Baseball

Greatest Baseball Players of All Time: Top 10 List

How great can a baseball player become? Read to find out.

best baseball players of all time

Baseball is America’s favorite pastime. For many years now, baseball fans have quenched their thirst of the game with knowledge of legendary players of the sport. The greatest baseball players of all time are unmatched talent and have risen through the ranks to become exceptional to other players of the game through many generations.

It is common in sports to have debates concerning which players are the best in their field. Discussions about teams, players, and eras in tennis are frequent and can be considered important in determining the best in the lot. While players such as Babe Ruth easily earn a spot on the A- List group of baseball players, it is not as straightforward for others.

For instance, performance is an essential determinant of whether a player will be lucky to appear in the list of the greatest baseball players of all time. Nevertheless, the best performers include the best pitchers of all time, famous baseball players, and the best MLB players

It is also important to note that while creating lists of the greatest baseball players of all times, it is possible to overlook absolute legends. For instance, in 1947, African American players were not allowed on the field until 71 years after the National League started.

Even though baseball legends performed exceptionally well, there is still room for future generations of players to catch up and refine their play to even greater heights than their predecessors. For now, however, let’s take a look at this list that contains the best baseball players of all time.

You can also read: The Best Youth Baseball Bats in the Market

10 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time

 

Babe Ruth

Babe Ruth
Image Credit: Smithsonian Magazine

Anyone conversant with baseball must know Babe Ruth. He is one of the world’s most famous baseball players. This list wouldn’t be relevant or an accurate account of baseball legends if it didn’t include the best baseball player the world has ever seen.

Ruth had several nicknames including “The Colossus of Clout” and “The Sultan of Swat, because of his ability to hit almost 45 home runs every year throughout his career.

It is undeniable that Ruth transformed baseball.

Ruth started his baseball career playing as a pitcher and outfielder for the Boston Red Sox in 1914. In 1920, he joined the New York Yankees and played with them for 15 seasons. While playing for the New York Yankees, Ruth made a lot of records like .690slugging percentage, and 1.164 on-plus bases slugging.

Babe Ruth, aka, “The Bambino” is in the top three on the list of MLB home run leaders of all-time with 714 home runs. Without a doubt, Babe Ruth deserves to be first on the list of the greatest baseball players of all time.

His career achievements:

  • Named MLB World Series Champion seven times
  • MLB Home Run Leader 12 times
  • MLB All-Star twice
  • 2.213 RBI
  • 714 Career home runs
  • All-time team member, Major League Basketball.

Hank Aaron

Hank Aaron
Unknown Date; Atlanta, GA, USA; FILE PHOTO; Atlanta Braves outfielder Hank Aaron (44) walks from the dugout at Fulton County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Manny Rubio-US PRESSWIRE

Without a shadow of a doubt, Hank Aaron is not only one of the best baseball players of all time. He is also, through his exemplary performance, one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Muhammad Ali, boxing legend, once referred to Aaron as, “the only man I idolize more than myself”.

Mickey Mantle, in 1970 also declared, “As far as I’m concerned, Aaron is the best baseball player of my era”. And it is easy to see why. During his best season in 1957, Hank Aaron managed to hit .322 with 132 RBI and 44 home runs.

Even though Aaron is second in the list of MLB homerun leaders of all time, with 755 home runs, he displayed great humility throughout his career. During his Hall of Fame speech in 1982, Hammerin’ Hank declared, “I never want them to forget Babe Ruth. I just want them to remember Hank Aaron”.

Aaron played for the Atlanta Braves for most of his career form 1954-1974. He played as a right fielder. In 1975-1976, he played for the Milwaukee Brewers in the American League. In 1999, MLB honored Hank Aaron by introducing an award named after him for top offensive players in each league.

His career achievements:

  • All-Century Team Member Major League Baseball
  • Three times MLB Gold Glove award
  • NL Home Run Leader four times
  • MLB All-Star 25 times.

 

Ty Cobb

Ty Cobb
Image Credit: Grantland

Nicknamed the Georgia Peach, Tyrus Raymond Cobb was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1936. Even though his critics paint him as an aggressive racist, his accomplishments on the field cannot be denied. The greatest baseball players of all-time list cannot be complete without his name on it.

He had a successful 22-year career playing for the Detroit Tigers. Just before retirement in his last season, Ty played for Philadelphia Athletics as an outfielder. With a record number of 4,189 hits, Ty is second on the list of MLB all-time hits as of March 23, 2020.

His career achievements:

  • Record 4,189 hits
  • 11,434 at-bats
  • MLB AL Batting Champion 12 times
  • All-Century Team Member, Major League Baseball

 

Stan Musial

Stan Musial
Image Credit: CNN

Also known as Stan the Man, this baseball legend started his pro career in 1938 as a left-handed pitcher. He is fourth on the list of MLB all-time hits with a record 3,630 hits. With his team the Cardinals, he was able to win the 1944 World Series. In 1945, he took the time and served in the Navy. 1946 was an excellent year for him because he won his second MVP.

Stan Musial was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1969. One of his most notable quotes is, “Unless you give it all you’ve got, there isn’t any sense in playing.

Career achievements:

  • 3,630 hits
  • MLB NL MVP three times
  • MLB Star 24 times
  • MLB NL Batting Champion seven times

 

Walter Johnson

Walter Johnson
Image Credit: Imagine Sports

Considered the best pitcher of all time, Walter Johnson is known for holding the record for the most strikeouts. He is one of the greatest baseball players of all time and is also a top position holder for his 110 shutouts. For eight consecutive seasons, Johnson managed to lead the league in strikeouts.

The pitching legend was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1936 and held a record of more than 3,500 strikeouts.

Career achievements:

  • Record holder for 110 shutouts
  • MLB AL strikeout leader 12 times
  • MLB AL wins leader six times

 

Rickey Henderson

rickey henderson
Image Credit: New York Times

Born on December 25 1958, Rickey Henderson played 25 seasons and managed to bad 3 MLB records in his professional career. One of the things he is famous for is framing a check worth $1 million rather than cashing it. He has played for nine teams including Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees, and the Toronto Blue Jays.

Career Achievements:

  • American League MVP
  • MLB All-Star
  • ALCS MVP

 

Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan
Image Credit: Britannica

Known as one of the best MLB players and the best pitcher ever Ryan currently works as an advisor to the Houston Astros owner. His pitch sped at 100 miles per hour. Nolan has played for the California Angeles, Houston Astros, New York Mets, and the Texas Rangers. He earned his spot on the Hall of Fame in 1999.

Career Achievements

  • MLB All-star eight times
  • MLB strikeout leader 11 times
  • All-time strikeout

 

Satchel Paige

satchel paige
Image Credit: Sports Illustrated

Considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time, Satchel’s baseball career spanned a total of 24 seasons. He has played for teams like the Birmingham Black Barons, Pittsburgh Crawfords, and the Memphis Red Sox. He is one of the best baseball players of his time who was a legend in the Negro Leagues before signing his first contract with the Cleveland Indians.

Career achievements:

  • MLB All-Star twice
  • Negro League All-Star five times
  • Champion, Negro League World Series

 

Mickey Mantle

mickey mantle
Image Credit: Denver Post

In his professional career, Mantle has played 12 times in the World Series and holds a record number of World Series offensive titles. In a way, Mickey owes his father his career because every time he tried to quit the game while still in the minor leagues, his dad talked him out of it. Despite missing out on 551 games because of various injuries, Mickey managed 536 home runs.

Career Achievements:

  • 7 World Series titles
  • American League MVP three times
  • MLB All-Star 20 times

 

Ted Williams

ted williams
Image Credit: History.com

Ted began playing baseball for his home team and then proceeded to the minor league. In 1939, he began to play for the Boston Red Sox. To fight for his country in World War II and then as a Navy pilot in the Korean War, Ted took a break from his pro career.

Throughout his professional career, Ted Williams was considered to be one of the best hitters, and as of 1941, he is the last player to hit over .400.

Career achievements:

  • American League MVP two times
  • MLB All-Star 19 Times
  • Triple Crown Winner two times

Conclusion

Comparing legends in different eras is not an easy thing to do since certain factors come into play. Take the era in which steroids were widely used in baseball for instance, it still remains a significant part of the game’s history.

Also, remember, when going through a list such as this one, not everyone will agree with the findings. These rankings are mostly done according to the judgment of the performance of the players on the list.

 

Further Reading:

 

 

 

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