The Best Athletes Who Wore #42 

Ranker Sports
Updated September 24, 2019 353 votes 85 voters 3.5k views 30 items

List Rules Vote up the top athletes who wore 42 for at least one professional season

Many famous athletes who wore 42 as their jersey number created long-lasting legacies and brilliant highlights associated with the number. MLB retired the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson as an appreciation for his work breaking down barriers in sports and society. Hall of Fame pitcher Mariano Rivera was the last baseball player to wear 42. Players in other sports still can wear 42, and there are top names with the jersey number both retired and still active today. 

Some of the top basketball players who wore 42 include James Worthy, Kevin Love and Connie Hawkins. Standout football players with number 42 jerseys are Ronnie Lott, Gerald Riggs, and Paul Warfield, who all rocked the jersey in the NFL. With all these great athletes, jersey number 42 rightly has become associated with sports greatness. 

So check out the list of athletes who wore 42 and help decide who deserves to rank the highest for wearing this iconic jersey number. Vote up your favorite athletes to wear the number 42, then head over and check out some other iconic jersey numbers, including the best players to wear No. 23.

Jackie Robinson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Athletes Who Wore #42
Photo:  janeb13/Pixabay/CC0 1.0

League: MLB
Years active: 1947-1956
Stats: .311 batting average, 137 home runs, 734 RBIs

Career Highlights

  • Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame (1962)
  • 6× All-Star (1949–1954)
  • World Series champion (1955)
  • NL MVP (1949)
  • MLB Rookie of the Year (1947)

Age: Dec. at 53 (1919-1972)

Birthplace: Georgia, USA, Cairo

Team: Brooklyn Dodgers

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#165 of 925 People We Wish Were Still Alive #386 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Timelisted on Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative

Ronnie Lott is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Athletes Who Wore #42
Photo:  Steve Jennings/Getty Images

League: NFL
Years active: 1981-1994
Stats: 192 games played, 63 interceptions, 5 touchdowns

Career Highlights

  • 4× Super Bowl champion (XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV)
  • 10× Pro Bowl (1981–1984, 1986–1991)
  • 8× First-team All-Pro (1981, 1983, 1986–1991)

Age: 60

Birthplace: Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States of America

Team: San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Raiders, New York Jets

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#11 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #4 of 519 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

Mariano Rivera is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Athletes Who Wore #42
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/CC-BY-SA-2.0

League: MLB
Years active: 1995-2012
Stats: 652 saves, 2.21 ERA, 1,173 strikeouts

Career Highlights

  • Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame (2019)
  • 13× All-Star (1997, 1999–2002, 2004–2006, 2008–2011, 2013)
  • 5× World Series champion (1996, 1998–2000, 2009)
  • World Series MVP (1999)
  • ALCS MVP (2003)
  • 5× AL Rolaids Relief Man Award (1999, 2001, 2004–2005, 2009)

Age: 50

Birthplace: Panama City, Panama

Team: New York Yankees

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#43 of 599 The Greatest Baseball Players Of All Time #38 of 523 The Best Baseball Players NOT in the Hall of Famelisted on Longest Pitching Streaks in Baseball

James Worthy is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Athletes Who Wore #42
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

League: NBA
Years active: 1983-1994
Stats: 926 games played, 17.6 points per game, 5.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists

Career Highlights

  • 3× NBA champion (1985, 1987, 1988)
  • NBA Finals MVP (1988)
  • 7× NBA All-Star (1986–1992)
  • 2× All-NBA Third Team (1990, 1991)

Age: 58

Birthplace: Gastonia, North Carolina, United States of America

Team: Los Angeles Lakers

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#2 of 49 The Greatest UNC Tar Heels Basketball Players of All Time #8 of 107 The Greatest Lakers of All Time