1. SubscriberAttilaTheHorn
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    24 Aug '07 17:32
    In North American professional sports (baseball, football, basketball, and hockey), does anyone know what the first number that was retired was? I know it's not Lou Gerhig's #4, which was retired in 1939 (Babe Ruth's #3 was retired later than that), because in hockey the Montreal Canadiens retired #7 of Howie Morenz in 1937. Is there any retired number earlier than that?
  2. Standard memberPocketKings
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    24 Aug '07 17:36
    Originally posted by AttilaTheHorn
    In North American professional sports (baseball, football, basketball, and hockey), does anyone know what the first number that was retired was? I know it's not Lou Gerhig's #4, which was retired in 1939 (Babe Ruth's #3 was retired later than that), because in hockey the Montreal Canadiens retired #7 of Howie Morenz in 1937. Is there any retired number earlier than that?
    Gerhigs #4 was the first retired number, even before Ruth. The Yankees were the first to even use numbers on the backs of the shirts.
  3. Standard memberDutch Defense
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    24 Aug '07 17:37
    #42 was retired by Jackie Robinson, when was that again?
  4. Standard memberPocketKings
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    24 Aug '07 17:43
    Originally posted by Dutch Defense
    #42 was retired by Jackie Robinson, when was that again?
    The entire MLB retired #42 in 1996 or 1997
  5. SubscriberAttilaTheHorn
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    24 Aug '07 20:58
    Yes, as I said, Gehrig's #4 was the first retired number in baseball. That was in 1939 (he was the only player ever to wear that number for the Yankees), but Morenz's #7 was retired two years before that in hockey. Robinson's #42 was only retired recently in all of major league baseball (like Gretzky's #99 in hockey), but the Dodgers retired it several years ago.
    So it appears that Morenz's #7 was the first retired number in professional sports. Is this correct? Does anyone know of an earlier retired number?
    Babe Ruth wore #3 for the Yankees, but didn't have a number with the Red Sox before that because no team had numbers then. But what was his number with the Braves and what was his number as a coach for the Dogers?
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    24 Aug '07 21:07
    I am not a hockey fan but according to Wikipedia "The Toronto Maple Leafs were the first NHL team to retire a number. On February 14, 1934 prior to the first NHL all-star game the Leafs retired Ace Bailey’s #6"
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    24 Aug '07 21:15
    Going off on a bit of a tangent here, but how many guys in MLB who kept 42 since they were wearing it before it was retired remain. Mariano Rivera is the only one I know of, are there others or are they all retired?
  8. SubscriberAttilaTheHorn
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    24 Aug '07 21:35
    Originally posted by poundlee
    I am not a hockey fan but according to Wikipedia "The Toronto Maple Leafs were the first NHL team to retire a number. On February 14, 1934 prior to the first NHL all-star game the Leafs retired Ace Bailey’s #6"
    Yes, I think that's correct. Ace Bailey was tragicially injured, ending his career, and his number #6 was retired. However, that number did not stay retired forever, because it was worn in the 1970s briefly, with the permission of Ace Bailey, it is important to note.
    So there was indeed a retired number earlier than Morenz's #7, which has not been worn since.
    Incidentally, the reason Babe Ruth had #3 and Gerhig #4 was because that was the order in which they batted. That's how the Yankees decided on numbers when they were first worn. Mickey Mantle later made #7 famous, but I think the first player to wear it for the Yankees was none other than Leo Durocher!
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    24 Aug '07 23:44
    Originally posted by mcreynolds
    Going off on a bit of a tangent here, but how many guys in MLB who kept 42 since they were wearing it before it was retired remain. Mariano Rivera is the only one I know of, are there others or are they all retired?
    The great Mariano is the last remaning active #42
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