Wisconsin has quietly built up quite the history of great professional athletes. Between the Bucks, Brewers, and Packers, a plethora of high-profile athletes have spent any number of years in the great state of Wisconsin. In this series, we will take a look at the best players to wear each jersey number. In this edition, we are looking at the best players who wore numbers 11 through 15.
Number 11- Richie Sexson: Milwaukee Brewers (2000-2003)
Richie Sexson spent a brief three and a half seasons with the Brewers. However, in that time he smashed 133 home runs, hitting 45 home runs in a season twice. His 45 home runs in 2001 and 2003 tied Gorman Thomas’ club record, which was broken by Prince Fielder in 2007. During his brief stint in Milwaukee, Sexson was named to the All-Star team twice (2002 and 2003). His best season came in 2003. In that campaign, Sexson hit .272/.379/.548 with 45 home runs and 124 RBI. He also played in each of the 162 games that year.
Sexson was traded following the 2003 season due to the Brewers’ concern that they would not be able to afford him when his contract was up. They traded him to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a plethora of players. Among the players coming to Milwaukee were Lyle Overbay and current Brewers’ manager Craig Counsell.
Honorable Mention: Lyle Overbay (Brewers); Brook Lopez (Bucks)
Number 12- Aaron Rodgers: Green Bay Packers (2005-Present)
How else but the quarterback affectionately known as “12” would be in this spot? Aaron Rodgers has put together one of the greatest careers in football history, let alone Packers’ history. During his legendary career (thus far), Rodgers has thrown for over 4,000 yards eight times. He has also won two MVP awards, made eight Pro Bowls, and named to two All Pro Teams. Up to this point, his 102.4 career passer rating is the highest in NFL history. In addition, he led the Packers to victory in Superbowl XLV and took home the game’s MVP Award.
After spending three seasons as the backup to Brett Favre, Rodgers became the Packers full-time starter in 2008. His best season was his first MVP campaign in 2011. During that season, “12” passed for 4,643 yards and 45 touchdowns against just six interceptions. His 122.5 passer rating that year remains an NFL record. The legendary quarterback has four more years remaining on his current contract. Hopefully the Packers can help him win a few more rings in that time frame. It is becoming more and more clear that his career numbers will only do so much for his legacy. He needs another Superbowl.
Number 13- Glenn Robinson: Milwaukee Bucks (1994-2002)
The Milwaukee Bucks made Glenn Robinson the second number one overall draft pick in franchise history. Robinson made the Bucks look great by posting 21.9 points per game in his rookie season. He went on to average 20 or more points seven times in his eight seasons with the Bucks. The only season in which he did not average 20 was the 1998-1999 season when he only played 47 games. He made two consecutive All-Star teams in the 1999 and 2000 seasons before being traded to Atlanta in 2002.
Glenn Robinson, known as “Big Dog,” was a fan favorite for his entire tenure in Milwaukee. He famously was a member of Milwaukee’s Big Three that included Ray Allen and Sam Cassell. Along with Robinson, the trio led the Bucks on a deep playoff run in 2001. Sadly, the run ended in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals against Allen Iverson’s 76ers. Robinson ended his Bucks career with averages of 21.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game.
Honorable Mention: Zack Greinke (Brewers)
Number 14- Don Hutson: Green Bay Packers (1935-1945)
Whenever the question is raised of who is the best wide receiver in NFL history, Don Hutson is rarely, if ever, mentioned. This is a shame because he revolutionized the wide receiver position. Without him, there is no Jerry Rice, Randy Moss, or Larry Fitzgerald. Don Hutson was the first wide receiver to record over 1,000 receiving in a season. His 1,211 yards in 1942 remained a NFL record until 1951. By the time he reached that level of success, he had already set the receiving record three times. In addition, he helped the Packers win championships in 1936, 1939, and 1944.
Hutson is disrespected by many modern NFL analysts and fans because of the era in which he played. The NFL had fewer teams and the players are not considered to have been as athletic as modern-day players. Nevertheless, Hutson dominated the NFL in way that has rarely been seen since. He led the NFL in receptions eight times, receiving yards seven times, and receiving touchdowns nine times. His best season was his 1942 campaign. During that season, he recorded 74 receptions for 1,211 yards and 17 touchdowns. To top it all off, he was named to eight straight All Pro Teams. There is a reason the team named their practice facility after him, after all. His number 14 is one of just six numbers to have been retired by the Packers. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1963.
Honorable Mention: Jon McGlocklin (special note: Johnny Mac is the only Bucks player to have ever worn number 14)
Number 15- Bart Starr: Green Bay Packers (1956-1971)
Before Tom Brady, Joe Montana, and Terry Bradshaw, there was Bart Starr. Another former Packer who is not held in as high esteem as modern players due to his era, Starr was the embodiment of winning. Famously, Starr led the Packers to five championships, including the first two Superbowls, in the span of just seven years. He was the NFL MVP in 1966 and won the MVP Award in each of the first two Superbowls.
After his storied career as a player ended, Starr returned to Green Bay as the head coach. Unfortunately, the Packers were not very good during his tenure. However, the legacy Starr built in Green Bay is what stands the test of time. When he passed away on May 26, 2019, there was much said of his playing career. However, what was remembered the most by fans, former teammates, and current Packers was his kindness, not his career numbers. His desire to make a difference to those less fortunate than him have inspired Packers players for decades and will continue to do so.
More in the Series
Follow me on Twitter at @MrAdams88 and follow us @OTHWisconsin for more great content. Also, be sure to check out the Overtime Heroics Forums page to join in on the discussion.To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here!