1 of 26V.J. Lovero/SI, Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images
We received plenty of feedback to our best athletes by number feature. Herewith, some suggestions from our readers:<br><br>The No. 1 jersey in the Tour de France is traditionally worn by the defending champion, and plenty of readers said Lance Armstrong should have been our No. 1 over Warren Moon. Heavy support also came in for Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith, who won 13 consecutive Gold Gloves between 1980 to 1992.
2 of 26George Tiedemann/SI, Peter Gregoire/SI
NASCAR Nation weighed in to let us know that Earnhardt Sr., winner of seven Winston Cup championships, was a better No. 3 than Babe Ruth. The Intimidator won 76 races and had 428 Top 10 finishes.
3 of 26John Biever/SI, John Iacono/SI
Hard to argue against Bobby Orr but many of you believed Favre should have owned top honors at the number. But an even louder cry came from our omission of Molitor, whose lifetime numbers included 3,319 hits, 234 home runs, a .306 batting average and 504 stolen bases.
4 of 26Getty Images
Here's to you, Kaiser, one of only two men (along with Brazilian Mario Zagalo) to win the World Cup as both a player (1974) and manager (1990). Beckenbauer won a record 103 caps for West Germany (he played club football for Bayern Munich) before coming to America to play with Pele and the New York Cosmos in the North American Soccer League. Who was our pick for No. 5.? Joe DiMaggio.
5 of 26John G. Zimmerman/SI, AP
Plenty of readers let it be known that Mantle should have been our choice over John Elway. Fair enough. The iconic Mick hit 536 home runs and played in 12 World Series with the Yankees. Pele once called Best the best player in the world. The Irish soccer legend famously played for Manchester United, where he scored 361 goals in 11 seasons.
6 of 26Phil Cole/Getty Images, Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images
The Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo Luis Nazário de Lima, better known as Ronaldo, received plenty of support for the No. 9. A three-time FIFA World Player of the Year (1996, 1997, 2002), he won World Cups with Brazil in 1994 and 2002 and currently stars for Italian club AC Milan. How did we not choose Howe over Ted Williams? Well, it was close. Mr Hockey played 33 professional seasons from 1945 to 1997.
7 of 26Walter Iooss Jr./SI, Manny Millan/SI
The Viking faithful came out for Tarkenton, the elusive scrambler who led all passers in attempts (6,467), completions (3,686), yards (47,003) and touchdowns (342) at the time of his retirement in 1978. Often thought of as the best player of the 20th century along with Pele (our No. 10), Maradona led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title and was awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player. As a club player, Maradona starred for both FC Barcelona and Italian League club SSC Napoli.
8 of 26Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Plenty of people said we were crazy to pick Tom Brady over Bradshaw, the MVP in Super Bowls XIII and XIV and the winner of four Super Bowl titles. He led the Steelers to eight division titles in 14 years and was the NFL MVP in 1978.
9 of 26STF/AFP/Getty Images
The Dutch soccer master was voted the European Player of the Century in 1999 and was named European Footballer of the Year three times (1971, 1973, 1974). His fans were not pleased we chose Pete Rose at No. 14.
10 of 26V.J. Lovero/SI
The Padres hitting machine batted .338 over his career and finished with 3,141 lifetime hits. He was a 15-time All-Star and led the National League in hitting eight times. Some readers also thought we overlooked Hall of Famer Robin Yount (3,142 hits). Others suggested runner-up Steve Yzerman should have gotten the nod over Johnny Unitas.
11 of 26John Iacono/SI
Though Schmidt was our runner-up to Barry Sanders, plenty of you thought Schmidt and his 548 career home runs should have topped the chart among all No. 20s. The Phillie third baseman was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995.
12 of 26John Iacono/SI
Though most agreed Michael Jordan deserved No. 23 honors, there were plenty who thought "Donnie Baseball" should have rated worthy of consideration. He hit .307 with 222 home runs and 1,099 RBI.
13 of 26John Iacono/SI
He led the American League 12 times in stolen bases (1980-86, 1988-91, 1998) and won the AL MVP in 1990 wearing No. 24 for the A's. As you suggested, he probably deserved some consideration at No. 24 (Willie Mays was our pick).
14 of 26David Liam Kyle/SI
One of the greatest women basketball players, Woodward scored 3,649 points at Kansas and was a four-time All-America. She later led the 1984 Olympic team to a gold medal and became the first woman ever to play for the coveted Harlem Globetrotters. Greg Maddux was our No. 31.
15 of 26Darryl Norenberg/WireImage.com
Wow, did we hear from plenty of people who thought Brown deserved the top honor over Magic. There's no arguing his credentials: Brown retired as the NFL's greatest rusher and every season he played he was voted into the Pro Bowl. He was also an All-America lacrosse player at Syracuse and many believe the best ever to play that sport.
16 of 26John Iacono/SI
A loaded number (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Larry Bird) but some suggested we overlooked the baseball Hall of Fame first baseman. Murray finished with 3,255 hits with 504 home runs and 1,917 RBI.
17 of 26AP
The Gibson supporters didn't hold back to let us know we made a mistake picking Pedro Martinez over the Cardinal star. They have a point: Gibson was a two-time Cy Young Award winner, a nine-time Gold Glove winner, an eight-time All-Star and was awarded the World Series MVP in 1964 and 1967.
18 of 26Vincent Jannink/AFP/Getty Images
One of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time, Rossi is a seven-time world champion and the youngest rider to have won World Championships in all three classes. His fans said we should have chosen him over reliever Lee Smith.
19 of 26NFL/WireImage.com
Don Drysdale was our choice but some believed we should have cited the center for the Vikings during the team's Super Bowl years. Tinglehoff played in 240 games for Vikings and made the Pro Bowl every year from 1965 through 1970.
20 of 26Allen Kee/WireImage.com
Worthy of consideration? Probably. The Chiefs longtime guard went to the Pro Bowl every year from 1995 to 2006 and started 230 straight games, including the playoffs, the second longest consecutive games streak behind only Brett Favre. Shields retired in April. Jaromir Jagr took top honors at the number.
21 of 26Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images, Kirby Lee/WireImage.com
Did we overlook two of today's best lineman? Most consider Jones the best at his position. The Seahawks left tackle has made six consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl and helped Shaun Alexander rumble for a league best 1,880 yards in 2005. Anderson, who will enter his 12th season with the Bengals, has made the last four Pro Bowls and is considered one of the best tackles in football. We had Alex Karras at the number.
22 of 26Tony Tomsic/WireImage.com
One of the NFL's dominant defensive players, the Cowboys tackle was the first member of the franchise inducted in the team's Ring of Honor. We had him as our runner-up to Merlin Olsen. Many believe we should have flipped the order.
23 of 26Peter Read Miller/SI
While no one suggested Carter should beat out Jerry Rice for top No. 80 honors, we received plenty of feedback letting us know he deserved at least worthy of consideration honors. Good point. Carter finished his career with 1,101 receptions (second alltime) for 13,899 yards (fourth-best) and 130 touchdowns (second alltime).
24 of 26AP
Known for his open-field tackling, Lane set an NFL interception record (14) as a rookie, in 1952, and was named to seven Pro Bowls. Some suggested he would have been a more worthy No. 81 than Tim Brown.
25 of 26Walter Iooss Jr./SI
A graceful receiver with a penchant for the big catch, Swann was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and the MVP of Super Bowl X with four catches for a then-Super Bowl record 161 yards and a touchdown. We had him behind Alan Page and Marvin Harrison.
26 of 26Pro Football Hall Of Fame/WireImage.com
A vicious pass rusher who was named the top defensive end of the NFL's first 50 years, Marchetti was selected for a then-record 11 straight Pro Bowls and was All-NFL for nine years. He played 13 seasons for the Colts after one season in Dallas. Mike Ditka got the top spot for No. 89 but Marchetti, our runner-up choice, would also fit the bill.
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