Sports

The Best Athletes Who Wore #42  

Ranker Sports
272 votes 60 voters 2.3k 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: Cairo, Georgia, United States of America

Team: Brooklyn Dodgers

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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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#12 of 1,540 The Best Football Players Ever #4 of 508 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #1 of 103 The Best USC Trojans Players of All Time

Kevin Love is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Athletes Who Wore #42
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

League: NBA
Years active: 2009-current
Stats: 657 games played, 18.3 points per games, 11.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists

Career Highlights

  • NBA champion (2016)
  • 5× NBA All-Star (2011, 2012, 2014, 2017, 2018)
  • 2× All-NBA Second Team (2012, 2014)
  • NBA Most Improved Player (2011)

Age: 31

Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States of America

Team: Minnesota Timberwolves

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#192 of 847 The Top NBA Players Of All Time #31 of 81 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today #63 of 169 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

Mariano Rivera is listed (or ranked) 4 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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