The Best Athletes Who Wore #42  

Ranker Sports
190 votes 43 voters 1.6k 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

More Jackie Robinson

#52 of 430 on The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History #47 of 320 on The Best Players in the Baseball Hall of Fame #50 of 583 on The Greatest Baseball Players of All Time #28 of 109 on The Most Beloved US Veterans

Is this a great athlete?
see more on Jackie Robinson
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, USA

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

More Ronnie Lott

#1 of 103 on The Best USC Trojans Players of All Time #12 of 1465 on The Best Football Players Ever #4 of 510 on The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #3 of 99 on The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time

Is this a great athlete?
see more on Ronnie Lott
Johnny Robinson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Athletes Who Wore #42
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)
Johnny Robinson

League: NFL
Years active: 1960-1971
Stats: 164 games played, 57 interceptions, 1 touchdown

Career Highlights

  • Super Bowl champion (IV)
  • Pro Bowl (1970)
  • First-team All-Pro (1970)
  • NFL interceptions leader (1970)
  • 3× AFL champion (1962, 1966, 1969)
  • 6× AFL All-Star (1963–1968)
  • 5× First-team All-AFL (1965–1969)
  • 2× Second-team All-AFL (1963, 1964)

Age: 81

Birthplace: Delhi, Louisiana

Team: Kansas City Chiefs

More Johnny Robinson

#68 of 152 on The Best LSU Football Players of All Time #36 of 127 on The Best Kansas City Chiefs of All Time #31 of 32 on 32 Celebrities Who Were in Sigma Phi Epsilons

Is this a great athlete?
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

More James Worthy

#56 of 154 on The Best NBA Player Nicknames #45 of 830 on The Top NBA Players Of All Time #14 of 55 on The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked #2 of 50 on The Greatest UNC Tar Heels Basketball Players of All Time

Is this a great athlete?
see more on James Worthy