If you were the general manager of a professional sports team, who would you want to build your team around? While you may think it's as simple as picking a player who consistently puts numbers on the boards, you gotta delve much deeper than that. Can this individual motivate and bring out the best in their teammates? Will this player stay committed to your franchise through thick and thin, ignoring the allure of more money, greater fame or the formation of a super team? Is this person capable of developing a mostly favorable, larger than life persona in the eyes of the franchise's fan base? Like when you talk about a certain organization, their name is one of, if not the first, to pop into your head? Finding that special someone isn't so simple now, is it?  

Honestly, those types are few and far between. Take a player like Derek Jeter, for example. In addition to putting together stellar numbers year after year, Jeter has cemented his place in Yankees history with his clutch hits and competitive demeanor, which helped lead the Yanks to multiple World Series titles. To commemorate The Captain's 39th birthday today, we take a look at athletes, past and present, who have proven themselves to be the cornerstone at the time, the hero now and forever, and so much more for their respective teams. Here's The 25 Greatest Franchise Players in Sports History.

*Note: All the players on this list spent a majority or all of their career with one specific team.