We’re starting a new series where we name the best player to wear a specific number across all NY sports teams (no, Buffalo teams don’t count). For each number, we will provide an explanation as to why we chose that player, and we will also provide a runner-up. Additionally, we will reveal our candidates from each NY Sports team.
The number 1 has been worn by many great players throughout NY Sports History. Ultimately, it came down to Billy Martin (Yankees), Mookie Wilson (Mets), Ed Giacomin (Rangers), Thomas Greiss (Islanders), Ray Flahtery (Giants), Mike Nugent (Jets), Amare Stoudamire (Knicks)
The best player in NY Sports History to wear the number 1 is Billy Martin. Billy Martin played 7 seasons with the New York Yankees at Second-Base from 1950-1957. Billy Martin won four World Series with the Yankees as a player (1951, 1952, 1953, 1956) and added another ring as the manager in 1977. Although he had storied (to say the least) managerial stints with the Yankees, Billy Martin’s number 1 was retired by the Yankees in 1986.
Honorable Mention: Mookie Wilson
Mookie played 9 seasons with the Mets, and won the World Series in 1986. Although he was a great player for the Mets, it’s hard to argue that the best number 1 is not Billy Martin.