Who Is The Best Baseball Player Of All Time

Alex Youbg

2023-04-24 • 6 min read time
Who Is The Best Baseball Player Of All Time

#10. Ted Williams

Team: Boston Red Sox (1939-1942, 1946-1960)

Stats: .344 BA, 1,799 R, 2,654 H, 521 HR, 1,839 RBI

Position: Left Field

Ted Williams mastered the art of hitting better than anyone in history, capturing 6 batting titles along with two Triple Crowns. He remains the last player to bat over .400 for a full season (.406 in 1941). Williams lost nearly five prime years to military service, otherwise he likely would have posted over 3,000 hits and 600 home runs.

#9. Joe DiMaggio

Team: New York Yankees (1936-1951)

Stats: .325 BA, 1,390 R, 2,214 H, 361 HR, 1,537 RBI

Position: Center Field

Joe DiMaggio patrolled center field gracefully during his 13 seasons with the Yankees, propelling nine championship teams. His famous 56-game hitting streak in 1941 still stands as an MLB record. Joltin’ Joe was a 3-time AL MVP who likely would have exceeded 500 home runs and 3,000 hits if not for injuries.

#8. Walter Johnson

Team: Washington Senators (1907-1927)

Stats: 417-279, 2.17 ERA, 3,509 SO, 110 Shutouts

Position: Pitcher

Walter “Big Train” Johnson dominated as a flamethrower for 21 seasons in Washington. He recorded a 2.17 ERA while winning 417 games, both still standing over 75 years later as MLB records. Johnson’s 110 career shutouts may never be broken. He pitched a no-hitter at age 39 and won 417 games for mostly mediocre Senators teams.

#7. Willie Mays

Teams: New York/San Francisco Giants, New York Mets (1951-1973)

Stats: .302 BA, 2,062 R, 3,283 H, 660 HR, 1,903 RBI, 338 SB

Position: Center Field

Willie Mays remains baseball’s quintessential five-tool center fielder decades after retirement. His athletic catches and over-the-shoulder basket catches dazzled fans for 22 seasons. Mays won 2 MVPs and 12 Gold Gloves, hitting more than 50 home runs twice. He led the underdog Giants to the 1954 World Series title over Cleveland.

#6. Stan Musial

Team: St. Louis Cardinals (1941-1963)

Stats: .331 BA, 1,949 R, 3,630 H, 475 HR, 1,951 RBI

Position: Outfield

Stan “The Man” Musial symbolized excellence and consistency throughout 22 seasons with the Cardinals. He batted over .300 in 17 seasons while leading the Cardinals to 3 World Series championships. Musial was a 7-time NL batting champ and 3-time MVP who thrived as one of baseball’s greatest hitters in any era.

#5. Ted Williams

Team: Boston Red Sox (1939-1942, 1946-1960)

Stats: .344 BA, 1,799 R, 2,654 H, 521 HR, 1,839 RBI

Position: Left Field

Ted Williams was the greatest pure hitter with his scientific mastery of swing mechanics. The Splendid Splinter claimed 6 batting crowns, two Triple Crowns, and the last .400 season in 1941. Williams missed nearly five prime years serving in WWII and the Korean War, otherwise he likely would have exceeded 3,000 hits and 600 home runs.

#4. Ty Cobb

Team: Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Athletics (1905-1928)

Stats: .366 BA, 2,246 R, 4,189 H, 117 HR, 1,938 RBI, 897 SB

Position: Outfield

Ty Cobb played 24 seasons before 1930 but still remains the MLB career batting leader at .366. His aggressive, win-at-all-costs style made him both feared and disliked. The “Georgia Peach” captured a record 12 AL batting crowns while leading Detroit to 3 championships. Cobb still holds over 90 records more than 70 years since retiring.

#3. Hank Aaron

Teams: Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers (1954-1976)

Stats: .305 BA, 2,174 R, 3,771 H, 755 HR, 2,297 RBI

Position: Right Field

Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s hallowed home run record in 1974, finishing with 755. He excelled for over 20 years with the Braves in Milwaukee and Atlanta, also winning 2 batting titles. Aaron still holds all-time MLB records for runs batted in (2,297), extra base hits (1,477), and total bases (6,856).

#2. Willie Mays

Teams: New York/San Francisco Giants, New York Mets (1951-1973)

Stats: .302 BA, 2,062 R, 3,283 H, 660 HR, 1,903 RBI, 338 SB

Position: Center Field

Willie Mays remains baseball’s quintessential 5-tool center fielder long after retiring. His athletic catches, over-the-shoulder basket grabs, and tape-measure home runs amazed fans for 22 seasons. Mays won 2 MVP Awards, 12 Gold Gloves, and led the underdog Giants to the 1954 World Series championship.

#1. Babe Ruth

Teams: Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees (1914-1935)

Stats: .342 BA, 2,174 R, 2,873 H, 714 HR, 2,214 RBI

Position: Outfield

Babe Ruth revolutionized baseball with his prodigious power hitting in the 1920s. He burst onto the scene by leading the Red Sox to World Series titles in 1916 and 1918 as a star pitcher, then became a slugging outfielder for the Yankees. The “Sultan of Swat” broke the single-season home run record four times, including his iconic 60 in 1927 that stood for 34 years. Ruth’s larger-than-life persona made him one of the most famous Americans of his era. His 714 career home runs remained the MLB record for nearly 40 years until Hank Aaron passed him in 1974. More than a century after his debut, Babe Ruth still stands as the greatest and most influential baseball player ever.

How many people on a baseball team can showcase a diversity of skills similar to Cobb’s. Cobb’s exceptional offensive capabilities were unparalleled, thereby distinguishing him from numerous individuals of his era due to his remarkable versatility as a player.

Methodology on Baseball Rankings

Criteria for Rankings

Several factors were taken into consideration when compiling the all-time rankings of the greatest baseball players. Statistics were analyzed extensively, including traditional metrics like batting average, home runs, runs batted in (RBI), wins, earned run average (ERA), and strikeouts. Advanced analytics were also incorporated where applicable to account for league averages and adjust for era effects. Individual awards won were weighed, with special emphasis on Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards, Cy Young awards for pitching, Rookie of the Year, and Gold Gloves for defense.

Postseason performance was another critical component, acknowledging players that elevated their games when it mattered most in October. The degree to which a player dominated their era was assessed and used to differentiate between compiled numbers vs peak performance. Longevity and sustained excellence over many years was recognized to account for counting stats accrued. Lastly, the overall impact made on the game itself and influence on baseball history factored into the evaluations.

Voting Process

The rankings were compiled by a panel of veteran baseball writers and editors from the publication. Each member submitted their own individual rankings, which were aggregated. There were substantive discussions, debates, and exchanges of perspective during the voting process. Certain players provoked more contention and required additional analysis of statistics and historical accounts.

The criteria noted above provided the framework for justifying each player’s place in the hierarchy. Some weight was given to establishing a balanced distribution across the main positions of pitcher, catcher, infielder, and outfielder. There was also consideration of representation across different eras from early legends like Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb to modern stars like Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols.

Background Research

The rankings relied heavily on baseball encyclopedias, statistical databases, biographies, and historical accounts for background information. Extensive research was conducted to verify records, awards, and other factual details that informed the analysis of each player. Books such as The Baseball Encyclopedia, Bill James’ Historical Baseball Abstract, and the ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia served as important references.

Statistics were gathered from official Major League data, Retrosheet, Baseball-Reference, and FanGraphs to provide context on performance vs league averages over time. Analysis incorporated advanced metrics like OPS+, WAR, wRC+, WHIP, fielding percentage, range factor, and other rate or component statistics to account for era differences and a player’s complete all-around game.

Research delved into not just numerical performance but biographical details on impact, personality, and legacy. Anecdotes, interviews, articles, documentaries, and biographies offered additional insights into intangible qualities beyond the stats. Discussions weighed topics like MVP voting controversies, notable World Series moments, rivalries, and impact on rule changes like the designated hitter. This comprehensive research provided the foundation for evaluating careers within proper historical perspective.

In summary, the baseball rankings incorporated a diverse set of analytical factors, relied on extensive research for accuracy, and incorporated multiple expert opinions to offer a well-rounded view backed by data and context. The goal was to honor legends from all eras while celebrating the history and evolution of our national pastime.

The Rankings on Baseball

#100. Rickey Henderson

Teams: Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, San Diego Padres, Anaheim Angels, New York Mets, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox (1979-2003)

Stats: .279 BA, 2,295 R, 3,055 H, 297 HR, 1,115 RBI, 1,406 SB

Position: Left Field, Center Field

Rickey Henderson is regarded as the greatest leadoff hitter and base stealer in MLB history. He holds the all-time records for career runs scored, stolen bases, and leadoff home runs. His speed and base-stealing ability made him a dynamic and disruptive force atop lineups.

#99. Chipper Jones

Team: Atlanta Braves (1993-2012)

Stats: .303 BA, 1,619 R, 2,726 H, 468 HR, 1,623 RBI

Position: Third Base

Chipper Jones was the face of the Atlanta Braves franchise for nearly two decades. The switch-hitting third baseman was a model of offensive consistency, recording eight straight seasons with 20+ HR, 90+ RBI, and a .300+ BA. His 468 home runs are the most ever by a switch-hitter.

#98. Ivan Rodriguez

Teams: Texas Rangers, Florida Marlins, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Washington Nationals (1991-2011)

Stats: .296 BA, 1,354 R, 2,844 H, 311 HR, 1,332 RBI

Position: Catcher

Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez is considered one of the best defensive catchers ever. He won an incredible 13 Gold Gloves while leading his league in caught stealing percentage nine times. He was the 1999 AL MVP and helped lead the Marlins to the 2003 World Series title.

#97. Bert Blyleven

Teams: Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians, California Angels (1970-1992)

Stats: 287-250, 3.31 ERA, 3,701 SO, 60 Shutouts

Position: Pitcher

Bert Blyleven was one of the most dominant pitchers of the 1970s and 80s. He recorded over 3,700 career strikeouts and 60 shutouts, which are top-10 all-time marks. His famous curveball helped him earn two World Series rings in his career.

#96. Lou Brock

Teams: Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals (1961-1979)

Stats: .293 BA, 1,610 R, 3,023 H, 149 HR, 900 RBI, 938 SB

Position: Left Field

Lou Brock was a catalyst atop the Cardinals lineup during their 1960s dynasty. He led the NL in stolen bases for 8 straight seasons and retired as the all-time stolen base leader. His 938 career steals stood as an MLB record for nearly 3 decades.

#95. John Smoltz

Team: Atlanta Braves (1988-1999, 2001-2008)

Stats: 213-155, 3.33 ERA, 3,084 SO, 154 Saves

Position: Pitcher

John Smoltz was a key member of Atlanta’s stellar 1990s rotation alongside Glavine and Maddux. He excelled as both a starter and closer, becoming just the second pitcher to record 200 wins and 150 saves. His 15 postseason wins are the most by any pitcher.

#94. Craig Biggio

Team: Houston Astros (1988-2007)

Stats: .281 BA, 1,844 R, 3,060 H, 291 HR, 1,175 RBI, 414 SB

Position: Second Base, Catcher

Craig Biggio spent his entire career with the Astros, forming “the Killer B’s” trio alongside Jeff Bagwell and Lance Berkman. He excelled at multiple positions, earning 4 Gold Gloves at second base. He joins Tris Speaker and Paul Molitor as the only players with 3,000 hits, 600 doubles, 400 steals and 290 home runs.

#93. Mike Schmidt

Team: Philadelphia Phillies (1972-1989)

Stats: .267 BA, 1,506 R, 2,234 H, 548 HR, 1,595 RBI

Position: Third Base

Mike Schmidt is regarded as the greatest third baseman in MLB history. The slugger was a 3-time MVP who led the NL in home runs 8 times. He helped lead the 1980 Phillies to their first World Series championship while claiming NLCS and World Series MVP honors.

#92. Ozzie Smith

Teams: San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals (1978-1996)

Stats: .262 BA, 1,257 R, 2,460 H, 28 HR, 793 RBI, 580 SB

Position: Shortstop

Ozzie “The Wizard” Smith dazzled audiences with his acrobatic defense at shortstop, winning 13 straight Gold Gloves. His signature backflip made him one of the most exciting players of the 1980s. Although light with the bat, he still scored over 1,200 runs in his career.

#91. Wade Boggs

Teams: Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Devil Rays (1982-1999)

Stats: .328 BA, 1,513 R, 3,010 H, 118 HR, 1,014 RBI

Position: Third Base

Wade Boggs was one of the best contact hitters of his era, winning 5 batting titles with the Red Sox. His knack for getting on base made him an ideal No. 3 hitter, regularly ranking among league leaders in OBP and runs scored. His 3,010 career hits rank him in the top 35 all-time.

#90. Mariano Rivera

Team: New York Yankees (1995-2013)

Stats: 82-60, 2.21 ERA, 652 Saves, 1,173 SO

Position: Pitcher

Mariano Rivera is widely regarded as the greatest closer in MLB history. His signature cutter dominated batters for 19 seasons with the Yankees. He was the final pitcher to wear Jackie Robinson’s No. 42, retiring with MLB records for regular season and postseason saves.

#89. Rogers Hornsby

Teams: St. Louis Cardinals, New York Giants, Boston Braves, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Browns (1915-1937)

Stats: .358 BA, 1,579 R, 2,930 H, 301 HR, 1,584 RBI

Position: Second Base

Rogers Hornsby was one of the most prolific right-handed hitters ever, capturing seven batting titles in his career. He twice recorded seasons with over 40 HR and 130 RBI, unheard of feats for a second baseman in the 1920s. He won the 1925 NL MVP with a staggering .403 average.

#88. Gary Carter

Teams: Montreal Expos, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers (1974-1992)

Stats: .262 BA, 1,025 R, 2,092 H, 324 HR, 1,225 RBI

Position: Catcher

Gary Carter was a defensive standout at catcher, winning 3 Gold Gloves and 5 Silver Sluggers. His affable personality and clutch hitting helped the ‘86 Mets capture the World Series. He leads all catchers in career games, hits, and extra base hits.

#87. Carl Yastrzemski

Team: Boston Red Sox (1961-1983)

Stats: .285 BA, 1,816 R, 3,419 H, 452 HR, 1,844 RBI

Position: Left Field, First Base

Carl Yastrzemski spent his entire 23-year career with the Red Sox, cementing himself as a Boston legend. His finest season came in 1967, when he captured the Triple Crown and put the Red Sox into the World Series. He retired with the most career games, hits, runs, and RBIs by any AL player.

#86. Jeff Bagwell

Team: Houston Astros (1991-2005)

Stats: .297 BA, 1,517 R, 2,314 H, 449 HR, 1,529 RBI

Position: First Base

Jeff Bagwell powered Houston’s Killer B’s alongside Biggio and Berkman. He won the 1994 NL MVP and remains the Astros franchise leader in home runs and RBIs. His .948 career OPS ranks him among the top 25 hitters in MLB history.

#85. Jim Palmer

Team: Baltimore Orioles (1965-1984)

Stats: 268-152, 2.86 ERA, 2,212 SO, 53 Shutouts

Position: Pitcher

Jim Palmer was the ace of Baltimore’s staff during their 1970s dynasty. Using his overpowering fastball and sharp breaking pitches, he won 3 Cy Young awards and 4 Gold Gloves. His 268 career wins are the most by any Orioles pitcher in franchise history.

#84. Carlton Fisk

Teams: Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox (1969, 1971-1993)

Stats: .269 BA, 1,356 R, 2,356 H, 376 HR, 1,330 RBI

Position: Catcher

Carlton “Pudge” Fisk was a rock behind the plate, winning both the 1972 AL Rookie of the Year and Gold Glove Awards. His dramatic walk-off home run won Game 6 of the 1975 World Series for Boston. The 11-time All-Star held the record for most career home runs by a catcher for over a decade.

#83. Brooks Robinson

Team: Baltimore Orioles (1955-1977)

Stats: .267 BA, 1,232 R, 2,848 H, 268 HR, 1,357 RBI

Position: Third Base

Brooks Robinson is regarded as the greatest defensive third baseman ever. He dominated the hot corner for Baltimore, winning a record 16 straight Gold Gloves. He helped lead the Orioles to titles in 1966 and 1970, claiming World Series MVP honors in ‘70.

#82. Joe DiMaggio

Team: New York Yankees (1936-1951)

Stats: .325 BA, 1,390 R, 2,214 H, 361 HR, 1,537 RBI

Position: Center Field

Joe DiMaggio became a cultural icon during his 13 seasons patrolling center for the Yankees. His graceful play, 56-game hitting streak, and marriage to Marilyn Monroe made him a larger than life figure. He was a 3-time MVP who led New York to 9 championships.

#81. Tom Glavine

Teams: Atlanta Braves, New York Mets (1987-2008)

Stats: 305-203, 3.54 ERA, 2,607 SO

Position: Pitcher

Tom Glavine was a master craftsman on the mound, utilizing pinpoint control and movement. Along with Maddux and Smoltz, he formed one of the most dominant rotations in MLB history. He won 2 Cy Young awards and helped deliver Atlanta a long-awaited World Series title in 1995.

#80. Al Kaline

Team: Detroit Tigers (1953-1974)

Stats: .297 BA, 1,622 R, 3,007 H, 399 HR, 1,583 RBI

Position: Right Field

Al Kaline became the youngest batting champion ever at age 20 in 1955. His power, speed, and defense made him a perennial All-Star. He played his entire 22-year career in Detroit, retiring with the franchise lead in multiple categories. Kaline and Cobb remain the only Tigers with 3,000 hits.

#79. Roberto Clemente

Team: Pittsburgh Pirates (1955-1972)

Stats: .317 BA, 1,416 R, 3,000 H, 240 HR, 1,305 RBI

Position: Right Field

Roberto Clemente was one of the greatest all-around players ever, excelling at hitting, fielding, and baserunning. His cannon arm and graceful play in right field earned him 12 Gold Gloves. Clemente tragically died in a plane crash while delivering aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

#78. Eddie Collins

Teams: Philadelphia Athletics, Chicago White Sox (1906-1930)

Stats: .333 BA, 1,821 R, 3,315 H, 47 HR, 1,300 RBI, 741 SB

Position: Second Base

Eddie Collins was the premier second baseman of the 1910s. He batted over .300 in 13 seasons while topping the league in steals 4 times. Collins starred on Connie Mack’s Philadelphia dynasty, helping the A’s win 4 titles in 5 years. He retired with the third-most runs scored in MLB history.

#77. Carl Hubbell

Team: New York Giants (1928-1943)

Stats: 253-154, 2.98 ERA, 1,677 SO, 36 Shutouts

Position: Pitcher

Carl Hubbell mastered the screwball, helping him win 2 MVPs and 3 ERA titles. He famously struck out 5 straight Hall of Famers in the 1934 All-Star Game. Hubbell won 20+ games in 9 consecutive seasons while leading the Giants to the ‘33 World Series title.

#76. Robin Yount

Team: Milwaukee Brewers (1974-1993)

Stats: .285 BA, 1,632 R, 3,142 H, 251 HR, 1,406 RBI, 271 SB

Position: Shortstop, Center Field

Robin Yount impacted games from shortstop and center field, winning MVPs at both positions. His power and speed combo was rare at shortstop. He collected the most hits in Brewers history while spending his entire 20-year career with Milwaukee.

#75. George Brett

Team: Kansas City Royals (1973-1993)

Stats: .305 BA, 1,596 R, 3,154 H, 317 HR, 1,596 RBI

Position: Third Base

George Brett’s silky smooth swing produced consistent excellence for the Royals. He claimed the 1980 AL MVP after flirting with .400, then captured a title with Kansas City in ‘85. Brett won 3 batting titles and still holds the Royals’ career records in nearly every hitting category.

#74. Rod Carew

Teams: Minnesota Twins, California Angels (1967-1985)

Stats: .328 BA, 1,408 R, 3,053 H, 92 HR, 1,015 RBI, 353 SB

Position: Second Base, First Base

Rod Carew was one of the best contact hitters ever, winning an incredible 7 batting titles. He never struck out more than 54 times in a season. Carew made 18 All-Star teams and won the 1977 AL MVP Award with Minnesota.

#73. Nolan Ryan

Teams: New York Mets, California Angels, Houston Astros, Texas Rangers (1966-1993)

Stats: 324-292, 3.19 ERA, 5,714 SO, 61 Shutouts

Position: Pitcher

Nolan Ryan overpowered batters for 27 seasons with his blazing fastball and devastating curve. The fireballer owns MLB records for career strikeouts (5,714), no-hitters (7), and walks (2,795). He won 2 ERA titles and helped the ‘69 Mets and ‘89 Rangers reach the World Series.

#72. Carl Yastrzemski

Team: Boston Red Sox (1961-1983)

Stats: .285 BA, 1,816 R, 3,419 H, 452 HR, 1,844 RBI

Position: Left Field, First Base

Carl Yastrzemski spent his entire 23-year career with Boston, cementing himself as a Red Sox legend. His 1967 Triple Crown/World Series season remains one of the greatest single-year performances ever. He retired with the most games, hits, runs and RBIs by any AL player.

#71. Reggie Jackson

Teams: Kansas City/Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees, California Angels (1967-1987)

Stats: .262 BA, 1,551 R, 2,584 H, 563 HR, 1,702 RBI

Position: Right Field

Reggie Jackson emerged as “Mr. October” for his clutch postseason play. He propelled the A’s to 2 titles in the 70s before leading the Yankees to 2 more rings. Jackson hit 5 World Series home runs on 3 swings, including 3 in one game against the Dodgers in ‘77.

#70. Bill Dickey

Team: New York Yankees (1928-1943, 1946)

Stats: .313 BA, 1,209 R, 1,969 H, 202 HR, 1,209 RBI

Position: Catcher

Bill Dickey was the premier catcher of the 1930s. He provided pop from a position lacking offense in that era. Dickey played on 8 Yankees championship squads, providing leadership and helping develop pitcher-turned-catcher Yogi Berra to succeed him.

#69. Duke Snider

Team: Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers (1947-1962)

Stats: .295 BA, 1,259 R, 2,116 H, 407 HR, 1,333 RBI

Position: Center Field

Duke Snider patrolled center field for the Boys of Summer Dodgers teams of the 1950s. He hit over 40 home runs and 100 RBIs in 5 straight seasons from 1953-57. Snider led the NL in homers 4 times and ranks amongst the top power hitters of his era.

#68. Bert Blyleven

Teams: Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians, California Angels (1970-1992)

Stats: 287-250, 3.31 ERA, 3,701 SO, 60 Shutouts

Position: Pitcher

Bert Blyleven was one of the most dominant pitchers of the 1970s and 80s. He had over 3,700 career strikeouts and 60 shutouts, ranking top-10 all-time in both categories. With his famous curveball, Blyleven helped win 2 World Series rings over his career.

#67. Harmon Killebrew

Team: Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins (1954-1975)

Stats: .256 BA, 1,283 R, 2,086 H, 573 HR, 1,584 RBI

Position: First Base, Third Base

Harmon Killebrew was one of the AL’s most feared sluggers of the 1960s. He led the league in home runs 6 times while averaging over 40 long balls and 100 RBIs per year from 1959-74. Killebrew still holds the Senators/Twins franchise records in HRs and RBIs.

#66. Tony Gwynn

Team: San Diego Padres (1982-2001)

Stats: .338 BA, 1,383 R, 3,141 H, 135 HR, 1,138 RBI, 319 SB

Position: Right Field

Tony Gwynn was one of the greatest pure hitters ever, winning 8 batting titles and hitting over .300 in 19 straight seasons. His career .338 average is the highest of any player since 1939. Gwynn spent his entire 20-year career with the Padres, where he still owns nearly all franchise records.

#65. Steve Carlton

Teams: St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins (1965-1988)

Stats: 329-244, 3.22 ERA, 4,136 SO, 55 Shutouts

Position: Pitcher

Steve Carlton used one of the greatest sliders ever to baffle batters and win 4 Cy Young Awards. He struck out over 4,000 batters and led the NL in wins 4 times. Carlton’s 1972 season (27-10, 1.97 ERA, 310 Ks) for the woeful Phillies remains one of the most impressive years ever.

#64. Ernie Banks

Team: Chicago Cubs (1953-1971)

Stats: .274 BA, 1,305 R, 2,583 H, 512 HR, 1,636 RBI

Position: Shortstop, First Base

Ernie Banks was the face of the Chicago Cubs during his 19 seasons. With a power bat and positive demeanor, “Mr. Cub” captured 2 MVPs and led the NL in homers twice. His famous catchphrase “Let’s play two” symbolized his joy for the game.

#63. Roberto Alomar

Teams: San Diego Padres, Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks (1988-2004)

Stats: .300 BA, 1,508 R, 2,724 H, 210 HR, 1,134 RBI, 474 SB

Position: Second Base

Roberto Alomar starred at second base with smooth defense and hitting. He was a 12-time All-Star who won 10 Gold Gloves and retired with the most career doubles ever by a second baseman. Alomar helped Toronto win back-to-back World Series in 1992-93.

#62. Juan Marichal

Team: San Francisco Giants (1960-1975)

Stats: 243-142, 2.89 ERA, 2,303 SO, 52 Shutouts

Position: Pitcher

Juan Marichal featured a high leg kick and devastating array of pitches. He won more games in the 60s than any other NL pitcher. Marichal also threw a no-hitter and led the Giants to the 1962 World Series. He may have won 300 games if not for injuries shortening his career.

#61. Jimmie Foxx

Teams: Philadelphia Athletics, Boston Red Sox (1925-1945)

Stats: .325 BA, 1,922 R, 2,646 H, 534 HR, 1,922 RBI

Position: First Base

Jimmie Foxx was the most feared slugger of the 1930s besides Ruth and Gehrig. He won 3 MVPs and triple crowns while averaging 36 HR and 136 RBI from 1929-39. Foxx set the single-season HR mark in 1932 with 58 (since broken). He remained one of only 9 players ever to hit over 500 career home runs.

#60. Tris Speaker

Teams: Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators, Philadelphia Athletics (1907-1928)

Stats: .345 BA, 1,520 R, 3,514 H, 117 HR, 1,529 RBI, 432 SB

Position: Center Field

Tris Speaker was considered the AL’s best center fielder during the 1910s. He batted over .380 three times and stole over 40 bases in a season four times. Speaker hit for both average and power, amassing over 500 career doubles. He remains one of only three batters with 3,000 hits and 400 steals.

#59. Eddie Mathews

Teams: Boston/Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves (1952-1968)

Stats: .271 BA, 1,444 R, 2,315 H, 512 HR, 1,453 RBI

Position: Third Base

Eddie Mathews manned the hot corner in Milwaukee and Atlanta for 17 seasons. He hit over 25 homers 13 times, including an NL record of 47 in 1953. Mathews became the third player to reach 500 career home runs, retiring as the home run king among third basemen.

#58. Mordecai Brown

Teams: St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Terriers (1903-1916)

Stats: 239-130, 2.06 ERA, 1,375 SO

Position: Pitcher

Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown overcame a farming accident to become a pitching legend. Using his disfigured right hand to spin pitches, he dazzled the NL for 15 seasons. Brown won 20+ games six times, including 29-9 for the 1907 Cubs. He retired with the third-best ERA in MLB history.

#57. George Sisler

Team: St. Louis Browns (1915-1927)

Stats: .340 BA, 1,136 R, 2,812 H, 102 HR, 1,175 RBI, 375 SB

Position: First Base

George Sisler was the AL’s top first baseman during the Deadball Era. He batted .400 in 1922 while setting a record with 257 hits. Sisler stole over 25 bases seven times while leading the Brown to pennants in 1922 and ‘28. Arm injuries cut his career short by age 34.

#56. Mel Ott

Team: New York Giants (1926-1947)

Stats: .304 BA, 1,859 R, 2,876 H, 511 HR, 1,860 RBI, 89 SB

Position: Right Field

Mel Ott spent his entire 22-year career with the Giants, debuting as an 18-year-old rookie. He led the NL in home runs six times, including 51 in 1929. Ott was the first NL player to surpass 500 homers, retiring as the league’s all-time home run king.

#55. Eddie Plank

Teams: Philadelphia Athletics, St. Louis Terriers (1901-1917)

Stats: 326-194, 2.35 ERA, 2,246 SO, 90 Shutouts

Position: Pitcher

Eddie Plank mastered his sweeping curveball en route to 326 career wins. He was the winningest lefty pitcher prior to Warren Spahn. Plank starred for the Athletics dynasty that won back-to-back World Series in 1910-11. He still owns the A’s franchise record for career wins.

#54. Jackie Robinson

Team: Brooklyn Dodgers (1947-1956)

Stats: .311 BA, 947 R, 1,518 H, 137 HR, 734 RBI, 197 SB

Position: Second Base, Third Base

Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947 with poise and excellence. His courage made him an icon of the civil rights movement. Robinson claimed the first rookie of the year honor, NL MVP in ‘49, and helped the Dodgers win their sole Brooklyn championship in ‘55.

#53. Bob Feller

Team: Cleveland Indians (1936-1956)

Stats: 266-162, 3.25 ERA, 2,581 SO, 3 No-Hitters

Position: Pitcher

Bob Feller possessed the fastest fastball ever prior to radar guns. He tossed 3 career no-hitters, including one as a 17-year-old rookie. Feller missed nearly 4 prime seasons serving in WWII, otherwise he likely would have won over 300 games and struck out 3,500 batters.

#52. Johnny Bench

Team: Cincinnati Reds (1967-1983)

Stats: .267 BA, 1,091 R, 2,048 H, 389 HR, 1,376 RBI

Position: Catcher

Johnny Bench was the premier catcher of the 1970s, winning 2 MVPs and setting rookie records with 45 HR and 148 RBI. His 10 straight Gold Gloves displayed defensive excellence. Bench helped spark Cincinnati’s “Big Red Machine” dynasty with several iconic World Series moments.

#51. Hank Greenberg

Team: Detroit Tigers (1930, 1933-1941, 1945-1946)

Stats: .313 BA, 1,041 R, 1,628 H, 331 HR, 1,276 RBI

Position: First Base

Hank Greenberg was one of the first great Jewish baseball stars. He batted .339 while helping Detroit reach the ‘34 Series, then captured MVP awards in ‘35 and ‘40. Greenberg missed nearly 5 seasons serving in WWII, otherwise he may have challenged Ruth’s home run record.

#50. Warren Spahn

Teams: Boston/Milwaukee Braves, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants (1942-1965)

Stats: 363-245, 3.09 ERA, 2,583 SO, 63 Shutouts

Position: Pitcher

Warren Spahn was the winningest left-handed pitcher ever with 363 victories over 21 seasons. He led the NL in wins 8 times, including 20+ wins 13 years in a row. Spahn helped deliver Milwaukee a World Series crown in 1957 at the age of 41.

#49. Ken Griffey Jr.

Teams: Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox (1989-2010)

Stats: .284 BA, 1,836 R, 2,781 H, 630 HR, 1,836 RBI, 184 SB

Position: Center Field

Ken Griffey Jr. was a transcendent star who led the 1990s Home Run Chase before injuries struck. He debuted as a 19-year-old sensation for Seattle. Griffey captured MVP honors in 1997 while making breathtaking plays in center field. His backwards hat symbolized the joy he brought to fans.

#48. Jim Palmer

Team: Baltimore Orioles (1965-1984)

Stats: 268-152, 2.86 ERA, 2,212 SO, 53 Shutouts

Position: Pitcher

Jim Palmer was the ace of Baltimore’s staff during their 1970s dynasty, winning 3 Cy Young Awards. Using his blazing fastball and sharp breaking balls, he captured 4 Gold Gloves. His 268 career wins remain the most by any Orioles hurler.

#47. Joe DiMaggio

Team: New York Yankees (1936-1951)

Stats: .325 BA, 1,390 R, 2,214 H, 361 HR, 1,537 RBI

Position: Center Field

Joe DiMaggio became a cultural icon during his 13 seasons with the Yankees. His 56-game hitting streak, graceful play, and marriage to Marilyn Monroe made him larger than life. Joltin’ Joe was a 3-time MVP who led the Yankees to 9 championships before injuries forced his retirement at 36.

#46. Charlie Gehringer

Team: Detroit Tigers (1924-1942)

Stats: .320 BA, 1,774 R, 2,839 H, 184 HR, 1,427 RBI

Position: Second Base

Charlie Gehringer batted .300 or higher 13 times en route to the best career average by any second baseman. His smooth fielding earned him 6 All-Star nods and the 1937 MVP. Gehringer helped the Tigers win 3 pennants and remain the greatest player in franchise history at his position.

#45. Dizzy Dean

Team: St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Browns (1930-1941, 1947)

Stats: 150-83, 3.02 ERA, 1,163 SO, 33 Shutouts

Position: Pitcher

Dizzy Dean overpowered batters during the 1930s with his legendary fastball and showman’s flair. He won NL MVP twice while guiding St. Louis to the ‘34 World Series. An injury cut short Dean’s brilliance, but he brought baseball fun and joy with his broadcasting.

#44. Harry Heilmann

Team: Detroit Tigers, Cincinnati Reds (1914, 1916-1929)

Stats: .342 BA, 1,291 R, 2,660 H, 183 HR, 1,537 RBI

Position: Right Field

Harry Heilmann batted .390 while leading the 1921 Tigers to their first pennant. He excelled for 17 seasons in Detroit, winning 4 batting titles with a picture-perfect swing. Heilmann batted .300 or higher in all but one season, retiring with the 5th-highest average ever.

#43. Luke Appling

Team: Chicago White Sox (1930-1950)

Stats: .310 BA, 1,116 R, 2,749 H, 45 HR, 1,116 RBI, 179 SB

Position: Shortstop

Luke Appling was one of the top shortstops of the 1930s/40s. Nicknamed “Old Aches and Pains”, he excelled for 20 seasons despite constant injuries. Appling won 2 batting titles and made 7 All-Star teams, retiring with the most hits and runs ever by a shortstop.

#42. Sandy Koufax

Team: Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers (1955-1966)

Stats: 165-87, 2.76 ERA, 2,396 SO, 40 Shutouts

Position: Pitcher

Sandy Koufax dominated baseball with his blazing fastball for a brief but brilliant peak. He overpowered batters while leading the Dodgers to 3 World Series titles. Koufax won the 1963 MVP and 3 Cy Young Awards, including a modern-record 382 strikeouts in ‘65.

#41. Carl Hubbell

Team: New York Giants (1928-1943)

Stats: 253-154, 2.98 ERA, 1,677 SO, 36 Shutouts

Position: Pitcher

Carl Hubbell mastered the screwball, helping him capture 2 MVPs and 3 ERA crowns. He famously struck out 5 future Hall of Famers in a row at the 1934 All-Star Game. Hubbell propelled the Giants to the 1933 World Series title by winning 20+ games in 9 straight seasons.

#40. Rogers Hornsby

Teams: St. Louis Cardinals, New York Giants, Boston Braves, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Browns (1915-1937)

Stats: .358 BA, 1,579 R, 2,930 H, 301 HR, 1,584 RBI

Position: Second Base

Rogers Hornsby was the most prolific right-handed hitter until Ruth, capturing 7 batting titles with a career .358 mark. He twice recorded seasons with over 40 home runs and 130 RBIs, unheard of for a second baseman in the 1920s. Hornsby also managed the Cardinals to the 1926 championship.

#39. Al Simmons

Teams: Philadelphia Athletics, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Washington Senators, Boston Braves (1924-1944)

Stats: .334 BA, 1,074 R, 2,927 H, 307 HR, 1,828 RBI

Position: Outfield

Al Simmons batted .380 on the way to his first batting title in 1925. He followed up with two more crowns for the powerhouse Philadelphia A’s. Simmons finished his career with two seasons as an All-Star in Detroit. He recorded over 200 hits 8 times while collecting nearly 3,000 for his career.

#38. Yogi Berra

Team: New York Yankees, New York Mets (1946-1963, 1965)

Stats: .285 BA, 1,175 R, 2,150 H, 358 HR, 1,430 RBI

Position: Catcher

Yogi Berra was one of the most beloved Yankees, playing in 14 World Series as a player and manager. As a catcher, he made 15 straight All-Star teams while winning 3 MVPs. Berra famously uttered humorous “Yogi-isms” while handling the pitching staff during New York’s dynasty.

#37. Ron Santo

Team: Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox (1960-1974)

Stats: .277 BA, 1,138 R, 2,254 H, 342 HR, 1,331 RBI

Position: Third Base

Ron Santo was an offensive force at third base, averaging 27 HR and 90 RBI annually for the 1960s Cubs. He led the NL in walks 4 times while winning 5 Gold Gloves at the hot corner. Santo later courageously raised awareness for diabetes after doctors amputated his legs.

#36. Frank Robinson (cont.)

Teams: Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels, Cleveland Indians (1956-1976)

Stats: .294 BA, 1,812 R, 2,943 H, 586 HR, 1,812 RBI

Position: Outfield

Frank Robinson won MVP awards in both leagues, also becoming MLB’s first African-American manager (Indians) in 1975. He claimed the 1956 NL Rookie of the Year with Cincinnati before Baltimore acquired him. Robinson won the Triple Crown while leading the Orioles to their first World Series title in 1966.

#35. Bob Gibson

Team: St. Louis Cardinals (1959-1975)

Stats: 251-174, 2.91 ERA, 3,117 SO, 56 Shutouts

Position: Pitcher

Bob Gibson intimidated hitters with his blazing fastball and competitive glare. He dominated the ‘68 season, recording a 1.12 ERA that still stands as the modern-era mark. Gibson also struck out 17 Tigers in Game 1 of the ‘68 World Series. He won 2 Cy Young Awards while helping the Cardinals clinch 3 championships.

#34. Honus Wagner

Team: Louisville Colonels, Pittsburgh Pirates (1897-1917)

Stats: .328 BA, 1,739 R, 3,415 H, 101 HR, 1,732 RBI, 723 SB

Position: Shortstop

Honus Wagner anchored shortstop during the deadball era with outstanding offense and defense. He won 8 batting titles for Pittsburgh while leading the NL in steals 5 times. Wagner’s baseball card remains the most valuable ever produced. He still holds franchise records for hits, doubles, triples, RBI and steals.

#33. Grover Cleveland Alexander

Teams: Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals (1911-1930)

Stats: 373-208, 2.56 ERA, 2,198 SO, 90 Shutouts

Position: Pitcher

Grover “Pete” Alexander led the NL in ERA 5 times and wins 6 times. He completed over 90% of his starts, averaging 24 wins between 1915-17. Alexander’s 16 shutouts and 30 wins for the Phillies in 1916 remain single-season records. He also famously struck out slugger Tony Lazzeri to save Game 7 of the 1926 World Series.

#32. Nap Lajoie

Teams: Philadelphia Phillies, Philadelphia Athletics, Cleveland Naps (1896-1916)

Stats: .338 BA, 1,598 R, 3,242 H, 82 HR, 1,599 RBI, 380 SB

Position: Second Base

Napoleon “Nap” Lajoie was the AL’s top player after leaving the Phillies in 1901. He won 3 batting titles and a Triple Crown in Cleveland. Lajoie led his league in hits, doubles, RBI, batting average and slugging percentage multiple times over his 21 seasons.

#31. Christy Mathewson

Team: New York Giants (1900-1916)

Stats: 373-188, 2.13 ERA, 2,507 SO, 79 Shutouts

Position: Pitcher

Christy Mathewson was MLB’s first pitching superstar, dominating the game with his famous “fadeaway” pitch. He helped the Giants win 3 World Series from 1905-1913 while recording 4 consecutive 30+ win seasons. Mathewson still owns the NL record for career shutouts and remains one of only 2 pitchers with over 250 wins and an ERA under 2.15.

#30. Joe Morgan

Teams: Houston Colt .45s/Astros, Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, Oakland Athletics (1963-1984)

Stats: .271 BA, 1,650 R, 2,517 H, 268 HR, 1,133 RBI, 689 SB

Position: Second Base

Joe Morgan sparked Cincinnati’s “Big Red Machine” dynasty as a complete second baseman. He swiped 58 bases in 1975 while capturing MVP honors. Morgan batted about .320 during his peak seasons, wielding a powerful bat for a middle infielder and swiping over 600 bases. His leadership pushed the Reds to consecutive titles.

#29. Steve Carlton

Teams: St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins (1965-1988)

Stats: 329-244, 3.22 ERA, 4,136 SO, 55 Shutouts

Position: Pitcher

Steve Carlton used his legendary slider to win 4 Cy Young Awards and strike out over 4,000 batters. He went 27-10 with a 1.97 ERA and 310 strikeouts for the woeful 1972 Phillies. Carlton recorded consecutive 20+ win seasons while pushing Philadelphia to the 1980 World Series title.

#28. Eddie Collins

Teams: Philadelphia Athletics, Chicago White Sox (1906-1930)

Stats: .333 BA, 1,821 R, 3,315 H, 47 HR, 1,300 RBI, 741 SB

Position: Second Base

Eddie Collins starred at second base before the position demanded power hitting. He batted over .300 in 13 seasons while stealing over 40 bases four times. Collins sparked Connie Mack’s Philadelphia dynasty, helping the A’s win four titles in five years. He retired with the third-most runs scored ever.

#27. Ted Lyons

Team: Chicago White Sox (1923-1946)

Stats: 260-230, 3.67 ERA, 1,073 SO, 27 Shutouts

Position: Pitcher

Ted Lyons spent his entire 21-year career with the White Sox, making him a Chicago baseball legend. He led the AL in wins and ERA twice, also throwing a no-hitter in 1926. Lyons later adjusted his finesse pitching as injuries took a toll, completing a near-perfect one-hit shutout at age 41.

#26. Billy Williams

Team: Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics (1959-1976)

Stats: .290 BA, 1,417 R, 2,711 H, 426 HR, 1,475 RBI

Position: Outfield

Billy Williams manned left field at Wrigley Field for 16 consistent seasons. He batted .300 or higher 7 times while averaging nearly 30 home runs and 90 RBIs per season. Williams made 6 All-Star teams despite playing in an era dominated by pitching. He still holds Cubs records for games played, total bases, doubles and RBI.

#25. George Brett

Team: Kansas City Royals (1973-1993)

Stats: .305 BA, 1,596 R, 3,154 H, 317 HR, 1,596 RBI

Position: Third Base

George Brett delivered elite hitting and defense at third base for 21 seasons in Kansas City. His silky smooth swing produced 3 batting titles and the classic 1980 AL MVP season where he flirted with .400. Brett captured a World Series ring in 1985 and still holds nearly all of the Royals’ offensive records.

#24. Eddie Mathews

Teams: Boston/Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves (1952-1968)

Stats: .271 BA, 1,444 R, 2,315 H, 512 HR, 1,453 RBI

Position: Third Base

Eddie Mathews manned the hot corner in Milwaukee and Atlanta for 17 seasons, smacking over 25 home runs in 13 years. He hit an NL record 47 homers as a 21-year-old rookie for the Braves in 1953. Mathews became just the third player ever to reach 500 career home runs, retiring as the all-time home run king at third base.

#23. Mike Schmidt

Team: Philadelphia Phillies (1972-1989)

Stats: .267 BA, 1,506 R, 2,234 H, 548 HR, 1,595 RBI

Position: Third Base

Mike Schmidt is regarded as the greatest third baseman ever due to his elite power and defense. The slugger led the National League in home runs 8 times on his way to 3 MVP awards. Schmidt paced the 1980 Phillies to their first World Series crown, claiming NLCS and World Series MVP honors along the way.

#22. Jimmie Foxx

Teams: Philadelphia Athletics, Boston Red Sox (1925-1945)

Stats: .325 BA, 1,922 R, 2,646 H, 534 HR, 1,922 RBI

Position: First Base

Jimmie Foxx was baseball’s most feared slugger besides Ruth and Gehrig during the 1930s. He captured 3 MVP awards and 2 Triple Crowns while averaging 36 HR and 136 RBI annually from 1929-39. Foxx became the second player ever to reach 500 career home runs, belting a then-record 58 homers in 1932.

#21. Warren Spahn

Teams: Boston/Milwaukee Braves, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants (1942-1965)

Stats: 363-245, 3.09 ERA, 2,583 SO, 63 Shutouts

Position: Pitcher

Warren Spahn was the winningest left-hander ever with 363 victories over 21 seasons. He led the National League in wins 8 times, including 13 consecutive seasons with 20+ wins. The ageless Spahn helped deliver the 1957 World Series title to Milwaukee at 41 years old.

#20. Bob Gibson

Team: St. Louis Cardinals (1959-1975)

Stats: 251-174, 2.91 ERA, 3,117 SO, 56 Shutouts

Position: Pitcher

Bob Gibson intimidated hitters for 17 seasons with his blazing fastball and menacing glare. He posted a 1.12 ERA in 1968 that still stands as the modern-era record, also striking out 17 Tigers in the ‘68 World Series opener. Gibson captured 2 Cy Young Awards while leading the Cardinals to 3 total championships.

#19. Lou Gehrig

Team: New York Yankees (1923-1939)

Stats: .340 BA, 1,888 R, 2,721 H, 493 HR, 1,995 RBI

Position: First Base

Lou Gehrig manned first base for the Yankees during their early championship dynasties. His longevity led to the “Iron Horse” nickname until ALS forced his retirement. Gehrig’s streak of 2,130 consecutive games remained unbroken until Cal Ripken Jr. in 1995. He twice won the AL Triple Crown and was the 1934 MVP.

#18. Rogers Hornsby

Teams: St. Louis Cardinals, New York Giants, Boston Braves, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Browns (1915-1937)

Stats: .358 BA, 1,579 R, 2,930 H, 301 HR, 1,584 RBI

Position: Second Base

Rogers Hornsby captured 7 batting titles and 2 MVPs during the 1920s while cementing his legacy as baseball’s greatest right-handed hitter prior to Babe Ruth. He twice recorded 40+ home run, 130+ RBI seasons as a second baseman. Hornsby also managed the Cardinals to a World Series title in 1926.

#17. Mel Ott

Team: New York Giants (1926-1947)

Stats: .304 BA, 1,859 R, 2,876 H, 511 HR, 1,860 RBI, 89 SB

Position: Right Field

Mel Ott spent his entire 22-year career with the New York Giants, debuting as an 18-year-old rookie. He led the National League in home runs 6 times, including 51 in 1929. Ott became the first NL player to surpass 500 career home runs, retiring as the league’s all-time home run king.

#16. Hank Aaron

Teams: Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers (1954-1976)

Stats: .305 BA, 2,174 R, 3,771 H, 755 HR, 2,297 RBI

Position: Right Field

Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s revered home run record in 1974, finishing with 755. He excelled for the Braves in Milwaukee and Atlanta, winning 2 batting titles and a 1957 World Series. Aaron still holds the records for career RBI (2,297), extra base hits (1,477) and total bases (6,856).

#15. Ty Cobb

Team: Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Athletics (1905-1928)

Stats: .366 BA, 2,246 R, 4,189 H, 117 HR, 1,938 RBI, 897 SB

Position: Outfield

Ty Cobb terrorized opponents with his aggressive play, collecting the highest career batting average ever at .366. The “Georgia Peach” won 12 AL batting titles along with 9 stolen base crowns. He surpassed 4,000 hits and still holds over 90 MLB records more than 70 years after retiring.

#14. Tom Seaver

Teams: New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox (1967-1986)

Stats: 311-205, 2.86 ERA, 3,640 Ks, 61 Shutouts

Position: Pitcher

Tom Seaver overpowered the National League during his prime, claiming 3 Cy Young Awards while posting five 20+ win seasons. He helped push the “Miracle Mets” to an unlikely 1969 World Series title, also winning two more rings later with Cincinnati. Seaver held the record for most strikeouts by a right-handed pitcher until Nolan Ryan broke it.

#13. Roberto Clemente

Team: Pittsburgh Pirates (1955-1972)

Stats: .317 BA, 1,416 R, 3,000 H, 240 HR, 1,305 RBI

Position: Right Field

Roberto Clemente dazzled with his five-tool talent in Pittsburgh, excelling at hitting, fielding, and baserunning. His cannon arm and graceful play earned 12 Gold Gloves. Clemente got his 3,000th hit in his final at-bat before tragically dying in a plane crash while delivering disaster relief aid.

#12. Christy Mathewson

Team: New York Giants (1900-1916)

Stats: 373-188, 2.13 ERA, 2,507 SO, 79 Shutouts

Position: Pitcher

Christy Mathewson was MLB’s first pitching superstar, thriving with his famous “fadeaway” pitch. He led the Giants to World Series titles in 1905, 1911, and 1913. Mathewson recorded four straight 30+ win seasons and still owns the NL record for career shutouts (79). He and Walter Johnson remain the only pitchers with 250+ wins and an ERA below 2.20.

#11. Stan Musial

Team: St. Louis Cardinals (1941-1963)

Stats: .331 BA, 1,949 R, 3,630 H, 475 HR, 1,951 RBI

Position: Outfield

Stan “The Man” Musial symbolized consistent excellence over 22 seasons with the Cardinals. He batted over .300 in 17 seasons while leading St. Louis to 3 World Series titles. Musial captured 7 batting crowns and 3 MVPs as one of the greatest hitters during the 1940s and 50s.

Top 10 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time

Baseball has a long and storied history full of legendary players. Choosing the 10 greatest baseball players of all time is no easy task, as there are so many all-time greats to consider across different eras.

Closing Thoughts

Deciding on the final rankings and omissions was extremely difficult, as many other all-time greats like Mickey Mantle, Roger Clemens and Mike Schmidt just missed the cut. I welcome opinions on how this list could be improved and which players belong in the top 10. Who is the greatest baseball player of all time in your view? This is an endless debate among baseball fans that will continue for generations.

Conclusions

The legends showcased illuminate the rich history of baseball across many eras. The diverse set of elite talents at pitcher, catcher, infield and outfield positions represents the totality of skills required to excel in America’s pastime. While statistics were a key component, intangible qualities like impact on the game, championships won, personality, and legacy factored into the rankings as well. The top 10 reinforced icons like Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and Ty Cobb who still loom large in our cultural consciousness decades after retirement. While comparing players across generations will always provoke debate, the breadth of all-time greats honored reflects the depth of extraordinary contributions to baseball’s enduring narrative. Whittling down to just 10 required difficult choices, as so many other iconic figures could stake a claim. But the final list encapsulates a cross-section of legacies that still resonate prominently today as the sport continues evolving. The game’s cherished history lives on through their timeless feats.

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