|"Lefty" was straight nasty with the 32 on his back|
STEVE CARLTON. The lefty won four Cy Young Awards with the Phillies, amassed 4,136 strikeouts, was a member of two World Series champions and racked up 329 career wins. Needless to say, he's enshrined in Cooperstown. The number 32 has been widely used in baseball as a pitchers' number until recently (Josh Hamilton, Jay Bruce). The likes of Roy Halladay, "El Presidente" Dennis Martinez, Sandy Koufax have also donned thirty-two on their back.
RICKY CRAVEN. How can I not go with the man who has the only two wins from the #32 car in NASCAR history? The #32 has raced 715 times and won only twice--both Craven. Ricky Craven, currently an ESPN analyst, piled up over $9.5 million in career earnings. Way back when, in the late-70's, Dick Brooks was the man behind the wheel of the #32 car. Though Brooks never won in the #32, he placed Top 5 eighteen times. Ricky Craven, not Ricky Bobby
CLAUDE LEMIEUX. This was a tough one for so many reasons but Lemieux found the back of the net 379 times during his 21-year NHL career. He also registered 407 assists and 1,777 penalty minutes. "The Grim Reaper" Stu Grimson was my next pick followed by Dale Hunter but Lemieux won out. He won four Stanley Cup championships and a Conn Smythe Trophy. His 80 career playoff goals are ninth all-time in NHL history.
JIM BROWN. Gotta go with him, right? Sure, Orenthal James (OJ) Simpson was a hell of a player but in nine seasons, Brown ran for 12,312 yards and 106 touchdowns. OJ wasn't far off, rushing for 11,236 yards but only 61 touchdowns (in 11 seasons). Then he went out and killed some people, got acquitted, then proceeded to rip some people off and then I lost interest. Brown made the Pro Bowl in all nine of his seasons and led the league in rushing eight times. Marcus Allen was considered for the mere fact that he couldn't be tackled in Tecmo Bowl for Nintendo. Guys wearing #32 now include RB Maurice Jones-Drew and FS Devin McCourty.
ERVIN "MAGIC" JOHNSON. It could have gone to Julius Erving had he not switched to the #6 late in his career, but Magic was just that. Dude won five NBA Championships with the Lakers A three-time NBA MVP and three-time NBA Finals MVP, Johnson is the best ever to wear #32. He was as well-rounded a player as the game has ever seen. He scored, he rebounded and he dished out dimes (19.5 PPG, 7.2 RPG and 11.2 APG). His assist number place him atop the NBA's all-time assists-per-game list ahead of John Stockton (10.51) and Chris Paul (9.82).
Just thought I'd throw this one together to celebrate my 32nd birthday. Have a great night--here in Connecticut, it's been raining all day and it doesn't look like it's going to stop anytime soon.