Every week we will look at magical numbers and how they have impacted the sports world. Today we look at the number 32. Why start with 32? Well it's simple to me since when I think of some of the greatest players in any sport the number 32 jumps off the charts.
Lets start with football. Arguably he greatest football player to ever play the game wore number 32. Jim Brown was arguably the best running back to ever play the game and as I stated earlier he may have been the best player ever. Not many players transcend sports generationally but I think you can make that argument for Jim Brown. Brown would be the best if he played during any era. He was strong, fast, and punishing.
For nine seasons, he did it better than any player before him. When he retired at the age of 30 at the peak of his career, he left behind a record book clogged with Jim Brown notations.
Brown was more than just a one-of-a-kind running back. He caught passes, returned kickoffs, and even threw three touchdown passes. His 12,312 rushing yards and 15,459 combined net yards put him in a then-class by himself. Jim was a unanimous first-team All-NFL pick eight times, 1957 through 1961, 1963-1965. He played in nine Pro Bowls in nine years and was the game’s outstanding back three times. He closed out his career with a three-touchdown outburst in the 1966 Pro Bowl.
Other notable 32's in football:
O.J. Simpson, Marcus Allen, Franco Harris, Jack Tatum, Ricky Waters, and Jamaal Anderson
The Number 32 in fact is “Magic,” as we better know Earvin Johnson.
Magic came into the NBA in the beginning of the 1980s and immediately took over the game.
At 6’9”, he was the tallest point guard the league had ever seen, yet his court vision and passing abilities far exceeded all others.
His “magical” career was cut short in ’91 from sickness, but not before he battled Larry Bird in arguably the greatest NCAA Championship game ever played, won five NBA Championships, and added a plethora of other accolades to his resume.
While his attempted comeback in ’96 didn’t last very long, his legacy, and that of No. 32, remains.
Other basketball 32's of note:
Shaquille O'Neal, Karl Malone, Kevin McHale
The best lefthander to ever pitch in the major leagues, Sandy Koufax, is the best baseball player to wear the number 32. The Brooklyn and LA Dodger played a mere 12 seasons. In those 12 seasons, though, he proved to be a pitching behemoth. He won five consecutive era titles, posting a career 2.76 mark. He also won 25 or more games three times, was the NL MVP in 1963, won three Cy Young Awards (1963, '65 and '66,) and two World Series MVPs (1963 and '65.)
In his final four seasons he had win totals of 25-19-26 and 27 with ERAs of 1.88, 1.74, 2.04 and 1.73. In those years he had three seasons of 300+ strikeouts including 382 in 1965. Not to mention he won 165 games piling up 2,396 strikeouts.
Notable Baseball 32's:
Stay Breezy ~ I'm Out!