TheSportster.com

Top 15 Athletes Who Should Have Their Number Retired

In the world of sports, there are three general categories of athletes: the average, the good, and the greats.

The average player may get a cup of coffee in whatever professional sport they play: a taste of big leagues that they must savour before it disappears forever - as they do, never to be heard from again in this particular setting. They work their entire lives to get to "the show," but only play a small role, and quickly exit stage right.

The good represents a smaller category - a group of athletes who were good enough to make the professional ranks of their sport and perform at a productive clip for a number of years. They were never considered to be all-stars, but they were key members of their teams and found unique ways to contribute to winning efforts. Teams cannot win without these types of players: they are the glue that holds it all together. They may sparkle and steal the limelight once in awhile, but overall they are exactly as advertised: solid contributors.

Then, high above the rest, we have the greats. The elite. The legends. The athletes who we marveled at, looked up to, and idolized for their spectacular achievements in whatever sport they played in.

Wayne Gretzky. Joe Montana. Pele. Michael Jordan. Babe Ruth. The list goes on and on. These are not your everyday athletes, they are game breakers, catalysts in championship glory who bring prolonged success to whatever organization is lucky enough to have them.

Over time, most of these aforementioned greats have been honoured in one way or another - ceremonies, Hall of Fame inductions, and perhaps the highest honour of all, jersey retirements.

Unfortunately for some of the legends that have come and gone through various leagues, those running their former organizations have somehow neglected to honour certain players who've made lasting impacts on their team, and their sport.

The following are the top players who deserve to be honoured by having their numbers retired.

15 Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim Ducks

via losangeles.cbslocal.com

14 Dan Quisenberry, Kansas City Royals

via royalshof.mlbblogs.com

13 Rob Blake, Los Angeles Kings

via losangeles.cbslocal.com

12 Bruce Smith, Buffalo Bills

via sunsentinel.com

11 Mark Grace, Chicago Cubs

via nbcchicago.com

10 Antawn Jamison, Washington Wizards

via csnwashington.com

9 Kenny Lofton, Cleveland Indians

via cleveland.com

8 Pedro Martinez, Boston Red Sox

via nypost.com

7 Michael Strahan, New York Giants

via nypost.com

6 Chris Chelios, Detroit Red Wings/Chicago Blackhawks

via chicago.cbslocal.com

5 Edgerrin James, Indianapolis Colts

via bleacherreport.com

4 Randy Johnson, Arizona Diamondbacks

via arizonasports.com

3 Toe Blake, Montreal Canadiens

via rds.ca

2 Dikembe Mutombo, Houston Rockets

via wikipedia.org

1 Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis Colts

via espn.com

Perhaps the Colts are waiting for Peyton Manning to call it a career so that they can bestow the honour on him and Marvin Harrison at the same time - one more connection between the greatest one-two punch in the history of the NFL. Manning will always be in the discussion as to who deserves the title of "greatest quarterback of all-time", while Harrison will probably forever be remembered as the guy who caught most of Manning's touchdowns. That should not be the case - Harrison was a special talent on his own merit. He finished with 128 career touchdowns (good for 9th all-time) and 14,580 receiving yards (7th all-time, until former teammate Reggie Wayne passes him). So, while Manning's arrival did coincide with Harrison' breakout seasons, he most certainly was a big reason for Manning's success as a member of the Colts.

Give TheSportster a Thumbs up!

Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?

Get Your Free Access Now!

More in Entertainment

Top 15 Athletes Who Should Have Their Number Retired