Wednesday, December 12, 2012


In September 2009 I did a 9/9/09 post where I put together a list of 9 top players from around the sports world. For some reason I did not follow suit on 10/10/10 or 11/11/11 but decided to bring it back for a final time on 12/12/12, not that it matters since the world is going to implode or explode or run amuck by Alpacas (get it, Alpacalypse) or whatever the Mayans predicted thousands of years ago on December 21st.
Ok, back to reality…
I selected a group of stars that reflects top players from the major sports leagues, some were easier to go with while others were a bit more difficult to decide to include, but none the less here is the list of 12 top players who have worn #12 throughout the history of sports. I slotted the players randomly, so this is not in a particular ranking order.
In no particular order I present my top 12 who wore #12

Late addition, I totally forgot Terry Bradshaw (popped in to my mind when I saw Fuji's post, thanks for the light bulb). Bradshaw was an easy selection for the list and should replace Staubach but since I originally posted Staubach I will leave him on the list and add Terry Bradshaw as #10A
#1 Tom Brady: This was an easy one to start with
#2 John Stockton: No doubt, one of the best NBA players to never win a championship (double curses to you Mr. Jordan!)
#3 Wade Boggs: Come on… its Wade freaking Boggs. He wore #26 in Boston but wore #12 in NY and with Tampa
#4 Dusty Baker: This was one of those “Should I? Shouldn’t I?” picks but I feel I can stand behind him.
#5 Thierry Henry: He wore #12 on his kit during his time roaming the pitches in Europe. When it comes to Championships and hardware, he makes Tom Brady look like an amateur. Easily one of the top footballers of all time
#6 Duane Sutter: First, he was an Islander so he was getting on this list no matter what, but he is the only NHL player to have won 4 Stanley Cups in his first 4 years
#7 Joe Namath: He guaranteed a win in Super Bowl III and he won, the pantyhose are a different story
#8 Pat Riley: As a player he was average but he knew how to win championships and as a coach he was brilliant. He won one championship as a player for the Lakers in '72, won one as a Lakers assistant coach in '80, won 4 more as the Lakers coach in '82, '85, '87 and '88, won another as the Heat’s coach in 2006 and then a final championship as an executive for the Heat this year. That totals 8 NBA Championships in his career; not as good as the Zen Master but nobody is Phil Jackson good except Phil Jackson
#9 Willie Randolph: Not the best but he was a producer for 17 years as a player including 2 years as the Yankees team captain
#10 Roger Staubach: I dislike the Cowboys but Roger the Dodger is on this list for one reason; he was a producer (like Randolph). Not the best but he got it done when it counted.

#10A Terry Bradshaw: I missed him when creating the original list, my bad. Pittsburgh ruled the 1970s due to Bradshaw and the Steel Curtain. He has done it all and then some so he definitely deserves to be here not to mention he is hilarious NFL Sunday, not the best of commentators but he makes you laugh.

Fun side note about Bradshaw, he was actually the #2 QB on Louisiana Tech's depth chart in 1968 behind this guy:

The starting QB decided to quit football as a junior because it interrupted the duck hunting season.

The starting QB who quit? Phil Robertson, the same Phil Robertson that is the patriarch of the Robertson clan of West Monroe, Louisiana. You may know them as the millionaire rednecks of A&E's Duck Dynasty.

#11 Dwight Howard: He is another “Should I?” guy, he has been solid over his 8 years in Orlando but last year’s ego-fest/messy divorce may end up cementing his legacy if he does not produce in LA and so far he is having trouble adjusting to not being the “go to” guy for the Lakers, only time will tell
#12 Yvan Cournoyer and Dickie Moore: I had to trim the list to twelve so I made this a two-fer. These guys know two things, hockey and winning. Between them they won 16 Stanley Cup Championships for the Montreal Canadiens, though they never played together (off by 2 years). In 2005 the Canadiens retired the #12 jersey in honor of both men.

This year there is only one honorable mention
Kenny Lofton: He only played one season wearing the #12, 2004 for the Yankees, and his numbers were well below his averages but he is an Arizona Wildcat (though he wore #11 in both baseball and basketball at Arizona) and that alone makes him worthy of my list.

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