Philadelphia sports fans will wear the jersey numbers of their favorite teams until they die. It’s why you’ll still see dated Jeremiah Trotter or Jon Runyan jerseys at a Philadelphia Eagles game even though they’ve gone through the washing machine one too many times to keep their original color.
Flyers fans aren’t above wearing an old Rod Brind’Amour sweater down to the Wells Fargo Center years after the centerman left Philadelphia. Some people are even creative enough to duct tape over top of a #11 Carson Wentz jersey to turn it into an A.J. Brown jersey.
However a fan chooses to do it, the jersey is a beloved part of the sports tradition. There are even Philadelphia sports jersey numbers that have become synonymous with a single number itself. Those are the obvious ones.
Eagles fans will certainly never forget, “#5 will always love you.”
Flyers fans can’t see the #88 without thinking of Eric Lindros. How many youth basketball players have chosen the #3 because of Allen Iverson?
What about the tougher ones though? Who are the best players ever to wear the #64 or #67? Wade through the thousands of players who’ve had the privilege of suiting up for the Phillies, 76ers, Flyers, and Eagles.
The Great Debate Over #20
The best Philadelphia athlete to wear #20 isn’t a fun debate. It’s not fair to ask 4-for-4 sports fans to choose between arguably the most beloved athlete in the city’s history and the best third baseman of all time. It’s just not an enjoyable conversation to have.
Brian Dawkins and Mike Schmidt earned the only tie from #1-99.
The Toughest Choices
Dawkins and Schmidt are the type of players who deserve their numbers retired. However, some debates run even deeper. There are a ton of respected players who have worn #8. Choosing between Phillies like Shane Victorino, Bob Boone, Juan Samuel, and Nick Castellanos is tough enough before you add Flyers fan favorites Mark Recchi and Dave Schultz.
None of them even made the list because it was impossible to keep local legend Aaron McKie off.
Let the debates begin. Which ones did we get right? Which ones did we miss? Check out our list of #1-99 (and #0 Tyrese Maxey for good measure).