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99 Days Of 99 Jersey Numbers: #49

Posted Jul 20, 2014

Like a few others before it, this number got off to a good start, but lost some steam after that.

As we tick the days off to the season opener against the Patriots on Sept. 7, each day we highlight the players who wore that particular jersey number during their tenure in Miami. In some cases, the player and jersey number are synonymous. In other cases, the jersey number represents sustained greatness at a particular position. Whatever the case may be, jersey numbers are an important part of the fabric of professional football.

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Like a few others before it, this number got off to a good start, but lost some steam after that. The first person to wear it was cornerback Jimmy Warren (1966-69), who was plucked from the San Diego Chargers in the 1966 expansion draft. Warren became one of the team’s first stars, starting all but one game in his four years with the team. He finished second on the team with five interceptions in 1966 and was one of four Dolphins who were named to the All-AFL team following that inaugural season. Safety Charlie Babb (1972-79) was the next regular to wear the jersey. When he joined the Dolphins in 1972, Dick Anderson and Jake Scott were entrenched at the safety position, and so Babb had to wait until 1975 following the departure of Scott to claim one of those spots. Babb started every game for two years before again becoming a valuable reserve until a knee injury ended his career. The player with the most seasons wearing the jersey was cornerback William Judson (1981-89), who broke into the starting lineup at the beginning of the 1983 season and started all but two games (not counting the replacement games in 1987) for the next seven years.  His name rarely comes up in any discussion of the greatest cornerbacks in Dolphin history, but it should; his 24 career interceptions ranks tied for sixth in Dolphin history and only Sam Madison and Pat Surtain have more among the team’s cornerbacks. Tony Paige (1990-92) was one of the few offensive players to wear the number, and he was a valuable contributor from the fullback spot. Besides being a good blocker, Paige was a reliable receiver, finishing third on the team in catches all three of his seasons in Miami, including 57 catches in 1991 and 48 receptions a year later, when he had more catches than any wide receiver on the Dolphins.  For the moment, Paige represents pretty much the last hurrah for number # 49; it hasn’t been worn by a starter since then and by anyone at all since the 1997 campaign.

The complete list of Dolphins who have worn #49 includes Warren (1966-69); Ray Jones (1971); abb (1972-79); William Judson (1981-87); *Marvell Burgess (1987); Judson (1987-89); Paige (1990-92); Robert Wilson (1994-96); and Dewayne Dotson (1997).

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Tomorrow: Only one true starter ever wore #48 with the Dolphins. When he finished his career in Miami, he ranked third on the team’s all-time interception list and even now he is ninth on that list. Can you name him?

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PREVIOUS JERSEY NUMBERS: 99 | 98 | 97 | 96 | 95 | 94 | 93 | 92 | 91 | 92 | 90 | 89 | 88 | 87 | 86 | 85 | 84 | 83 | 82 | 81 | 80 | 79 | 78 | 77 | 76 | 75 | 74 | 73 | 72 | 71 | 70 | 69 | 68 | 67 | 66 | 65 | 64 | 63 | 62 | 61 | 60 | 59 | 58 | 57 | 56 | 55 | 54 | 53 | 52 | 51 | 50

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