ANY GIVEN NUMBER: Who Wore It Best, from 00 to 99


May 06, 2014, 10:05 ET from Sports Illustrated

NEW YORK, May 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Every number tells a story in Sports Illustrated's ANY GIVEN NUMBER. In this striking, photo-driven book, SI takes a comprehensive look at jersey numbers 00 to 99, across all sports and eras, to decide which elite pro athlete wore each digit best.

Who wins as the greatest No. 12—Tom Brady, Terry Bradshaw or Joe Namath? In the shootout for No. 33, does victory belong to Larry Bird or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? Will Brett Favre or Bobby Orr triumph in the battle for No. 4? Who's the ultimate No. 24: Willie Mays, Jeff Gordon or Kobe Bryant?

Sports Illustrated fuels lively debate throughout the pages of ANY GIVEN NUMBER: Who Wore It Best, from 00 to 99 (Time Home Entertainment Inc.; May 6, 2014; Hardcover; 208pp; $19.95). Written and edited by Bill Syken and Stephen Cannella, and with an introduction by Hall of Fame basketball writer Jack McCallum, this book compares the seemingly incomparable—franchise quarterback verses legendary center, strikeout king against dominating goaltender. For each jersey number, SI whittles down a list of candidates to the top contenders, who go head-to-head in a battle over career stats, championship rings and milestone contributions with one athlete emerging as the ultimate victor.

ANY GIVEN NUMBER also boasts over 300 stunning photos and an entertaining sidebar for every number that delves into the reasoning behind a player's uniform number selection, highlighting the rituals and superstitions that are as much a part of sports as the competition itself. Filled with anecdotes, little-known factoids and insider information, this volume is an essential addition to the shelves and coffee tables of sports fans everywhere, as well as a memorable gift.

Some of book's intriguing findings and sections include:

  • League-specific comparisons that highlight the most successful uniform number at a specific position, such as MLB first basemen (No. 5: Hank Greenberg, Jeff Bagwell, Albert Pujols) and NFL quarterbacks (No. 12: Terry Bradshaw, Roger Staubach, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, et al)
  • A special section that highlights numbers that run in the family, including Archie and Peyton Manning (18) and Cheryl and Reggie Miller (31)
  • More than half of the 100 top spots are NFL players (54%) and another 26% are from the NBA
  • A look at the elite college football players who have worn a number made legendary by their predecessors and lived up to its distinction, such as the Alabama Quarterback (12), the Syracuse Running Back (44), and the USC Linebacker (55)
  • The most and least worn numbers across the NFL, NHL, MLB and NBA and the digits that have brought home the most hardware
  • A by-the-numbers review of the great athletes who have switched numbers and the enduring marks of distinction for sports that do not feature numbers, e.g. Tiger Woods' red shirt and Bjorn Borg's headband

Chock-full of regional and team bragging rights, long-standing franchises duke it out for top representation by former and current players. ANY GIVEN NUMBER incites a unique competition between athletes, with players of baseball, football, basketball, and hockey, and even race car drivers and racehorses, all scrutinized by the rules of a singular playbook.

Let the debates begin!

About Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated (SI), the most respected voice in sports journalism, is a multimedia sports brand that takes the consumer into the heart and soul of sports. It reaches a weekly audience of nearly 21 million adults, and, the magazine's 24/7 sports news website delivers more than 150 original stories each week. For more information on Any Given Number, please visit

About Time Home Entertainment Inc.
Time Home Entertainment Inc. (THEI), the book publishing arm of Time Inc, creates and leverages editorial content across multiple platforms, including books, bookazines, eBooks and calendars, in partnership with such Time Inc. brands as TIME, PEOPLE, Sports Illustrated, LIFE, Southern Living, Fortune, InStyle, Essence and Entertainment Weekly. THEI also publishes a range of books under licensed third party brands including Disney, MAD Magazine, Guitar World, and Weber.

ANY GIVEN NUMBER: Who Wore It Best, from 00 to 99
By the Editors of Sports Illustrated
Time Home Entertainment Inc.
Publication date 5/6/14
$19.95, 208pp, Hardcover, ISBN: 9781618931108

SOURCE Sports Illustrated