Sports stars who have embraced 'unlucky' No. 13

Fri, May 13
Alex RodriguezDerick E. Hingle/US PresswireSince switching to No. 13, the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez has won two AL MVP awards, three Silver Slugger awards and a World Series ring.

In honor of Friday the 13th, the most unlucky day on the calendar, espnW takes a look at the athletes past and present who have proudly sported the number.

MLB: Alex Rodriguez
The All-Star third baseman didn't always flout superstition with his jersey number. In Seattle and Texas, he wore No. 3 before being traded to the Yankees. When he arrived in the Bronx in 2004, No. 3 was not available -- the team had retired it in honor of some guy named Babe Ruth. So he opted for 13 and hasn't looked back. Since adding a 1 to the 3, Rodriguez has won two AL MVP awards, three Silver Slugger awards and a World Series ring -- and has even dated Kate Hudson and Cameron Diaz. Sure, he had to fess up to using steroids, but that's just a bump in the road. Unlucky 13? Hardly. P.S. The Yankees start a three-game series against the Red Sox today -- yup, Friday the 13th.

NBA: Wilt Chamberlain
No. 13 was anything but unlucky for Chamberlain. And no, we're not talking about his off-the-field exploits. The Hall of Fame center is the greatest basketball player to wear 13. Chamberlain won four MVP awards, seven straight scoring titles and two championship rings during his storied career. He was even a 13-time All-Star. (You can't make this stuff up!) Chamberlain's iconic 13 has been retired by the University of Kansas and every team he played for during his 25-year professional career: the Warriors, 76ers, Lakers and, yes, even the Harlem Globetrotters.

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• See a photo gallery of athletes who wore No. 13.