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.
And, without further ado, here is Day 2, featuring Nos. 79-60:
79 Jose Abreu: White Sox first baseman won rookie of the year in 2014 and finished fourth in AL MVP voting with 36 homers, 107 RBIs.
78 Stan Jones: The Bears offensive lineman was a seven-time Pro Bowler and three-time first-team All-Pro selection. He was inducted into the Hal of Fame in 1991.
Honorable mention: Keith Van Horne, Bears
77 Red Grange: A charter member of the NFL Hall of Fame, Grange attracted the league’s first huge crowds after signing with the Bears in 1925. First-team All-Pro in 1930 and 1931.
76 Steve McMichael: A two-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro player during his 13 seasons with the Bears from 1981-93.
75 Kyle Long: A Pro Bowler in each of his first two seasons with the Bears (2013-14) at right guard. Started all 31 games he’s played since being drafted in the first round in 2013.
74 Jimbo Covert: The sixth overall pick of the 1983 draft, Covert played all eight seasons of his career with the Bears at left tackle. Two-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro.
73 Mike Hartenstine: The defensive end played 12 seasons in Chicago from 1975-86. Started 140 games for the Bears.
72 Carlton Fisk: A Hall of Famer as a Red Sox despite playing more games for the White Sox, Fisk spent 13 seasons in Chicago. He was a four-time All-Star for the White Sox and two-time Silver Slugger, and his number was retired in 1997.
Honorable mention: William Perry, Bears
71 George Connor: The offensive and defensive lineman played eight seasons for the Bears from 1948-55. He was a four-time Pro Bowler, four-time first-team All-Pro and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1975.
Honorable mention: James Williams, Bears
70 Dennis Lick: A St. Rita product, Lick spent six seasons at right tackle with the Bears from 1976-81. He was a first-round pick in 1976.
69 Revie Sorey: Spent entire nine-year career with Bears at right guard from 1975-83. He’s best remembered for his blocking for Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton.
68 Jim Osborne: Played 13 seasons at defensive tackle for the Bears from 1972-84, starting 154 of his 186 games.
67 George Seals: A blocker for Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers, Seals played seven seasons in Chicago from 1965-71. He played on both the offensive and defensive lines.
66 Clyde “Bulldog” Turner: A Bears Hall of Fame center and linebacker, four-time Pro Bowler, and seven-time first-team All-Pro from 1940-52. Won NFL titles in 1940, 1941, 1943 and 1946 and had an interception in each game.
65 Andrew Shaw: Has been part of two Stanley Cup championships during his four-year career as a Blackhawks center. Has 56 goals and 47 assists in 244 games.
Honorable mention: Noah Jackson, Bears
64 Andy Heck: A five-year left tackle for the Bears from 1994-98, Heck started all 76 games he played in Chicago under head coach Dave Wannstedt.
63 Jay Hilgenberg: A Bear for 11 seasons from 1981-91, Hilgenberg went to seven Pro Bowls and was twice named first-team All-Pro.
62 Mark Bortz: A fixture on the Bears offensive line for 12 seasons, Bortz played his entire career with the Bears from 1983-94. He was a two-time Pro Bowler.
61 Bill George: Bears Hall of Famer went to eight straight Pro Bowls and was named first-team All-Pro eight times. The linebacker is credited with creating the 4-3 defense.
60 Wally Chambers: A three-time Pro Bowler and one-time first-team All-Pro defensive tackle during his five seasons with the Bears from 1973-77.