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Ernie Banks | Sun-Times Photo

Chicago’s greatest athletes by uniform number Day 5: Nos. 19-0

SHARE Chicago’s greatest athletes by uniform number Day 5: Nos. 19-0
SHARE Chicago’s greatest athletes by uniform number Day 5: Nos. 19-0

The numbers athletes wear become a permanent part of team and sports history.

Every number from 0 to 99 is associated with a standout athlete in Chicago sports, and we’ve sorted through all of them to bring you this definitive list of the greatest Chicago athletes by uniform number.

Some numbers have reached iconic status in this city, like Michael Jordan’s 23, Bobby Hull’s 9 and Ernie Banks’ 14. You’ll find all of them among the names on this list – along with some others you may not remember.

The only criterion for inclusion was that the athlete played at least one season in Chicago for the Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs or White Sox. We primarily considered the athlete’s time as a playing member of a Chicago team, but his achievements as a player elsewhere or coach was, in some cases, used to break ties.

We’ll count down 20 athletes per day between Monday and Friday, beginning with Nos. 99-80 and concluding Friday with Nos. 19-0.

Day 1: Nos. 99-80

Day 2: Nos. 79-60

Day 3: Nos. 59-40

Day 4: Nos. 39-20

And now onto Day 5, featuring Nos. 19-0:

19

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Jonathan Toews: At age 27, the Blackhawks’ captain has already won three Stanley Cups, a Conn Smythe Trophy and a Selke Trophy. He has notched 60 or more points in five of his eight seasons with the Blackhawks.

Honorable mentions: Bob Boozer, Bulls; Billy Pierce, White Sox

18

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Denis Savard: Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000 after spending 13 seasons with the Blackhawks. He racked up 1,096 points in a Chicago uniform, including a career-high 131 in 1987-88.

17

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Mark Grace: The Cubs’ first baseman had 2,201 base hits and a .308 average during his 13 seasons from 1988-2000. He was voted to three All-Star teams.

Honorable mentions: Alshon Jeffery, Bears; Richie Petitbon, Bears

16

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Ted Lyons: A Hall of Fame White Sox pitcher from 1923-42 and again in 1946, Lyons had a 3.67 ERA in 4,161 innings pitched. Lyons never played a game in the minor leagues. In 1939 he went 42 consecutive innings without issuing a walk.

Honorable mention: Aramis Ramirez, Cubs

15

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Eric Nesterenko: An All-Star and Stanley Cup champ as a forward with the Blackhawks from 1956-72, Nesterenko tallied 38 points during the 1960-61 championship season.

Honorable mention: Brandon Marshall, Bears

14

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Ernie Banks: Mr. Cub played his entire 19-year career with the Cubs from 1953-71. He was an 11-time All-Star, won back-to-back MVPs and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977.

Honorable mention: Paul Konerko, White Sox

13

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Ozzie Guillen: The Rookie of the Year in 1985 and a three-time All-Star with the White Sox, Guillen returned as manager in 2004 and led the club to Chicago’s first World Series victory in 88 years.

Honorable mention: Joakim Noah, Bulls

12

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A.J. Pierzynski: The hard-nosed catcher became one of the faces of the franchise during his stay with the White Sox from 2005-12. He helped the team win a World Series in 2005 and was an All-Star in 2006.

Honorable mentions: Shawon Dunston, Cubs; Alfonso Soriano, Cubs

11

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Luis Aparicio: The Hall of Fame shortstop spent 10 seasons with the White Sox from 1958-62 and again from 1968-70. He went to six All-Star games with the Sox and led the league in fielding percentage every year from 1959-66.

10

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Ron Santo: The Cubs Hall of Fame third baseman went to nine All-Star games during his 14-year stay on the North Side from 1960-73. He led the league in OBP in both 1964 (.398) and 1966 (.412).

Honorable mentions: Tony Amonte, Blackhawks; Bob Love, Bulls; Patrick Sharp, Blackhawks

9

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Bobby Hull: The Blackhawks forward won two Hart trophies, three Ross trophies and one Byng Trophy during his Hall of Fame career with the Blackhawks from 1957-72.

Honorable mentions: Minnie Minoso, White Sox; Jim McMahon, Bears

8

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Andre Dawson: He’s in the Hall of Fame as a member of the Expos, but Dawson’s best season came with the Cubs in 1987, when he hit 49 homers and drove in 137 runs. He was the NL MVP that season and went to five All-Star games with the Cubs.

7

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Chris Chelios: A Blackhawks defenseman from 1990-99, Chelios won Norris trophies in 1993 and 1996. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013.

Honorable mentions: Toni Kukoc, Bulls; Brent Seabrook, Blackhawks

6

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Stan Hack: The four-time All-Star played his entire 16-year career with the Cubs from 1932-47. He led the league in hits in 1940 (191) and 1941 (186) and was a career .301 hitter.

Honorable mention: Jay Cutler, Bears

5

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George McAfee: Played eight seasons with the Bears from 1940-50 before being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1966. The running back averaged 4.9 yard per carry in his career.

Honorable mention: John Paxson, Bulls

4

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Luke Appling: The Hall of Famer spent all 20 seasons of his career with the White Sox from 1930-50. He was a seven-time All-Star and a career .310 hitter.

Honorable mentions: Jim Harbaugh, Bears; Jerry Sloan, Bulls

3

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Bronko Nagurski: A four-time first-team All-Pro honoree during a nine-year career with the Bears beginning in 1930. The running back was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1963 after helping the Bears win two championships.

Honorable mentions: Harold Baines, White Sox; Kiki Cuyler, Cubs

2

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Duncan Keith: A three-time Stanley Cup champion, two-time Norris Trophy winner and one-time Conn Smythe Trophy winner, Keith has been among the best defensemen of his era. He’s played his entire career with the Blackhawks beginning in 2005.

Honorable mentions: Nellie Fox, White Sox; Gabby Hartnett, Cubs; Norm Van Lier, Bulls

1

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Glenn Hall: A Blackhawks goalie from 1957-67, Hall won a Stanley Cup and two Vezina trophies during his time in Chicago. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1975.

Honorable mention: Derrick Rose, Bulls

0

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Orlando Woolridge: The 6-9 forward played five seasons with the Bulls from 1981-86, averaging 17.4 points and 4.7 rebounds.

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