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Bears Will Retire Ditka's No. 89

By Nate Woelfel



Bears coach Mike Ditka instructs quarterback Jim McMahon during the Bears 24-6 victory over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in 1988. Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Allsport
Bears coach Mike Ditka instructs quarterback Jim McMahon during the Bears 24-6 victory over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in 1988. Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Allsport

The Chicago Bears will retire Mike Ditka's No. 89 uniform during halftime of their Monday Night Football game against the Dallas Cowboys at Soldier Field on Dec. 9.

Ditka ranks fourth in team history with 4,502 receiving yards. He was voted to six Pro Bowls.

"Mike Ditka embodies the spirit of everything the Bears are about," Bears chairman George H. McCaskey said in a statement posted on the team's website. "He's an icon. The last time we won a championship Mike Ditka was our coach and the last time we won before that Mike Ditka was a player. The organization knew [that retiring his number] was the right thing to do."

Ditka helped the 1985 Bears win Super Bowl XX and compiled a .631 winning percentage during his 11 seasons as the team's head coach. He was also a member of the Bears 1963 championship team.

No. 89 will be the 14th jersey retired by the Bears. "We have more retired numbers than any other team in the NFL. After this, we do not intend to retire any more numbers but we thought if there is going to be a last one, there is no more appropriate one than 89," McCaskey said.