Ever since I was a child I have been fascinated by the numbers athletes wear. Whether it’s a number on the back of a baseball pitcher to that on the side of a stock car, numbers are everywhere we go.

Today there are resources everywhere to find what numbers the men and women we watch wear. No place, however, was there a repository of which numbers were most popular and why.

To many athletes, numbers are simply what they were assigned. To others, however, numbers mean everything … some are handed down from generation to generation. Why did Babe Ruth wear No. 3? Why did Michael Jordan pick 23? What made the 43 so special to Richard Petty. Those are the answers we hope to find here.

The unending study of uniform numbers is sports