The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the top franchises in the NFL. Art Rooney founded the Steelers on July 8, 1933, and the team rose to the summit. They have six Super Bowl victories which is tied with the New England Patriots for most all time.
A team does not win as much as Pittsburgh has without having great players come through. Ben Roethlisberger is a future Hall of Famer and he is one of many that have worn the black and yellow.
The Steelers have had many legendary executives and head coaches but here we will focus on the players. Pittsburgh has two numbers officially retired and many others that are unofficially retired. Here are all of the numbers honored by the Steelers.
Officially Retired Numbers
No. 70: Ernie Stautner
Stautner joined Pittsburgh in 1950 and spent his entire 14 year career with the team. He was a nine-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro defensive tackle. Stautner’s No. 70 was the first number to be officially retired by the franchise. During his time, Stautner was known to be extremely tough and played through many injuries. He was enshrined in Canton in 1969.
No. 75: Joe Greene
The Steelers landed Greene with the fourth overall pick in the 1969 NFL Draft. Despite his top five selection, Greene immediately turned into a steal. Greene spent 13 years with the Steelers and was a Pro Bowler in 10 of his first 11 seasons.
The four-time All-Pro selection Might be the biggest name in Steelers’ franchise history. He was apart of four Super Bowl winning teams and was the leader of the Steel Curtain defense. Greene was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987 and had his number retired by the Steelers in 2014.
Unofficially Retired Numbers
No. 12: Terry Bradshaw
The Steelers drafted Bradshaw with the first pick in the 1970 NFL Draft and they got their franchise quarterback. Bradshaw was a winner in Pittsburgh. In 14 seasons, he finished with a regular season record of 107-51. Bradshaw led the Steelers to four Super Bowl victories and helped them become the first team to win back-to-back titles twice. Bradshaw is known as the best quarterback in franchise history.
No. 32: Franco Harris
From the best quarterback in franchise history to the best running back. Harris spent the first 12 years of his career with the Steelers. He was a nine-time Pro Bowler and was apart of championship teams. Harris ran for 1,000 yards eight times and double-digit touchdowns five times with the Steelers. He led the league with 14 rushing touchdowns in 1976.
No. 36: Jerome Bettis
The Steelers absolutely robbed the Rams when they traded for Jerome Bettis in 1996. As a Steeler, Bettis ran for over 10,000 yards and scored 78 touchdowns. He finished with 1,000 or more yards during his first six years in Pittsburgh. An All-Pro in 1996, Bettis led the league with 375 carries and was the biggest workhorse in the league.
No. 43: Troy Polamalu
Polamalu completely changed the way that the safety position was played. He was a freak of nature during his career and is known for timing snaps perfectly and leaping over the lines. Polamalu totaled 32 interceptions and 107 pass deflections with the Steelers. He totaled 783 tackles and was one of the hardest hitting safeties in the game. The Hall of Famer was a seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time First Team All-Pro member.
No. 47: Mel Blount
Blount was another champion during his time in Pittsburgh. The defensive back finished his career with 57 interceptions including a league-leading 11 in 1975. He started 189 games for the Steelers and was a two-time First Team All-Pro selection. Before Polamalu, there was Blount in the secondary for Pittsburgh.
No. 52: Mike Webster
Webster spent 15 years as a Steeler before finishing his career in Kansas City. The center was a staple along the offensive line for the Steelers beginning in 1976. His durability paired with his pure toughness and aggression made him one of the top lineman in football. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997.
No. 58: Jack Lambert
Lambert could arguably find himself on the Steelers’ Mount Rushmore. The linebacker is one of the top defensive players in franchise history. In 1976, Lambert won Defensive Player of the Year after finishing with two interceptions an eight fumble recoveries. He finished his career with 28 interceptions and was a six-time First Team All-Pro member. Lambert was a leader for the Steelers during his 11 year career with the team.
No. 59: Jack Ham
Ham put together one of the most incredible stretches you will see. In six straight seasons from 1974-1979, Ham was a First Team All-Pro every year. He played in and started all but one game and totaled 17 interceptions. Ham was a dominant force on the Steelers’ defense in the 70’s. Pittsburgh is a franchise that has had many legendary defensive players and the list cannot be completed without Ham.
No. 68: L.C. Greenwood
Greenwood was a behemoth on the defensive end at 6’6. during his time in Pittsburgh, Greenwood was a six-time Pro Bowler and two-time First Team All-Pro member. He was also named All-AFC five times. Greenwood played when sacks were not an official stat. If they were, he would have led the Steelers six times with a total of 73.5. Greenwood has not been elected to the Hall of Fame just yet but he should be the next great Steeler inducted.
No. 86: Hines Ward
Ward was selected in the third round of the 1998 NFL Draft by the Steelers. He signed a three-year deal worth $885K as a rookie and was the fourth receiver on the depth chart. It did not take long for him to turn into a No. 1 option on the team. He turned in six 1,000 yard seasons with the Steelers and was a four-time Pro Bowler. In 2005, Ward was named Super Bowl MVP after finishing with five catches for 123 yards and a touchdown. He has a strangle hold on Steelers’ receiving records. Ward is the only receiver in Steelers’ history to catch 1,000 passes. He also leads in receiving yards with 12,083 and receiving touchdowns with 85. It will take a big effort to dethrone Ward from the top of any receiving category.