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A New ‘Best Player by Uni Number’ Graphic, This Time for Wisconsin

As you may recall, back in late July we had a bunch of people create graphics showing the best players by uni number for particular cities. Now reader Mike Snow has created one for Wisconsin.

Mike provided an explainer for his design, as follows:

The Packers are green, the baseball teams (Brewers and Braves) are grey or powder blue, and the Bucks are in white.

I tried to use era-appropriate fonts and colors (the Packers actually used four different shades of green!).  Technically, the Brewers didn’t start using NOBs until the mid-1980s, and the Packers didn’t start until 1970, but I included them anyway, just so there’d be no confusion about which number represented which player.

I’m sure people could take issue with some of my picks. When faced with a tough choice for a particular number, I usually leaned towards the team or sport that was under-represented on the graphic.

Nice work! As we’ve seen on other graphics of this sort, the NFL team dominates the higher numbers, so I’d rather see some white Packers jerseys mixed in, just for visual interest and contrast, but at least the different shades of green helps a bit.

As for Mike’s player picks, let the quibbling begin!

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Comments (36)

    Tough competition at #4, having to leave off Molitor and Moncrief.

    Bobby Portis over Larry Hisle at #9

    James Lofton over Donald Driver for #80, personally

    Proofreading: “Created one for THE Wisconsin.” Maybe “the state of Wisconsin,” or, just “Wisconsin”?

    Also, even though Mike explained why he did it, and it makes perfect sense, how much does it bug you that there are NOBs on uniforms that did not have them historically?

    I don’t want to be “that guy”, but I will.

    27 should be Milwaukee Wave legend Victor Nogueira. Yes, I understand that only me and four other people in the country are indoor soccer fans, but Noguiera had a legendary career with about 10 seasons in Milwaukee winning multiple MVP awards… including the trifecta of League MVP, All-Star MVP and League Championship MVP in the same season.

    But the biggest reason is that because I am not sure who Packers 27 McNally even is…. it opens up the opportunity to recognize greatness in other Wisconsin professional sports.

    It appears to be referencing John McNally, a.k.a. Johnny Blood, The use of #27 appears to be from a picture showing him wearing it showing just how tiny the front circle was back then) as seen in the middle of this page on the Packers’ website: link

    HOWEVER, the NFL’s gallery featuring him has that same picture, but attests it to August 7, 1931, in training camp: link And both Pro Football Reference link and Wikipedia link concur that he did not wear 27 in the regular season, meaning he only wore it in training camp, possibly just that one training camp. According to PFR, he is credited with wearing 24, 20, and 14 during the blue and gold “dot” seasons, and 26 and 55 during the green and gold raglan seasons. Amusingly, PFR indexes him under the Johnny Blood nickname, not by his given last name. link

    Thanks. I think of him more as Johnny Blood… so “McNally” never even registered. Even better (for Noguiera) that he didn’t appear to wear 27 in a league game.

    I’ll throw a vote to Victor. He also spent a little time in Chicago with the Sting. Always seemed to be a really good guy, and his daughter is also a great player.
    Plus, he’d surely be the first athlete from Mozambique in one of these graphics

    As great as Charles Woodson was, I’d give #21 to Warren Spahn, one of the best leftys of all time.
    Bob Dandridge is a way better #10 than Jan Stenerud, who had a great career but was only a Packer for 4 of his 16 NFL years.
    Finally, Marquette great Dwyane Wade has to get some consideration for #3 if college players are eligible.

    +1 for Nogueria.

    I know he didn’t include colleges, but I would offer #10 Mark Johnson for Badger hockey.

    And Alan Ameche #35 for UW football.

    Nice work! Love the era-appropriate colors and fonts. And any list that includes Johnny Blood (Packers historian Cliff Christl would argue Blood should be his NOB, not McNally) is excellent in my book.

    A few notes:

    -Vuckovich, Tauscher, Boyarsky and Bakhtiari are spelled incorrectly. Gbaja-Biamila should be hyphenated.
    -I don’t think Frank Brickowski played in the purple era. A missed opportunity to represent the Irish rainbow!
    -Jan Stenerud is the best #10? Randy Wolf? Jerry Boyarsky? Lots of chances to make your mark with those jersey numbers, future Wisconsin athletes!

    Though, as I replied to Michael A James above, it appears Blood was selected based on a photo from 1931 training camp, and apparently not a number he wore in actual games.

    Brickowski was still with the Bucks during the 93-94 season, the first year of the purple era.

    Personally, I would’ve put Aaron in the early Brewers colors, since he finished his career with the Crew. #34 is tough one, Rollie Fingers a HOF vs. a future HOF in Giannis. Also, I just noticed, 17, Adams over Gumby. I realize the Packers are bigger, but Gantner was the glue on the 1982 WS team. Love that Vaughn is in the ’90’s Motre Bame uni font. An underappreciated uniform in my opinion, since the Brewers were so awful in that era.

    #4 is tough company in Wisconsin. Sad the Bucks didn’t recognize what Ray Allen’s contributions were prior to Giannis getting the number.

    Not bad, my suggestions would be:

    10 Bob Dandridge over Jan Stenerud
    21 Warren Spahn over Charles Woodson (though it’s close)
    22 Michael Redd over Christian Yelich
    29 Chris Bosio over Charley Brock
    43 Jack Sikma over Randy Wolf
    48 Mike Caldwell over Ken Ellis
    59 John Anderson over John Axford

    I did this exercise for myself once all these By The Numbers graphics came out, and there is definitely a lot of overlap sprinkled with some “Gee, I forgot about him” players. Well done!

    For 22, I would actually choose Khris Middleton over Michael Redd, but would still choose Yelich over both, if barely, and subject to future performance.

    I have many objections to the choices here, so I’ll simply ask that everything here be spelled and punctuated correctly.

    26 — Adderley, not Adderly
    65 — Tauscher, not Taucher
    69 — Bakhtiari, not Bahtiakri
    94 — Gbaja-Biamila needs a hyphen

    Think he meant not having Bob Dandridge at Number 10 was criminal, not that Dandridge committed a crime.

    While his team wasn’t based in Wisconsin, I’d make an accommodation for Alan Kulwicki for #7…rendered in brown and orange.

    The thing I love about this graphic (other than the nitpicking of “why this guy instead of this guy”) is how versatile it is. I know we have limited ourselves to pro sports but it can be used for anything with a numerical index. With the Wisconsin graphic, I was sure we would have our first look at college numbers, especially if some red Badger jerseys could be used to break up the Packer green (sorry RG color blind people).

    I totally agree with the comments regarding Warren Spahn over Charles Woodson. The winningest lefthanded pitcher in all of baseball, thirteen 20 win seasons, etc.

    Mike A

    Boyd Dowler over Freeman #86 compared to their peers

    68 Gayle Gillingham even though Dan Devine cut his career short by moving the best guard in the league to defensive lineman.

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