Major League Baseball and its participating clubs have retired various uniform numbers over the course of time, ensuring that those numbers are never worn again and thus will always be associated with particular players or managers of note. The use of numbers on uniforms to better identify one player from another, and hence to boost sales of scorecards was tried briefly by the Cleveland Indians of 1916. The first team to permanently adopt the practice was the New York Yankees of 1929. By 1932, all 16 major league clubs were issuing numbers, and by 1937, the leagues passed rules requiring it.

The Yankees' original approach was to simply assign the numbers 1 through 8 to the regular starting lineup in their normal batting order. Hence, Babe Ruth wore number 3 and Lou Gehrig number 4. The first major leaguer whose number was retired was Gehrig, in July 1939, following his retirement due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which became known popularly as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Since then, over 150 other people have had their numbers retired, some with more than one team. This includes managers and coaches, as Major League Baseball is the only one of the major North American professional leagues in which the coaching staff wear the same uniforms as players. Three numbers have been retired in honor of people not directly involved on the playing field — all three for team executives. Some of the game's early stars, such as Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson, retired before numbers came into usage. Teams often celebrate their retired numbers and other honored people by hanging banners with the numbers and names. Early stars, as well as honored non-players, will often have numberless banners hanging along with the retired numbers. Because fewer and fewer players stay with one team long enough to warrant their number being retired, some players believe that getting their number retired is a greater honor than going into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Ron Santo, upon his number 10 being retired on the last day of the 2003 regular season, enthusiastically told the Wrigley Field crowd as his #10 flag was hoisted, "This is my Hall of Fame!" However, Santo would be inducted into the Hall of Fame in July 2012, nearly two years after his death, after being voted in by the Veterans Committee.

Retired numbers by team Edit

All of Major League BaseballEdit

 42Jackie Robinson★ (1997)

Arizona DiamondbacksEdit

 20Luis Gonzalez (2010)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)
 51Randy Johnson★ (2015)

Atlanta BravesEdit

(includes Boston and Milwaukee Braves)
  3Dale Murphy (1994)
  6Bobby Cox★ (2011)
 10Chipper Jones★ (2013)
 21Warren Spahn★ (1965)
 29John Smoltz★ (2012)
 31Greg Maddux★ (2009)
 35Phil Niekro★ (1984)
 41Eddie Mathews★ (1969)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)
 44Hank Aaron★ (1977)
 47Tom Glavine★ (2010)

Baltimore OriolesEdit

(includes St. Louis Browns)
  4Earl Weaver★ (1982)
  5Brooks Robinson★ (1978)
  8Cal Ripken, Jr.★ (2001)
 20Frank Robinson★ (1972)
 22Jim Palmer★ (1985)
 33Eddie Murray★ (1998)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)

Boston Red SoxEdit

  1Bobby Doerr★ (1988)
  4Joe Cronin★ (1984)
  6Johnny Pesky (2008)
  8Carl Yastrzemski★ (1989)
  9Ted Williams★ (1984)
 14Jim Rice★ (2009)
 26Wade Boggs★ (2016)
 27Carlton Fisk★ (2000)
 34David Ortiz (2017)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)
 45Pedro Martínez★ (2015)

Chicago CubsEdit

 10Ron Santo★ (2003)
 14Ernie Banks★ (1982)
 23Ryne Sandberg★ (2005)
 26Billy Williams★ (1987)
 31Greg Maddux★ (2009)
 31Ferguson Jenkins★ (2009)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)

Chicago White SoxEdit

  2Nellie Fox★ (1976)
  3Harold Baines (1989)
  4Luke Appling★ (1975)
  9Minnie Miñoso (1983)
 11Luis Aparicio*★ (1984)
 14Paul Konerko (2015)
 16Ted Lyons★ (1987)
 19Billy Pierce (1987)
 35Frank Thomas★ (2010)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)
 56Mark Buehrle (2017)
 72Carlton Fisk★ (1997)

Cincinnati RedsEdit

  1Fred Hutchinson (1965)
  5Johnny Bench★ (1984)
  8Joe Morgan★ (1998)
 10Sparky Anderson★ ( 2005)
 11Barry Larkin★ (2012)
 13Dave Concepción (2007)
 14Pete Rose (2016)
 18Ted Kluszewski (1998)
 20Frank Robinson★ (1998)
 24Tony Pérez★ (2000)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)

Cleveland IndiansEdit

  3Earl Averill★ (1975)
  5Lou Boudreau★ (1970)
 14Larry Doby★ (1994)
 18Mel Harder (1990)
 19Bob Feller★ (1956)
 20Frank Robinson★ (2017)
 21Bob Lemon★ (1998)
 25Jim Thome★ (2018)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)
455 — Indians fans§ (2001)

Colorado RockiesEdit

 17Todd Helton (2014)

Detroit TigersEdit

  2Charlie Gehringer★ (1983)
  3Alan Trammell★ (2018)
  5Hank Greenberg★ (1983)
  6Al Kaline★ (1980)
 11Sparky Anderson★ (2011)
 16Hal Newhouser★ (1997)
 23Willie Horton (2000)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)
 47Jack Morris★ (2018)
   Ty Cobb★ (2000)
   Mickey Cochrane★ (2000)
   Sam Crawford★ (2000)
   Harry Heilmann★ (2000)
   Hughie Jennings★ (2000)
   George Kell★ (2000)
   Heinie Manush★ (2000)

Houston AstrosEdit

  5Jeff Bagwell★ (2007)
  7Craig Biggio★ (2008)
 24Jimmy Wynn (2005)
 25José Cruz (1992)
 32Jim Umbricht (1965)
 33Mike Scott (1992)
 34Nolan Ryan★ (1996)
 40Don Wilson (1975)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)
 49Larry Dierker (2002)

Kansas City RoyalsEdit

  5George Brett★ (1994)
 10Dick Howser (1987)
 20Frank White (1995)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)

Los Angeles AngelsEdit

(includes California and Anaheim Angels)
 11Jim Fregosi (1998)
 26Gene Autry† (1982)
 29Rod Carew★ (1991)
 30Nolan Ryan★ (1992)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)
 50Jimmie Reese (1995)

Los Angeles DodgersEdit

(includes Brooklyn Dodgers)
  1Pee Wee Reese★ (1984)
  2Tommy Lasorda★ (1997)
  4Duke Snider★ (1980)
 19Jim Gilliam (1978)
 20Don Sutton★ (1998)
 24Walter Alston★ (1977)
 32Sandy Koufax★ (1972)
 39Roy Campanella★ (1972)
 42Jackie Robinson★ (1972)
 53Don Drysdale★ (1984)

Milwaukee BrewersEdit

  1Bud Selig◊ (2015)
  4Paul Molitor★ (1999)
 19Robin Yount★ (1994)
 34Rollie Fingers★ (1992)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)
 44Hank Aaron★ (1976)

Minnesota TwinsEdit

(includes original Washington Senators)
  3Harmon Killebrew★ (1974)
  6Tony Oliva (1991)
 10Tom Kelly (2012)
 14Kent Hrbek (1995)
 28Bert Blyleven★ (2011)
 29Rod Carew★ (1987)
 34Kirby Puckett★ (1997)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)

Montreal ExposEdit

  8Gary Carter★ (2003)
  10Andre Dawson★ (1997)
  10Rusty Staub (1993)
  30Tim Raines★ (2017)
  42Jackie Robinson (1997)

New York MetsEdit

 14Gil Hodges (1973)
 31Mike Piazza★ (2016)
 37Casey Stengel★ (1965)
 41Tom Seaver★ (1988)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)

New York YankeesEdit

  1Billy Martin (1986)
  2Derek Jeter (2017)
  3Babe Ruth★ (1948)
  4Lou Gehrig★ (1939)
  5Joe DiMaggio★ (1952)
  6Joe Torre★ (2014)
  7Mickey Mantle★ (1969)
  8Yogi Berra★ (1972)
  8Bill Dickey★ (1972)
  9Roger Maris (1984)
 10Phil Rizzuto★ (1985)
 15Thurman Munson (1979)
 16Whitey Ford★ (1974)
 20Jorge Posada (2015)
 23Don Mattingly (1997)
 32Elston Howard (1984)
 37Casey Stengel★ (1970)
 42Mariano Rivera (2013)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)
 44Reggie Jackson★ (1993)
 46Andy Pettitte (2015)
 49Ron Guidry (2003)
 51Bernie Williams (2015)

Oakland AthleticsEdit

(includes Philadelphia and Kansas City Athletics)
  9Reggie Jackson★ (2004)
 24Rickey Henderson★ (2009)
 27Catfish Hunter★ (1991)
 34Rollie Fingers★ (1993)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)
 43Dennis Eckersley★ (2005)

Philadelphia PhilliesEdit

  1Richie Ashburn★ (1979)
 14Jim Bunning★ (2001)
 20Mike Schmidt★ (1990)
 32Steve Carlton★ (1989)
 36Robin Roberts★ (1962)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)
   Grover Cleveland Alexander★ (2001)
   Chuck Klein★ (2001)

Pittsburgh PiratesEdit

  1Billy Meyer (1954)
  4Ralph Kiner★ (1987)
  8Willie Stargell★ (1989)
  9Bill Mazeroski★ (1987)
 11Paul Waner★ (2007)
 20Pie Traynor★ (1972)
 21Roberto Clemente★ (1973)
 33Honus Wagner★ (1952)
 40Danny Murtaugh (1977)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)

St. Louis CardinalsEdit

  1Ozzie Smith★ (1996)
  2Red Schoendienst★ (1996)
  6Stan Musial★ (1963)
  9Enos Slaughter★ (1996)
 10Tony La Russa★ (2012)
 14Ken Boyer (1984)
 17Dizzy Dean★ (1974)
 20Lou Brock★ (1979)
 24Whitey Herzog★ (2010)
 42Bruce Sutter★ (2006)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)
 45Bob Gibson★ (1975)
 85August Busch, Jr.‡ (1984)
   Rogers Hornsby★ (1937)

San Diego PadresEdit

  6Steve Garvey (1988)
 19Tony Gwynn★ (2004)
 31Dave Winfield★ (2001)
 35Randy Jones (1997)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)
 51Trevor Hoffman★ (2011)

San Francisco GiantsEdit

(includes New York Giants)
  3Bill Terry★ (1984)
  4Mel Ott★ (1948)
 11Carl Hubbell★ (1944)
 20Monte Irvin★ (2010)
 24Willie Mays★ (1972)
 25Barry Bonds (2018)
 27Juan Marichal★ (1983)
 30Orlando Cepeda★ (1999)
 36Gaylord Perry★ (2005)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)
 44Willie McCovey★ (1980)
   Christy Mathewson★ (1988)
   John McGraw★ (1988)

Seattle MarinersEdit

 11Edgar Martinez★ (2017)
 24Ken Griffey, Jr.★ (2016)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)

Tampa Bay RaysEdit

(includes Tampa Bay Devil Rays)
 12Wade Boggs★ (2000)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)
 66Don Zimmer (2015)

Texas RangersEdit

(includes second Washington Senators)
 7Iván Rodríguez★ (2017)
 26Johnny Oates (2005)
 34Nolan Ryan★ (1996)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)

Toronto Blue JaysEdit

 12Roberto Alomar (2011)
 32Roy Halladay (2018)
 42Jackie Robinson (1997)

Hall of Fame member
* Aparicio's number was temporarily unretired with his approval for Omar Vizquel. Vizquel played the 2010 and 2011 seasons with the White Sox.
†Team founder. The number represents the "26th man" — Major League Baseball rosters are limited to 25 players, except for games played on or after September 1, when rosters are expanded to 40.
‡Served as president, chairman, or CEO of the Cardinals from the team's purchase by Anheuser-Busch in 1953 until his death in 1989. The number represents his age at the time the number was retired in 1984.
§The number 455 was retired in honor of the fans after the Indians sold out 455 consecutive games.
◊Team founder and former MLB Commissioner. Number selected symbolically.
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