Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

The Legendary Athletes Who Dominated Wearing the Number 1 Jersey

players who wear number 1

Athletes always strive to make a statement, and one way they do it is by choosing a striking uniform number. While many go for iconic numbers like Michael Jordan’s 23 or LeBron James’ 23, nothing defines greatness quite like the number 1 jersey.

In this article, we will explore the careers of the ten best athletes to ever don the number 1 jersey. These athletes were chosen based on their accolades, statistical accomplishments, and talent while wearing this iconic number.

Derrick Rose: The Resilient Point Guard

Derrick Rose, the former Chicago Bulls player, was once seen as the future of basketball. Despite a series of injuries that dampened the excitement surrounding him, Rose has persevered and found a role as a steady hand off the bench. He wore the number 1 jersey during his time with the Bulls and Cavaliers, and his unexpectedly strong performances with the New York Knicks showcased his enduring talent.

Gianluigi Buffon: The Legendary Goalkeeper

Gianluigi Buffon, one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, wore the number 1 jersey for most of his illustrious career. With countless appearances for the Italian national team and multiple domestic clubs, Buffon’s legacy is unmatched. He will always be remembered for his iconic save in the 2006 World Cup.

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Gordon Banks: The English Icon

Gordon Banks, widely regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers in history, set the standard for his position. He wore the number 1 jersey throughout his career and is most famous for his miraculous save against Brazil in the 1970 World Cup quarterfinals.

Jacques Plante: The Innovator

Jacques Plante, a Canadian hockey legend, represented the number 1 jersey with pride. He was not only a remarkable goaltender but also the first to wear and test the protective masks that are now a standard in the NHL.

Lev Yashin: The Black Panther

Lev Yashin, an all-time great soccer goalkeeper, wore the number 1 jersey throughout his entire career, except for his final year with the Soviet Union. Known for his unflappable poise and incredible athleticism, Yashin remains the only goalkeeper to win the Ballon d’Or.

Oscar Robertson: The Versatile Point Guard

Oscar Robertson, one of the most versatile point guards in NBA history, wore the number 1 jersey during his tenure with the Milwaukee Bucks. Known for his scoring ability, playmaking skills, and leadership qualities, Robertson left a lasting impact on the franchise.

Ozzie Smith: The Master Shortstop

Ozzie Smith, the legendary shortstop, wore the number 1 jersey throughout his career. His defensive prowess and ability to find holes in the defense made him an invaluable asset to both the San Diego Padres and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Terry Sawchuk: The Great Goaltender

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Terry Sawchuk, one of the greatest goalies in NHL history, wore the number 1 jersey for multiple teams. Known for his exceptional skills and numerous shutouts, Sawchuk’s legacy lives on as one of the best in the league.

Tracy McGrady: The Scoring Machine

Tracy McGrady, known for his scoring abilities, wore the number 1 jersey for the majority of his 15-year NBA career. A seven-time All-Star, McGrady proved his worth as a reliable and dominant player throughout his journeyman career.

Warren Moon: The Underrated Quarterback

Warren Moon, a CFL superstar turned NFL quarterback, wore the number 1 jersey to emphasize his leadership qualities. Despite going undrafted, Moon enjoyed a successful career and ultimately had his number retired by the Tennessee Titans.


Q: Are there any honorable mentions for athletes who wore the number 1 jersey?
A: Yes, there are several notable athletes who wore the number 1 jersey, including Cam Newton, Chauncey Billups, Chris Bosh, Crystal Langhorne, Devin Booker, Gary Anderson, Jason Elam, Johnny Bower, Lou Whitaker, Manuel Neuer, Pee Wee Reese, and Penny Hardaway.


The number 1 jersey holds a special place in the world of sports. These legendary athletes showcased their talent, skill, and dedication while wearing this iconic number. Whether they dominated the court, pitch, or ice, their contributions will forever be remembered by fans and aspiring athletes alike.

For more fascinating insights into the world of football and sports, visit Pesstatsdatabase, the ultimate destination for football enthusiasts.

Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference, Pro Football Reference, Transfermarkt, Baseball Reference, and Hockey Reference.

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