The Best Athletes to Ever Wear a Number 15 Jersey
If you’re looking for a somewhat unexpected source of iconic athletes, look no further than the number 15 jersey, which enjoys representation from Hall of Famers who suited up in plenty of different sports. Between Nikola Jokic’s flashy feeds, Patrick Mahomes’ no-look dimes, Carlos Beltran’s consistent production, and more, these digits have seen their share of highlights and accolades.
For our list of the 10 best to ever wear a number 15 jersey, presented alphabetically by first name, we highlighted their professional careers only while donning the one and five. These athletes were selected based on their accolades, statistical accomplishments, and talent while wearing a number 15 jersey.
Bart Starr wore the number 15 jersey for his entire 16-year NFL career as the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers. The Hall of Famer helped the small-market Wisconsin team win the first and second Super Bowls and was also named the MVP of both games. Starr earned many other accolades, including five NFL championships and a league MVP.
Carlos Beltran spent 19 years in MLB and wore the number 15 jersey for the Kansas City Royals (2002-04), Houston Astros (2004, 2017), New York Mets (2005-11), and San Francisco Giants (2011). The outfielder made six All-Star squads in the relevant digits and won a world series with Houston.
The 1972 American League MVP, Dick Allen was an on-base machine who could also hit for enough power to lead the league in homers twice. After the conclusion of a career that saw him make seven All-Star rosters, the Philadelphia Phillies honored him with the retirement of his number 15 jersey and a spot on the team’s Wall of Fame.
Hal Greer spent his entire 15-year NBA career with the same franchise, transitioning from the Syracuse Nationals to the Philadelphia 76ers alongside the rest of the organization. He never wore a different number en route to a jersey retirement, 10 All-Star appearances, seven All-NBA honors, and spots both in the Hall of Fame and on the 75th Anniversary Team.
Lauren Jackson entered the WNBA as the No. 1 overall pick of the 2001 draft and spent her whole career wearing the number 15 jersey for the Seattle Storm. She won two championships, earned MVP honors three times, and made the All-WNBA First Team in seven different seasons. The Australian forward has since had her number retired by the Storm and is a member of the Hall of Fame.
Only playing for the Boston Bruins, Milt Schmidt won the Stanley Cup twice en route to the Hall of Fame. Playing from 1936-55, he scored 229 goals and registered 346 assists, pacing the NHL in points during the 1939-40 season. He also won the Hart Memorial Trophy for his efforts in 1950-51.
Nikola Jokic is arguably the greatest passing big man of all time, and it’s not like he’s too shabby when calling his own number. The Denver Nuggets center is still squarely in his prime and already has five All-NBA appearances, five All-Star nominations, two league MVPs, and the 2023 title to his credit.
The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback may be the best player in the NFL today, and he’s been on a celestial trajectory ever since he started taking snaps at the professional level. Patrick Mahomes is a two-time Super Bowl champion who won Super Bowl MVP honors both times, and he’s added a pair of league MVP awards to his ever-growing trophy shelf.
Tom Heinsohn spent his entire NBA career with the Boston Celtics, playing a big part in the legendary dynasty centered around Bill Russell. He won eight championships in Beantown, made an All-NBA team four times, and notably won Rookie of the Year honors over Russell. Heinsohn is now a member of the Hall of Fame and has had his jersey retired by the C’s.
One of the greatest in-game dunkers of all time, the high-flying Vince Carter spent over two decades in the NBA and wore the number 15 jersey for the Toronto Raptors, New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic, and Sacramento Kings. An eight-time All-Star who began his career with a Rookie of the Year season, he averaged more than 20 points in 10 straight seasons.
Best athletes to wear a number 15 jersey: honorable mentions
We considered so many great athletes who’ve worn a number 15 jersey. The following didn’t quite make it on our top-10 list, but they’re worth mentioning due to their incredible talent and prolific careers. More will join them as new talents distinguish themselves.
- Al Horford
- Brandon Marshall
- Carmelo Anthony
- Daniel Sturridge
- Darrell Porter
- Davey Lopes
- DeMarcus Cousins
- Dick McGuire
- Dustin Pedroia
- Earl Monroe
- Eric Nesterenko
- George Foster
- Jim Edmonds
- Jim Nielson
- Joe Torre
- John MacLean
- Mats Hummels
- Nemanja Vidic
- Red Ruffing
- Ryan Getzlaf
- Steve Van Buren
- Thurman Munson
- Tim Hudson
- Tim Salmon
- Tom Gola
- Vinnie Johnson