With some sports stats, all you need is the number. Do you recognize these iconic sports digits?


SportsPulse: Aside from his legendary career on the track, NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty is equally known for his graciousness when it comes to signing autographs for fans and he tells USA TODAY Sports why.


Sure, some sports are back. But “sports” as we know them are largely still on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic. Today is Day 78 without sports. ⚾️🏀🏒🏉⚽️⛳🎾🏁

For all the incredible athletic ability and artistry that attracts us to sports, there’s also an (almost?) equal attachment to the numbers within the game. First of all, we have to keep score to know who wins. Second, we often form a bond with the jersey numbers the competitors wear. And third, the numbers help us remember the athletes’ greatest accomplishments.

Think about it for a second. Take any sport and there’s a record, a total, a distance that all you need is the number … and you know instantly what it represents. 

For example, Babe Ruth’s record of 714 career home runs was once ingrained in generations of baseball fans’ brains. But once Hank Aaron passed him, the importance of 714 faded. Are there still numbers like that which have stood…

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