Perhaps the best defensemen of the last decade, Lidstrom won the Norris Trophy three times in a row and copped the Conn Smythe (as playoff MVP) in the Red Wings' 2002 march to the Stanley Cup title. This is a player who does everything well, but doesn't garner the headlines usually reserved for flashy stars. But ask a coach who he'd pick first if he was starting a team and this guy immediately becomes a headliner.
2 of 10George Tiedemann/SI.com
The No. 5 Kellogg's car with Labonte behind the wheel captured the vaunted Winston Cup championship in 1996, his second title. But it's Terry's status as NASCAR Ironman that separates him from the pack. Labonte passed Richard Petty's NASCAR record for consecutive starts with a win at North Wilkesboro in '96. Consider him the paint-swapping equal to baseball's Cal Ripken Jr.
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USC's Reggie Bush can take heart in the fact that another dynamic college runner was also stripped of his No. 5 by the NFL's jersey rules and still turned out OK in the pros. LT, who wears No. 21 as a San Diego Charger, has become the NFL's most dangerous weapon and is carving out his own legend in Southern California.
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Like Tomlinson, this one comes with an asterisk since Bush won't be wearing No. 5 for the Saints in his rookie season. The former USC standout and Heisman winner will don No. 25 thanks to the generous Fred McAfee after the NFL decided to stick with its rule that running backs must wear numbers between 20-49. Regardless of what number he wears, Bush will be special, a second coming of either Marshall Faulk or Barry Sanders. Either way, stay tuned.
5 of 10Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
When NBA players are asked to pick one point guard to play alongside, Kidd's name generally tops the list. His selfless and exciting play dazzles crowds and pleases teammates. Now in his third NBA home, Kidd's breakneck style is starting to slow a bit. But with Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson on his flanks, it seems likely Jason's not finished with his Hall of Fame highlight reel just yet.
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Unlike a couple of other football players on this list, McNabb was able to take his college number with him to the next level in Philly. Booed on draft day by the always fun-loving Eagles fans, McNabb has proven his worth time and again by combining outstanding athleticism with enough guts to earn the respect of this blue-collar town.
7 of 10Cover image by John G. Zimmerman/SI
If there was ever a Captain America for the country's heartland, then the Golden Boy certainly qualified in his heyday. A Notre Dame Heisman Trophy winner and a star for the world champion Green Bay Packers, Hornung busting through the seam of Vince Lombardi's power running attack defined the NFL in the '60s.
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Before his recent injury, Pujols was on pace to challenge the single-season home run mark. More important, though, is the long-term impact of what this guy can accomplish. Before he's finished, he could supplant the fellow on top of this list as the best-ever right-handed hitter.
9 of 10Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Regardless of how many home runs Mike Piazza hits before he retires, Bench remains the greatest hitting and defensive catcher in the game's history. The backstop for the Big Red Machine of the '70s, Bench possessed the most powerful throwing arm in baseball -- not that he was allowed to use it very often. Opponents rarely tested this hulking No. 5. Bench won Rookie of the Year honors, two league MVPs and a World Series MVP.
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Whether it was the record book, the superhero presence in center field for the Yankees or the super-hot Marilyn Monroe on his arm, Joe D. deserves nothing less than top billing. Now that the single-season home run record has become nearly meaningless thanks to horse medicines and whatnot, the Yankee Clipper now holds baseball's most hallowed mark -- his 56-game hitting streak may never fall.
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