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The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Updated July 22, 2019 5.5k votes 197 voters 1.3k views175 items

List RulesVote up the best MLB players to have their legendary number retired for all time.

These are the best MLB players to have their numbers retired by the team where they made the biggest impact. Not every player in the MLB gets their number retired, it is an honor bestowed upon the best players of a franchise. The Yankees have the most retired jerseys, with 22 numbers never to be worn again by a Yankees player. Does that mean that Babe Ruth or another Yankee will make it to the top of the list? While all of these baseball players are great at the game, having your number retired does not automatically get you into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Players on this list that have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame are noted. The one MLB retired number that is effective league-wide is Jackie Robinson’s number 42. Every player, manager, and coach wears the number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day, April 15.

Look below to see all the numbers retired in the MLB and if your favorite player has had their number retired. Then vote up the players that you think played the game the best. This list does not have current players because they are still using their numbers and it does not have numbers that were retired for coaches, managers, or owners. This list is for players only and will determine the best MLB players to have had their number retired.

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  • 1
    Babe Ruth is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    84
    20

    Babe Ruth

    Right fielder, Outfielder

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplacePigtown, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America

    TeamsBoston Red Sox, Boston Braves, New York Yankees

    Number: 3

    Years With Franchise: Boston Red Sox (1914–1919), New York Yankees (1920–1934), Boston Braves (1935)

    Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
     

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  • 2
    Jackie Robinson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    86
    24

    Jackie Robinson

    Second baseman

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceCairo, Georgia, United States of America

    BatsRight-handed

    TeamsBrooklyn Dodgers

    Number: 42

    Years With Franchise: Brooklyn Dodgers (1947–1956)

    Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
     

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  • 3
    Willie Mays is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    77
    19

    Willie Mays

    Center fielder

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceWestfield, Alabama, United States of America

    Number: 24

    Years With Franchise: New York / San Francisco Giants (1951–1952, 1954–1972)
    New York Mets (1972–1973)

    Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
     

  • 4
    Lou Gehrig is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    75
    19

    Lou Gehrig

    First baseman

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceYorkville, New York City, New York, United States of America

    BatsLeft-handed

    TeamsNew York Yankees

    Number: 4

    Years With Franchise: New York Yankees (1923–1939)

    Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
     

  • 5
    Ernie Banks is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    66
    12

    Ernie Banks

    First baseman, Shortstop

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceDallas, Texas, United States of America

    TeamsChicago Cubs

    Number: 14

    Years With Franchise: Chicago Cubs (1953–1971)

    Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
     

  • 6
    Hank Aaron is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    72
    20

    Hank Aaron

    Right fielder, Outfielder

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceMobile, Alabama, United States of America

    BatsRight-handed

    TeamsMilwaukee Brewers, Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Braves

    Number: 44

    Years With Franchise: Milwaukee / Atlanta Braves (1954–1974), Milwaukee Brewers (1975–1976)

    Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
     

  • 7
    Mickey Mantle is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    70
    19

    Mickey Mantle

    Outfielder, First baseman

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceSpavinaw, Oklahoma, United States of America

    BatsAmbidexterity

    TeamsNew York Yankees

    Number: 7

    Years With Franchise: New York Yankees (1951–1968)

    Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
     

  • 8
    Ted Williams is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    67
    17

    Ted Williams

    Outfielder, Left fielder

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceSan Diego, California, United States of America

    BatsLeft-handed

    TeamsBoston Red Sox

    Number: 9

    Years With Franchise: Boston Red Sox (1939–1942, 1946–1960)

    Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
     

  • 9
    Joe DiMaggio is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    62
    24

    Joe DiMaggio

    Center fielder

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceMartinez, California, United States of America

    TeamsNew York Yankees

    Number: 5

    Years With Franchise: New York Yankees (1936–1942, 1946–1951)

    Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
     

  • 10
    Warren Spahn is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    50
    8

    Warren Spahn

    Starting pitcher, Pitcher

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceBuffalo, New York, United States of America

    TeamsSan Francisco Giants, Boston Braves, Milwaukee Braves, New York Mets

    Number: 21

    Years With Franchise: Boston / Milwaukee Braves (1942, 1946–1964), New York Mets (1965), San Francisco Giants (1965)

    Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
     

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  • 11
    Roy Campanella is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    51
    10

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplacePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    TeamsBrooklyn Dodgers

    Number: 39

    Years With Franchise: Brooklyn Dodgers (1948–1957)

    Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
     

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  • 12
    Roberto Clemente is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    60
    23

    Roberto Clemente

    Right fielder

    BirthplaceSan Antón

    TeamsPittsburgh Pirates

    Number: 21

    Years With Franchise: Pittsburgh Pirates (1955–1972)

    Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
     

  • 13
    Sandy Koufax is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    56
    18

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceNew York City, USA, New York

    TeamsLos Angeles Dodgers, Brooklyn Dodgers

    Number: 32

    Years With Franchise: Brooklyn / Los Angeles Dodgers (1955–1966)

    Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
     

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  • 14
    Minnie Miñoso is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    48
    9

    Minnie Miñoso

    Outfielder, Left fielder

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceHavana, Cuba

    TeamsChicago White Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators

    Number: 9

    Years With Franchise: Cleveland Indians (1949, 1951), Chicago White Sox (1951–1957), Cleveland Indians (1958–1959), Chicago White Sox (1960–1961), St. Louis Cardinals (1962), Washington Senators (1963), Chicago White Sox (1964, 1976, 1980)
     

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  • 15
    Nolan Ryan is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    60
    31

    Nolan Ryan

    Pitcher

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceRefugio, Texas, United States of America

    TeamsTexas Rangers, Houston Astros, California Angels, New York Mets

    Number: 30, 34

    Years With Franchise: New York Mets (1966, 1968–1971), California Angels (1972–1979), Houston Astros (1980–1988), Texas Rangers (1989–1993)

    Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
     

  • 16
    Honus Wagner is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    51
    18

    Honus Wagner

    Shortstop

    NationalityUnited States of America, Germany

    BirthplaceChartiers Township, Pennsylvania

    TeamsLouisville Colonels, Pittsburgh Pirates

    Number: 33

    Years With Franchise: Louisville Colonels (1897–1899), Pittsburg / Pittsburgh Pirates (1900–1917)

    Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
     

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  • 17
    Duke Snider is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    39
    9

    Duke Snider

    Outfielder, Center fielder

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, USA, California

    Number: 4

    Years With Franchise: Brooklyn / Los Angeles Dodgers (1947–1962), New York Mets (1963), San Francisco Giants (1964)

    Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
     

  • 18
    Pete Rose is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    51
    29

    Pete Rose

    Manager, Outfielder

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceCincinnati, Ohio, United States of America

    TeamsPhiladelphia Phillies, Montreal Expos, Cincinnati Reds

    Number: 14

    Years With Franchise: Cincinnati Reds (1963–1978), Philadelphia Phillies (1979–1983), Montreal Expos (1984), Cincinnati Reds (1984–1986)
     

  • 19
    Stan Musial is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    41
    16

    Stan Musial

    Outfielder, Left fielder

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceDonora, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    TeamsSt. Louis Cardinals

    Number: 6

    Years With Franchise: St. Louis Cardinals (1941–1944, 1946–1963)

    Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
     

  • 20
    Ken Griffey, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    44
    24

    Ken Griffey, Jr.

    Designated hitter, Outfielder

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceDonora, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    BatsLeft-handed

    TeamsChicago White Sox, Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds

    Number: 24

    Years With Franchise: Seattle Mariners (1989–1999), Cincinnati Reds (2000–2008), Chicago White Sox (2008), Seattle Mariners (2009–2010)

    Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
     

  • 21
    Cal Ripken, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    50
    33

    Cal Ripken, Jr.

    Shortstop, Third baseman

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceHavre de Grace, Maryland, United States of America

    TeamsBaltimore Orioles

    Number: 8

    Years With Franchise: Baltimore Orioles (1981–2001)

    Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
     

  • 22
    Tony Gwynn is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    39
    18

    Tony Gwynn

    Right fielder, Outfielder

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California

    TeamsSan Diego Padres

    Number: 19

    Years With Franchise: San Diego Padres (1982–2001)

    Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
     

  • 23
    Yogi Berra is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    48
    31

    Yogi Berra

    Manager, Outfielder

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceThe Hill, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

    TeamsNew York Yankees, New York Mets

    Number: 8

    Years With Franchise: New York Yankees (1946–1963), New York Mets (1965)

    Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
     

  • 24
    Derek Jeter is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    38
    20

    Derek Jeter

    Shortstop

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplacePequannock, New Jersey

    BatsRight-handed

    TeamsNew York Yankees

    Number: 2

    Years With Franchise: New York Yankees (1995–2014)

  • 25
    Roger Maris is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best MLB Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
    30
    9

    Roger Maris

    Right fielder, Outfielder

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceHibbing, Minnesota, United States of America

    TeamsKansas City Athletics, St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees

    Number: 9

    Years With Franchise: Cleveland Indians (1957–1958), Kansas City Athletics (1958–1959), New York Yankees (1960–1966), St. Louis Cardinals (1967–1968)

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