By Daniel Friedman
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Moving on with our weekly rankings of the best local athletes of all time by uniform/jersey number, here are numbers 39-30.
39: Roy Campanella, Dodgers
The eight-time All Star helped “Dem Bums” finally win a World Series in 1955. His phenomenal career was tragically cut short in 1958, when a car accident left him paralyzed. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969.
Runner-up: Rick DiPietro, Islanders
38: Bob Tucker, Giants
He had the most receptions of any tight end during the 1970s and is somehow not in the Hall of Fame.
Runner-up: Rick Aguilera, Mets
37: Casey Stengel, Dodgers/Giants (as a player), Mets/Yankees (as a manager)
A fine ballplayer and an even better manager. He wore 37 as a manager, which is the only number we have on record for him, so we’ll recognize him for his accomplishments in both roles.
Runner-up: Mark Parrish, Islanders
36: Don Newcombe, Dodgers
The star pitcher for Brooklyn won a World Series in 1955 and was the NL Cy Young Award winner and MVP the following year.
Runner-up: David Cone (Mets/Yankees), Jerry Koosman (Mets)
35: Mike Richter, Rangers
Arguably the best American goaltender to ever play in the NHL, he won a Stanley Cup with the Rangers in 1994 and had an outstanding career. Richter inspired a generation of younger Americans to embrace the goalie position.
Runner-up: Mike Mussina, Yankees
34: John Vanbiesbrouck, Rangers/Islanders/Devils
He was eventually beat out by Richter for the starting role, but was very good in his own right until that happened. He won the Vezina as the NHL’s best goaltender in 1986.
Runner-up: Charles Oakley, Knicks
33: Patrick Ewing, Knicks
I don’t think I need to explain this one.
Runner-up: David Wells, Yankees
32: Julius Erving, Nets
This was a tough choice, but Dr. J gets the nod. He’s one of the most dominant players in NBA history.
Runner-up: Elston Howard, Yankees
31: Billy Smith, Islanders
Another very difficult call, but when you backstop your team to four Stanley Cups you deserve to be recognized.
Runner-up: Mike Piazza (Mets), Dave Winfield (Yankees)
30: Martin Brodeur, Devils
Arguably the best goaltender in NHL history, he holds several league records and has won award after award. This was a no-brainer.
Runner-up: Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers
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