Episode 6: How to Handle Retired Numbers

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There have been some unusual NFL and NBA developments regarding retired numbers, so in this episode Paul and Chris discuss the ins and outs of retired numbers, including what sorts of rules or guidelines teams should follow.

Plus they talk about recent NFL jersey leaks, the NBA All-Star Game, MLB’s upcoming Lou Gehrig Day patches, whether team success (or lack thereof) should dictate uniform choices, and more.

Here are are photos and links regarding some of the things discussed in this episode, in the rough order that they come up:

  • Here are the four NFL jerseys that leaked on Sunday.
  • If the NFL lifts the one-shell rule next season, the Browns could wear their new 1946 throwback uniforms with white helmets, just like the real ’46 Browns did.
  • Here are the Pacers-themed uniforms worn in the NBA All-Star Game (even though the game took place in Atlanta, not Indiana.)
  • Here’s MLB’s announcement of Lou Gehrig Day, which will be held annually on June 2, the anniversary of Gehrig’s death.
  • Looking back, here’s the ALS-awareness patch that all MLB teams wore on July 4, 2009 — the 70th anniversary of Gehrig’s famous “Luckiest Man” speech.
  • And here’s the patch that MLB teams wore five years later, to mark the 75th anniversary of Gehrig’s speech. Note that the design included the Yankees’ interlocking “NY” logo.
  • This is Marshall Goldberg, the Chicago Cardinals running back whose retired No. 99 is being brought out of retirement by the Cardinals (now based in Arizona, of course, but it’s the same franchise) so newly acquired defensive lineman J.J. Watt can wear it.
  • Some Mets fans think the team should retire No. 24 for Willie Mays, who played the final season-and-a-half of his career with the team. Paul thinks the Mets would be better off retiring No. 7 for Ed Kranepool, who played in each of the team’s first 19 seasons and was a much more important figure in Mets history than Mays was, even though Mays was an immortal player and Kranepool was not.
  • Here are some questionable number retirements, including the Angels’ No. 26 for former owner Gene Autry; the Knicks’ No. 613 for former coach Red Holzman’s win total; and the Wild’s No. 1 for their fans.
  • Here’s a shot of the Canucks wearing their (in)famous “Flying V” uniforms against the Islanders in the 1982 Stanley Cup Finals. If Vancouver had won, would that uniform get more respect today?
If you'd like to submit a query for our Question of the Week — or if you want to get in touch for any other reason — you can do that here. Want to check out our Unified merchandise? That's available here. And as always, you can keep up with the latest uniform and logo news on Uni Watch and SportsLogos.net.

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