Since Ditka, No. 89 hasn't had high profile
May, 24, 2013
By Matt Lo Cascio | ESPNChicago.com
It's hard to fathom, but 12 other players wore No. 89 for the Bears after Mike Ditka left the team following the 1966 season.
AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastMatt Spaeth will be the last Bears player ever to wear No. 89.
Here's a quick look at the players, some of them even coached by Ditka, who were the number that will be retired on Dec. 9.
Matt Spaeth, TE, 2011-12: Spaeth was brought in from Pittsburgh to shore up pass protection for Jay Cutler. He's returning to Pittsburgh to play for the Steelers in 2013. He will have been the last player to wear the number.
Dustin Lyman, TE, 2000-04: Lyman was a linebacker at Wake Forest who was converted into a tight end by the Bears. He caught 37 passes over five seasons for the Bears.
Ryan Wetnight, TE, 1993-99: A solid pass-catching tight end, Wetnight had his best season for the Bears in 1997, when he caught 46 passes from Erik Kramer and Rick Mirer.
Kelly Blackwell, TE, 1992: Caught just five balls in his lone season for the Bears. Played one more season in Dallas before ending his career.
James Coley, TE, 1990: Coley caught just one pass as a Bear playing behind James "Robocop" Thornton and Cap Boso.
Brent Novoselsky, TE, 1988: The Skokie native out of Penn didn't catch a pass in his 8 career games as a Bear.
Keith Ortego, TE, 1985-87: Came out of nowhere in 1986 to catch six passes for 157 yards and a touchdown in a shutout win over the Vikings at Soldier Field.
Mitch Krenk, TE, 1984: Krenk, who played collegiately at Nebraska, caught just two passes in '84, his only season in the NFL.
James Scott, WR, 1976-83: A speedster in the mold of Willie Gault, Scott caught 20 touchdown passes for the Bears while averaging more than 18 yards per catch.
Mel Tom, DE, 1973-75: Defensive end played parts of three seasons with the Bears under Abe Gibron and Jack Pardee.
Bob Wallace, WR/TE, 1968-72: The Bears drafted Wallace in the second round of the 1968 draft. His best season was 1969, when he caught 47 passes for 553 yards with five touchdowns.
Terry Stoepel, TE, 1967: Undrafted tight end out of Tulsa was the first player to wear 89 after Ditka. He caught just one pass for the Bears, the only catch in his NFL career.
Oddly enough, in his first season in Philadelphia, Ditka had to wear No. 98 because linebacker Mike Morgan already wore No. 89. When Morgan left to join the Redskins in 1967, Ditka reclaimed the number the number he wore at Pitt.