Between the Cavaliers, the Indians, and the Browns many athletes have come and gone in Cleveland but who deserves the highest of honors?
Let’s settle a debate, the biggest honor a sports team can give you is the retirement of your jersey number. Yes, there’s a debate for a statue in your honor, but those aren’t always well-received, often leading to debates that defeat the purpose. The retirement of a jersey number is usually met with widespread acceptance and admiration from fans. So we’re looking at which of the five most deserving players from the Cavaliers, Indians, and Browns since the ’80s and on deserve to have their jersey number retired.
The reason for the focus on teams from the ’80s and ’90s is down to the fact that this was when a lot of fans found Cleveland sports teams, and when a lot of the teams started to achieve sustained and steady success. You know, not including the Browns. So we’re going to look at which members since then deserve their numbers hung with honor.
A quick caveat, this list will not include Joe Thomas of the Cleveland Browns. It’s not because Thomas doesn’t deserve the honor, but because that very idea is what inspired this one. Having already written about that very topic, there’s no need to rehash the talking points. Thomas deserves the honor more than any other Browns player since the ’80s (save for one). It’s redundant to include him on this list again, after already arguing for him.
Also, this won’t be in order of most or least deserving. Instead, this will just be the five who most deserve it. That way when you see LeBron James’ name you won’t roll your eyes at his inclusion. Not because you don’t think his number should be but we all know it should be. Even if you’re not a fan of his.