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99 Days Of 99 Jersey Numbers: #73

Posted Jun 26, 2014

Only eight players in Dolphins history (and none since 2008) wore this jersey, but the first two were pretty good ones

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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Only eight players in Dolphins history (and none since 2008) wore this jersey, but the first two were pretty good ones  –  tackle Norm Evans (1966-75) and nose tackle Bob Baumhower (1977-86). Evans was an original Dolphins player who was taken in the expansion draft from the Houston Oilers. He wound up playing ten season in Miami, more than any other member of that inaugural team except for Howard Twilley. Evans started all but six games at right tackle during those ten years, and his 91 consecutive starts during that span still is the sixth highest in team history. He was named to two Pro Bowls, as well as the Dolphins’ Silver Anniversary team. When Baumhower took over that jersey two years after Evans’ final season in Miami, he kept that tradition of excellence alive. When Head Coach Don Shula changed from his long-time 4-3 base defense to a 3-4 in 1977, Baumhower proved to be a model nose tackle for that alignment, being adept at both rushing the passer and stuffing the run.  He even led the Dolphins with nine sacks in 1981, a rare accomplishment for any nose tackle. A key member of the “Killer B’s” defense of the 1980s, Baumhower was a five-time Pro Bowl selection,  and was selected to the Dolphins Honor Roll in 2008. After that, the jersey was worn by players of lesser accomplishment, with the best among them being tackle Ron Heller (1993-95), who brought leadership and a sense of toughness to the team.  

The complete list of Dolphins who have worn #73 includes Evans (1966-75); Baumhower (1977-86); Greg Johnson (1988); Heller (1993-95); Dario Romero (2002); Billy Yates (2003); Stockar McDougle (2005) and Evan Mathis (2008).

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Tomorrow:  What player who wore #72 was perhaps the most underrated starter on the great “No-Name” defense of the early 1970s? Bonus question: An offensive lineman who wore #72 while starting 87 consecutive games for the Dolphins was a local product, going to high school and college in South Florida before being drafted by the team. Can you name the player and the high school and college he attended?

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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

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