Wee ReesedaggerDodgersJuly 1, 1984
1Doerr, BobbyBobby DoerrdaggerRed SoxMay 21, 1988
1Hutchinson, FredFred HutchinsonReds1965
1Smith, OzzieOzzie SmithdaggerCardinalsSeptember 26, 1996
1Ashburn, RichieRichie AshburndaggerPhilliesAugust 24, 1979
1Martin, BillyBilly MartinYankeesAugust 10, 1986
2Schoendienst, RedRed SchoendienstdaggerCardinalsMay 11, 1996
2Fox, NellieNellie FoxdaggerWhite SoxMay 1, 1976
2Lasorda, TommyTommy LasordadaggerDodgersAugust 15, 1997
2Gehringer, CharlieCharlie GehringerdaggerTigersJune 12, 1983
3Ruth, BabeBabe RuthdaggerYankeesJune 13, 1948
3Averill, EarlEarl AverilldaggerIndiansJune 8, 1975
3Terry, BillBill TerrydaggerGiants1984
3Killebrew, HarmonHarmon KillebrewdaggerTwinsMay 4, 1974
3Murphy, DaleDale MurphyBravesJune 13, 1994
3Baines, HaroldHarold BainesWhite SoxAugust 20, 1989
4Appling, LukeLuke ApplingdaggerWhite SoxJune 7, 1975
4Weaver, EarlEarl WeaverdaggerOriolesSeptember 19, 1982
4Snider, DukeDuke SniderdaggerDodgersJuly 6, 1980
4Kiner, RalphRalph KinerdaggerPiratesSeptember 19, 1987
4Gehrig, LouLou GehrigdaggerYankeesJuly 4, 1939
4Molitor, PaulPaul MolitordaggerBrewersJune 11, 1999
4Ott, MelMel OttdaggerGiantsJuly 17, 1948
4Cronin, JoeJoe CronindaggerRed SoxMay 29, 1984
5Robinson, BrooksBrooks RobinsondaggerOriolesApril 14, 1978
5Boudreau, LouLou BoudreaudaggerIndiansJuly 9, 1970
5Brett, GeorgeGeorge BrettdaggerRoyalsMay 14, 1994
5Bench, JohnnyJohnny BenchdaggerRedsAugust 11, 1984
5Greenberg, HankHank GreenbergdaggerTigersJune 12, 1983
5DiMaggio, JoeJoe DiMaggiodaggerYankeesApril 18, 1952
5Bagwell, JeffJeff BagwellAstrosAugust 26, 2007
6Pesky, JohnnyJohnny PeskyRed SoxSeptember 28, 2008
6Garvey, SteveSteve GarveyPadresApril 16, 1988
6Musial, StanStan MusialdaggerCardinalsSeptember 29, 1963
6Kaline, AlAl KalinedaggerTigersAugust 17, 1980
6Oliva, TonyTony OlivaTwinsJuly 14, 1991
6Cox, BobbyBobby CoxdaggerBravesAugust 12, 2011
6Torre, JoeJoe TorredaggerYankeesTBD
7Mantle, MickeyMickey MantledaggerYankeesJune 8, 1969
7Biggio, CraigCraig BiggioAstrosAugust 17, 2008
8Stargell, WillieWillie StargelldaggerPiratesSeptember 6, 1982
8Morgan, JoeJoe MorgandaggerRedsJune 6, 1998
8Berra, YogiYogi BerradaggerYankeesJuly 22, 1972
8Dickey, BillBill DickeydaggerYankeesJuly 22, 1972
8Ripken, Jr., CalCal Ripken, Jr.daggerOriolesSeptember 9, 2001
8Yastrzemski, CarlCarl YastrzemskidaggerRed SoxAugust 6, 1989
9Williams, TedTed WilliamsdaggerRed SoxMay 29, 1984
9Jackson, ReggieReggie JacksondaggerAthleticsMay 22, 2004
9Minoso, MinnieMinnie MiñosoWhite SoxMay 8, 1983
9Slaughter, EnosEnos SlaughterdaggerCardinalsSeptember 6, 1996
9Mazeroski, BillBill MazeroskidaggerPiratesAugust 7, 1987
9Maris, RogerRoger MarisYankeesJuly 21, 1984
10Anderson, SparkySparky AndersondaggerRedsMay 28, 2005
10Howser, DickDick HowserRoyalsJuly 3, 1987
10Rizzuto, PhilPhil RizzutodaggerYankeesAugust 4, 1985
10Santo, RonRon SantodaggerCubsSeptember 28, 2003
10La Russa, TonyTony La RussadaggerCardinalsMay 11, 2012
10Kelly, TomTom KellyTwinsSeptember 8, 2012
10Jones, ChipperChipper JonesBravesJune 28, 2013
11Hubbell, CarlCarl HubbelldaggerGiants1944
11Fregosi, JimJim FregosiAngelsAugust 1, 1998
11Aparicio, LuisLuis Apariciodagger[Notes 1]White SoxAugust 14, 1984
11Waner, PaulPaul WanerdaggerPiratesJuly 21, 2007
11Anderson, SparkySparky AndersondaggerTigersJune 26, 2011
11Larkin, BarryBarry LarkindaggerRedsAugust 25, 2012
12Boggs, WadeWade BoggsdaggerRaysApril 7, 2000
12Alomar, RobertoRoberto AlomardaggerBlue JaysJuly 31, 2011
13Concepción, DaveDave ConcepciónRedsAugust 25, 2007
14Banks, ErnieErnie BanksdaggerCubsAugust 22, 1982
14Hrbek, KentKent HrbekTwinsAugust 13, 1995
14Doby, LarryLarry DobydaggerIndiansJuly 3, 1994
14Boyer, KenKen BoyerCardinalsMay 20, 1984
14Hodges, GilGil HodgesMetsJune 9, 1973
14Bunning, JimJim BunningdaggerPhilliesApril 16, 2001
14Rice, JimJim RicedaggerRed SoxJuly 28, 2009
15Munson, ThurmanThurman MunsonYankeesAugust 3, 1979
16Lyons, TedTed LyonsdaggerWhite SoxJuly 25, 1987
16Ford, WhiteyWhitey ForddaggerYankeesAugust 3, 1974
16Newhouser, HalHal NewhouserdaggerTigersJuly 27, 1997
17Dean, DizzyDizzy DeandaggerCardinalsSeptember 22, 1974
17Helton, ToddTodd HeltonRockiesAugust 17, 2014
18Kluszewski, TedTed KluszewskiRedsJuly 18, 1998
18Harder, MelMel HarderIndiansJuly 28, 1990
19Feller, BobBob FellerdaggerIndiansDecember 28, 1956
19Pierce, BillyBilly PierceWhite SoxJuly 25, 1987
19Gilliam, JimJim GilliamDodgersOctober 10, 1978
19Gwynn, TonyTony GwynndaggerPadresSeptember 4, 2004
19Yount, RobinRobin YountdaggerBrewersMay 29, 1994
20Gonzalez, LuisLuis GonzalezDiamondbacksAugust 7, 2010
20Irvin, MonteMonte IrvindaggerGiantsJune 26, 2010
20Brock, LouLou BrockdaggerCardinalsSeptember 9, 1979
20Robinson, FrankFrank RobinsondaggerOriolesMarch 10, 1972
20Robinson, FrankFrank RobinsondaggerRedsMay 22, 1998
20Traynor, PiePie TraynordaggerPiratesApril 18, 1972
20Schmidt, MikeMike SchmidtdaggerPhilliesMay 26, 1990
20Sutton, DonDon SuttondaggerDodgersAugust 14, 1998
20White, FrankFrank WhiteRoyalsMay 2, 1995
21Lemon, BobBob LemondaggerIndiansJune 20, 1998
21Spahn, WarrenWarren SpahndaggerBravesDecember 11, 1965
21Clemente, RobertoRoberto ClementedaggerPiratesApril 6, 1973
22Palmer, JimJim PalmerdaggerOriolesSeptember 1, 1985
23Sandberg, RyneRyne SandbergdaggerCubsAugust 28, 2005
23Mattingly, DonDon MattinglyYankeesAugust 31, 1997
23Horton, WillieWillie HortonTigersJuly 15, 2000
24Herzog, WhiteyWhitey HerzogdaggerCardinalsJuly 31, 2010
24Perez, TonyTony PerezdaggerRedsMay 27, 2000
24Mays, WillieWillie MaysdaggerGiantsMay 12, 1972
24Alston, WalterWalter AlstondaggerDodgersJune 5, 1977
24Wynn, JimmyJimmy WynnAstrosJune 25, 2005
24Henderson, RickeyRickey HendersondaggerAthleticsAugust 1, 2009
25Cruz, JoséJosé CruzAstrosOctober 3, 1992
26Williams, BillyBilly WilliamsdaggerCubsAugust 13, 1987
26Autry, GeneGene Autry[Notes 2]AngelsAugust 3, 1982
26Oates, JohnnyJohnny OatesRangersAugust 5, 2005
27Fisk, CarltonCarlton FiskdaggerRed SoxSeptember 4, 2000
27Hunter, CatfishCatfish HunterdaggerAthleticsJune 9, 1991
27Marichal, JuanJuan MarichaldaggerGiantsJuly 10, 1983
28Blyleven, BertBert BlylevendaggerTwinsJuly 16, 2011
29Carew, RodRod CarewdaggerAngelsAugust 6, 1991
29Carew, RodRod CarewdaggerTwinsJuly 19, 1987
29Smoltz, JohnJohn SmoltzBravesJune 8, 2012
30Cepeda, OrlandoOrlando CepedadaggerGiantsJuly 11, 1999
30Ryan, NolanNolan RyandaggerAngelsJune 16, 1992
31Winfield, DaveDave WinfielddaggerPadresApril 14, 2001
31Maddux, GregGreg MadduxdaggerCubsMay 3, 2009
31Maddux, GregGreg MadduxdaggerBravesJuly 17, 2009
31Jenkins, FergusonFerguson JenkinsdaggerCubsMay 3, 2009
32Carlton, SteveSteve CarltondaggerPhilliesJuly 29, 1989
32Koufax, SandySandy KoufaxdaggerDodgersJune 4, 1972
32Howard, ElstonElston HowardYankeesJuly 21, 1984
32Umbricht, JimJim UmbrichtAstrosApril 12, 1965
33Scott, MikeMike ScottAstrosOctober 3, 1992
33Murray, EddieEddie MurraydaggerOriolesJune 7, 1998
33Wagner, HonusHonus WagnerdaggerPiratesFebruary 16, 1952
34Fingers, RollieRollie FingersdaggerBrewersAugust 9, 1992
34Fingers, RollieRollie FingersdaggerAthleticsJuly 5, 1993
34Ryan, NolanNolan RyandaggerRangersSeptember 15, 1996
34Ryan, NolanNolan RyandaggerAstrosSeptember 29, 1996
34Puckett, KirbyKirby PuckettdaggerTwinsMay 25, 1997
35Jones, RandyRandy JonesPadresMay 9, 1997
35Niekro, PhilPhil NiekrodaggerBravesAugust 6, 1984
35Thomas, FrankFrank ThomasdaggerWhite SoxAugust 29, 2010
36Perry, GaylordGaylord PerrydaggerGiantsJuly 23, 2005
36Roberts, RobinRobin RobertsdaggerPhilliesMarch 21, 1962
37Stengel, CaseyCasey StengeldaggerYankeesAugust 8, 1970
37Stengel, CaseyCasey StengeldaggerMetsSeptember 2, 1965
39Campanella, RoyRoy CampanelladaggerDodgersJune 4, 1972
40Wilson, DonDon WilsonAstrosApril 13, 1975
40Murtaugh, DannyDanny MurtaughPiratesApril 7, 1977
41Mathews, EddieEddie MathewsdaggerBravesJuly 26, 1969
41Seaver, TomTom SeaverdaggerMetsJune 24, 1988
42Rivera, MarianoMariano RiveraYankeesSeptember 22, 2013
42Robinson, JackieJackie RobinsondaggerDodgersJune 4, 1972
42Robinson, JackieJackie RobinsondaggerAll MLBApril 15, 1997
42Sutter, BruceBruce SutterdaggerCardinalsSeptember 17, 2006
43Eckersley, DennisDennis EckersleydaggerAthleticsAugust 13, 2005
44Aaron, HankHank AarondaggerBravesApril 15, 1977
44Aaron, HankHank AarondaggerBrewersOctober 3, 1976
44Jackson, ReggieReggie JacksondaggerYankeesAugust 14, 1993
44McCovey, WillieWillie McCoveydaggerGiantsSeptember 21, 1980
45Gibson, BobBob GibsondaggerCardinalsSeptember 1, 1975
47Glavine, TomTom GlavinedaggerBravesAugust 6, 2010
49Dierker, LarryLarry DierkerAstrosMay 19, 2002
49Guidry, RonRon GuidryYankeesAugust 23, 2003
50Reese, JimmieJimmie ReeseAngelsAugust 2, 1995
51Hoffman, TrevorTrevor HoffmanPadresAugust 21, 2011
53Drysdale, DonDon DrysdaledaggerDodgersJuly 1, 1984
72Fisk, CarltonCarlton FiskdaggerWhite SoxSeptember 14, 1997
85Busch, Jr., AugustAugust Busch, Jr.[Notes 3]CardinalsApril 13, 1984
455Indians fans[Notes 4]IndiansMay 29, 2001
  1. ^ Aparicio's number was temporarily unretired with his approval for Omar Vizquel. Vizquel played the 2010 and 2011 seasons with the White Sox.
  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. ^ The Number 455 was retired in honor of the fans after the Indians sold out 455 consecutive games.

Former retired numbers[edit]

It is very rare for a team to reissue a retired number, and usually requires a special circumstance, such as the player for whom the number was retired coming out of retirement himself. Harold Baines is an example of this.

In cases of franchise relocation, the handling of existing retired numbers is at the discretion of team management. They may decide to continue honoring the retired numbers, including the San Francisco Giants, or they may choose to make a "fresh start" and reissue the numbers, as the Washington Nationals have done.

The Cincinnati Reds have placed Willard Hershberger's number 5 into circulation two years after his death. Cincinnati later re-retired the number 5 for Johnny Bench. When the Florida Marlins moved to their current stadium, Marlins Park, and rebranded as the Miami Marlins; the number 5, which was retired for their late first president, Carl Barger, was placed into circulation because Logan Morrison requested to wear the number.

NameTeamNumberDate
5Barger, CarlCarl Barger[Notes 1]MarlinsApril 5, 1993
8Carter, GaryGary Carterdagger[Notes 2]ExposJuly 31, 1993
10Dawson, AndreAndre Dawsondagger[Notes 2]ExposJuly 6, 1997
5Hershberger, WillardWillard Hershberger[Notes 3]Reds1940
30Raines, TimTim Raines [Notes 2]ExposJune 19, 2004
10Staub, RustyRusty Staub[Notes 2]ExposMay 15, 1993
  1. ^ Placed into circulation in 2012 when the Marlins moved to their new park and decided to honor Barger instead with a plaque at the stadium. The first player to receive the number was Logan Morrison. Barger was the team's first president, but died in December 1992, four months before the team's first game. The Marlins chose to retire #5 because it was the number worn by Barger's favorite player, Joe DiMaggio.
  2. ^ a b c d The Montreal Expos retired numbers in honor of four players (Carter #8, Dawson #10, Staub #10, Raines #30). When the franchise relocated to Washington, D.C., after the 2004 season, the newly christened Washington Nationals chose not to recognize any uniform number retired while in Montreal. 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.
  3. ^ The Reds retired Hershberger's #5 after his death in 1940, but later returned it to circulation two years later. Cincinnati later re-retired the number 5 for Johnny Bench.

Retired in honor of multiple players[edit]

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

Alternative methods of recognition[edit]

Two teams, the Seattle Mariners and the Colorado Rockies, have never retired any jersey numbers (other than Robinson's #42 retired in all of MLB). Two additional teams, the Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals have no retired jersey numbers. The Marlins had previously retired #5 in honor of their first team president, the late Carl Barger, but un-retired it entering the 2012 season. The Nationals franchise had retired jerseys in honor of four players when known as the Montreal Expos, but un-retired them upon moving to Washington.

The Mariners have kept the following numbers out of circulation since the departure of a popular player who wore it: #11 (Edgar Martínez), #14 (Lou Piniella), #19 (Jay Buhner), #24 (Ken Griffey, Jr.). and #51 (initially for Randy Johnson, and later for Ichiro Suzuki). Similarly, no one has worn #33 for the Rockies since the departure of Larry Walker in 2004 until Justin Morneau wore the number with Walker's permission in 2014. It has been speculated that #17 (Todd Helton) will be the first number that the Rockies organization will retire.[6]

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 due to his lifetime ban from baseball. The Los Angeles Dodgers' current policy is only to retire the numbers of longtime club members if they are inducted into the Hall of Fame; the lone exception was longtime Dodger player and coach Jim Gilliam, whose #19 was retired when he died of a cerebral hemorrhage during the Dodgers' 1978 postseason run. Nevertheless, the Dodgers have informally kept Fernando Valenzuela's #34 out of circulation since his retirement.[7]

The New York Mets have not assigned Mike Piazza's #31 since he left the team in 2005. On opening day of the 2012 season the Mets unveiled a memorial "Kid 8" logo to honor the late Gary Carter. Although no Met has worn the number 8 since Carter's election to the Hall of Fame, it is not retired. Following Willie Mays' retirement in 1973, Mets owner Joan Payson promised him that the team would not reissue his #24; since then, the only Met to wear it has been Rickey Henderson from 1999 to 2000 (with the exception of a minor league call-up named Kelvin Torve, who was inexplicably issued #24 in August 1990 before fan complaints prompted the team to change his number to #39 ten days later[8]).

After Darryl Kile's death in 2002, the teams he played for (Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, and St. Louis Cardinals) took his #57 out of circulation, but have not formally retired the number.

The New York Yankees have not re-issued uniform numbers 6 (Joe Torre), 20 (Jorge Posada), 21 (Paul O'Neill) and 51 (Bernie Williams) since those players or managers ended their careers.

Number retired by Major League Baseball[edit]

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 wearing it (Mariano Rivera was the last active player to be grandfathered in, retiring after the 2013 season). Starting in the 2007 season, the 60th anniversary of Robinson's Major League debut, players and coaches have all worn the number 42 as a tribute to Robinson on Jackie Robinson Day, April 15.

There is a lobby to have uniform #21 retired in all of baseball to honor Roberto Clemente.[9]

Similar honors[edit]

Players who pre-date uniform numbers[edit]

Four teams have honored players who played before the advent of uniform numbers by placing their names among those of players whose numbers have been retired:

Broadcasters[edit]

Owners and contributors[edit]

Umpires[edit]

See: Umpire (baseball)#Numbers Retired by Individual Leagues

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jauss, Bill (September 29, 2003). "Santo: Flag 'my Hall of Fame'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 19, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c baseball-almanac.com (2009). "Retired Uniform Numbers in the National League". baseball-almanac.com. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 
  3. ^ MLB Advanced Media (2009). "Franchise Retired Numbers". MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 
  4. ^ MLB Advanced Media (2009). "Yankees Retired Numbers". MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 
  5. ^ MLB Advanced Media (2009). "Cardinals Retired Numbers". MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 
  6. ^ Saunders, Patrick (2011-07-02 10:29:41-06:00). "Retired numbers: Whose jersey, besides Elway's, is worthy?". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2011-07-04. 
  7. ^ "Big Unit beats Dodgers 2-1 in Manny’s LA debut". Yahoo.com. 08-02-2008. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  8. ^ "Accidental 24: The Kelvin Torve Interview". Mets by the Numbers. 2008-02-11. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  9. ^ Ruiz, M. Teresa. "SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 27". State of New Jersey. State of New Jersey. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  10. ^ 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. 

Additional reading[edit]

External links[edit]