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Gordie Howe wore the #9 on his Detroit Red Wings uniform for the first time on this day in 1947. Prior to that, he had worn 17, but switched to 9 so that he could have a lower berth bed on the train during road trips. At that time, lower sweater numbers got the larger and more comfortable beds on the train. The #9 would be retired forever by the Red Wings in Mr. Hockey’s honor in 1972.