The Mavericks recently signed veteran point guard Kemba Walker and assigned him No. 34. That led Uni Watch reader Dave Liberatore to observe that another Walker once wore No. 34 for a Dallas pro team: NFL running back Herschel Walker, who played for the Cowboys in the late 1980s.
Dave then asked the obvious question: How many other situations have there been involving two players with the same surname wearing the same uni number for two different teams in the same city?
I liked that question a lot, but I couldn’t think of any good instances of this phenomenon, so I recently asked my Twitter followers what they could come up with, and they responded with a dozen great examples. Here they are, in uni-numerical order:
No. 3, Philadelphia: Dale Murphy (Phillies) and Gord Murphy (Flyers)
No. 7, Seattle: Seth Smith (Mariners) and Geno Smith (Seahawks)
No. 8, Buffalo: Rick Martin (Sabres) and Sam Martin (Bills)
No. 8, Milwaukee: Marques Johnson (Bucks) and Mark Johnson (Brewers)
No. 14, New Orleans: Mark Ingram II (Saints) and Brandon Ingram (Pelicans)
No. 17, Vancouver: Chris King (Grizzlies) and Jason King (Canucks)
No. 25, Detroit: Horace King (Lions) and Eric King (Tigers)
No. 32, Minnesota: Onterrio Smith (Vikings) and Joe Smith (Timberwolves)
No. 33, San Francisco: Roger Craig (49ers) and Roger Craig (Giants)
This one gets a slight asterisk, since the Giants’ Roger Craig was a manager, not a player. But that’s more than outweighed by both guys having the same first name in addition to the same surname and number!
No. 35, Chicago: Frank Thomas (White Sox) and Anthony Thomas (Bears)
No. 39, Pittsburgh: Dave Parker (Pirates) and Fast Willie Parker (Steelers)
No. 52, Meadowlands: Pepper Johnson (Giants) and Jermaine Johnson (Jets)
Not a bad list, right? But I’m sure there are plenty of other examples out there. Feel free to post them in today’s comments. Let’s please stick to same-surnamed/numbered players who played for two different teams in the same city (i.e., Jack Clark and Will Clark wouldn’t qualify because they wore No. 22 for the same team). Similarly, while multi-sport athletes are interesting, like Michael Jordan (No. 45 for the White Sox and Bulls) and Deion Sanders (No. 21 for the 49ers and Giants), they don’t fit this list either, because we’re looking for pairs of players, not individual players. Thanks for observing these guidelines!
(Huge thanks to all contributors, including Wade Heidt, Wyman Hom, Mike Monaghan, Steve Rausch, Jeff Sak, William Shensky,@BigPoppaJon97, @jeffreywsox, @landofthelist, @NateForSh0rt, @tmac3217, and our own Jerry Wolper, and biggest thanks of all to Dave Liberatore for coming up with this topic.)
That the SF media never got a photo of the two Roger Craigs together is a big missed opportunity.
As was the Capitals not giving Ken Houston #27 like the gridiron legend.
Actually, someone had one on Facebook a couple days ago. There were 2 pictures: One of them in their own uniforms, and then one in each other’s uniforms. I saved it on my phone. If I have time later I will see about linking it here somehow.
That’s great, looking forward to it.
Here is the photo of the two Roger Craigs. I’ve never shared a link here before, so hopefully this works.
Derek Jeter and Brian Leetch sharing number 2.
They don’t have the same surname.
Willie Stargell & Kenny Pickett, #8 for the Pirates and Steelers respectively.
They don’t have the same surname.
A couple of #22’s from Philly:
Larry Jones (76ers)
Sidney Jones(Eagles)…we can over-look the suffix, right?
Ed Farmer (Phillies)
Jim Farmer (76ers)…we can overlook the legal stuff and the fact he only played in 2 games, right?
Got one: Reggie Jackson and Marc Jackson of the Nets (2005-2006): both wore 44. Unless you say that New Jersey Nets do not count as NYC.
Personally, I would not count the Yankees and NJ Nets as being in the same city. Others may be more lenient, though.
As a southern New Jerseyan, the lack of regional ownership of the Nets always makes me laugh.
A few years back someone pulled fan data from facebook and made a great interactive map graphic showing most the popular MLB team in each zip code, and you could see the fandom percentage breakdown for each zip code as well. I’d be curious back when the Nets were in NJ if there was any zip code where they were most popular NBA team, and to what extent the Knicks had an advantage over them throughout the region.
To be fair, the Meadowlands are tucked into the northeast corner of the state, just across the water from NYC. Most people south of I-195 live within 30 minutes of Philadelphia, with some coastal folk and Pineys thrown in. I wouldn’t drive 90-120 minutes each way to see the Nets when I could get to the Spectrum in 15 by car or the Speedline.
Falcons Erik Harris and Braves Michael Harris both wear #23.
Falcons Erik Harris and Braves Michael Harris both wear #23.
My brother and I were always convinced that the Steelers’ equipment manager assigned Willie Parker the 39 purposely because of Cobra. Not mad at all if that was true!
Have any of the combos occurred at the same time?
Michael Harris (#23 Braves) and Erik Harris (#23 Falcons) are both currently playing.
I think Dale and Gord Murphy over-lapped.
Mark Ingram and Brandon Ingram both played at the same time last year
And another one: Justin Jackson (Chargers 2021) and Bo Jackson (Los Angeles Angels): number 22.
Not at the same time, and a really deep pull, but DerMarr Johnson, formerly of the Nuggets, and Jack Johnson, formerly of the Avalanche.
Another Denver edition after a little digging:
Aaron and DJ Williams of the Nuggets and Broncos respectively, number 55. No photos of Aaron Williams on the Nuggets, probably because according to basketball-reference.com he played ten minutes for them in one game back in 1996-97, but DJ Williams was a mainstay. Not sure if ten minutes and a Basketball Reference entry is enough to count but it might be one of the most obscure.
I love this concept, and it annoys me that jersey numbers are a big trivia weak spot for me.
I found another same full name example that is very close:
Relief pitcher Joe Smith wore 30 for the Cubs
Power Forward Joe Smith wore 32 for the Bulls
(Not as close, but also 38 for the Twins and 32 for the T-Wolves)
Davey Johnson (Orioles) and Josh Johnson (Ravens) in Baltimore: number 15. Have a nice weekend everybody!
Nixon #10 Los Angeles
Norm for the Lakers and the Clippers
Otis for the Dodgers
Another Lakers/Dodgers one (and a rare example with two legitimate star players) – Willie Davis and Anthony Davis with #3.
We have a Miami trifecta:
Mark Smith (Marlins 2000 #18)
Mike Smith (Dolphins 1985-86 #18)
Reilly Smith (Panthers 2015-17 #18)
Philly has a 3-fer for the #6 (2 with nicknames):
Willie “Puddin’ Head” Jones (Phils)
Randy Jones (Flyers)
John “Spike” Jones (Eagles)
I can’t believe how much this has happened.
I love the color combos in Seattle, New Orleans and Pittsburgh. Part of me wishes each team’s color combo should reflect their city so you could cheer on all the teams with the same generic tee shirt. Wait, I think I know why they’re different…
Except, if like me you are a San Diego Padres and (formerly San Diego) Los Angeles Chargers fan
Brian McCann (Atlanta Braves 2005-2013, 2019 – #16)
Chris McCann (Atlanta United 2017-2018 – #16)
I remember hoping that Justin Faulk would have taken the #28 when he got traded to the Blues, since his #27 was taken at the time. Alas, he chose #72 instead.
Cleon Jones, Ross Jones, Bobby Jones, all wore 21 for the Mets
Right. But that’s not within the guidelines because it’s all for the same team.
can we talk about the Smiths in Minnesota and how both are, at least locally, far more known for off court/field transgressions…. original whizzinator anyone?
Billy Taylor -1999 Mets and
Tim Taylor-2000 Rangers
both wore #26
I have no memory of Rick Martin ever wearing anything but 7 with the Sabres but apparently he also wore 9 for a time.
Minnesota had Josh (Vikings) and Shane (Twins) Robinson in #21 for a season:
…plus Bernie (Twins) and Terry (Vikings) wore #21 too, but played decades apart:
#32 – Downtown Freddie Brown (Sonics, 1971-1984); link
#32 Marcus Brown (Seahawks, 2010) link
#27 – John Johnson (Sonics, 1978 – 1982); link
#27 Gregg Johnson (Seahawks, 1981-1983,1986); link
#27 Johnnie Johnson (Seahawks 1989); link
#35 Leon Smith (Sonics, 2004); link
#35 Steve Smith (Seahawks 1994-1995); link
#35 Brick Smith (Mariners 1987-1988); link
Oooh, that’s a good haul — nicely done, Tim!
Some Toronto/Johnson based answers:
James Johnson wore #2 for the Raptors (2012)
Kelly Johnson wore #2 for the Blue Jays (2011/12)
James Johnson also wore #3 for the Raptors (2015/16)
Reed Johnson wore #3 for the Blue Jays (2005-07)
Joe Johnson wore #33 for the Blue Jays (1986-87)
Craig Johnson wore #33 for the Leafs (for 10 games in 2004)
And it doesn’t QUITE count, but Oliver Miller wore #30 for Raptors (1996)
Kevin Millar wore #30 for the Blue Jays (2009)
#4 – D.J. Smith (Leafs, ’97), Jason Smith (Blue Jays, ’07)
#28 – Paul Evans (Leafs, ’78), Tom Evans (Blue Jays, ’97)
Vincent Brown – Patriots 1988-1995
Dusty Brown – Red Sox 2009
Jack Davis, Patriots 1960
Austin Davis, Red Sox 2021
Leonard Johnson, Patriots 2015
Vic Johnson, Red Sox 1945
Mace Brown, Red Sox 1942-1946
Tarell Brown, Patriots 2015
And one more before I have to actually do work…
David Wilson, Patriots 1992
Eugene Wilson, Patriots 2003-2007
Earl Wilson, Red Sox 1959-1966
Jerry Stephenson, Red Sox 1967-1968
Rhamondre Stevenson, Patriots 2021-2022
This is a fun idea! I wonder how many players chose to have the same number as an homage to the previous surnamed player?
#42 Chargers – Jesse Taylor (1972) link
#42 Padres – Ron Taylor (1972) link
#23 Chargers – Gerome Williams (1997-1998) link
#23 Chargers – Steve Williams (2014 – 2015) link
#23 Padres – Bernie Williams (1974) link
#23 Padres Eddie Williams (1994-1995) link
There’s a match for #22, but the Chargers side of it is LA Chargers, so that’s a No Go.
Justin Jackson LA Chargers (2019 – 2021) link
Darrin Jackson Padres (1989) link
Tim, you’re on fire!
Eagles Dirk Johnson
Sixers Tyler Johnson
Here’s a Chicago one:
Nellie Fox (1950-63) had his #2 retired by the White Sox.
Greg Fox wore #2 for the Blackhawks in the early ‘80s. Looks like he wore #18 when he got to Chicago in the late 70’s but passed that number to Denis Savard.
If the judges will permit it…. I have Bob Love spending 1969 wearing #10 for the Milwaukee Bucks, and Jordan Love currently wears #10 up in Green Bay
Frank Robinson and Flynn Robinson wore #20 for the Orioles and Baltimore Bullets respectively.
This feels like one of those: “why didn’t I think of that?” moments. That is fabulous.
Even though it doesn’t count its not even the first time Kemba has pulled something like this. When he joined the Celtics he wore #8 same as Antoine Walker. He said he did it so the fans wouldn’t have to buy new jerseys. so i think his number choice can’t be an accident.
First of all, we must acknowledge the reality that northern New Jersey is part of the New York area, and so all the teams that play there count as New York teams, regardless of what they are called. It simply cannot be that, when New Jersey Nets play home games in Newark they are not a New York team, but when the New York Liberty play home ganes in the same arena, they are.
So, then, about a decade ago the Nets had a big man by the name of Sean Williams who wore number 51, just like the Yankees’ Bernie Williams.
If we allow for spelling differences, then we could note that the guard Ron Mercer wore number 1 for the Nets, as did Bobby Murcer for the Yankees.
Ok…finally a good one popped into my head…Ray Williams of the Knicks and Walt “No Neck” Williams of the Yankees…number 13.
Eddie Jones wore number 6 for the Mavericks and so did Cowboys punter Chris Jones.