BaseBall, also known as America’s Pastime, has had some of the greatest players in history, who have left their mark on the sport. Here are the top 10 greatest players of all time.
It’s hard to argue against Babe Ruth being on any list that has him included. Ruth hit a total of 714 home runs during his career, and he finished with a .342 lifetime batting average. If you have never seen one of his games, you are missing out on history itself. The man would swing for hours every day, hitting anything he could get his hands on and making us look like amateurs when we go to pick up a bat ourselves.
Mays played for 22 seasons with the New York and San Francisco Giants, from 1951 to 1973. Nicknamed the Say Hey Kid and the Franchise, Mays won two MVP awards, six Golden Gloves and 24 All-Star selections. In each season except one between 1954 and 1968, he hit at least 30 home runs; he twice led his league in homers. He is fifth all time with 660 home runs—and first among right-handed hitters.
Considered by many to be one of, if not THE best base ball player to ever live. Hank Aaron was known for his outstanding hitting and his powerful base ball presence. Aaron played twenty-three seasons with over 4,000 hits and 755 home runs. In 1974 Hank Aaron hit his milestone 715th home run, which broke Babe Ruth’s career record for home runs.
Baseball was a white man’s sport until Jackie Robinson integrated it. The first black baseball player to break Major League Baseball’s color barrier, he opened doors for all black players who came after him. He also had an unmatched work ethic, which enabled him to become one of history’s best base stealers, even at age 40.
Musial was one of baseball’s all-time greats, and certainly one of its classiest. A three-time MVP and seven-time batting champion, Musial won seven National League batting titles (one short of tying Pete Rose’s record) during his career from 1941 to 1963. In addition to his success at the plate, Musial is perhaps best known for playing 22 seasons for St. Louis Cardinals where he helped bring that franchise its first World Series title in 1926.
The Splendid Splinter is considered by many to be one of, if not THE greatest baseball player who ever lived. He had a career batting average over .400, never struck out more than 40 times in a season, and led his team to win a World Series at age 40! This was an unprecedented feat for any athlete and it remains unmatched today. The only player who came close to Williams was Ty Cobb, another all-time great.
You can observe a lot by watching. Yogi Berra was one of MLB’s most beloved characters and an excellent catcher. During his 19 seasons in baseball, he won ten World Series titles, three MVP awards, and two All-Star appearances. He also holds a record 21 Golden Gloves (awarded to best defensive player at each position) and four American League MVP awards—all impressive accomplishments that have solidified his status as one of the greatest players ever to play for New York.
Wagner was nicknamed the Flying Dutchman because he had a large bushy mustache, which was almost unheard of at that time. He made only one error during his career and also led all National League outfielders with 18 assists. In 21 years as a player, Wagner scored 2,724 runs, collected 3,415 hits and racked up 897 stolen bases. He also had a lifetime batting average of .328 and knocked 590 home runs.
One thing that separates a top player from a great one is durability. Gehrig had it. The power-hitting first baseman played a record 2,130 consecutive games from 1925 to 1939, earning him reputation as Iron Horse. He also won two Triple Crowns (1927 and 1934) and appeared in an incredible 21 World Series.
Considered by many to be one of the greatest pitchers ever, Young had a career ERA well below 3.00 and was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1937. During his 22-year career, he won 511 games and pitched over 800 complete games. In addition to that, he owns single-season records for wins (49), shutouts (15) and innings pitched (7356). A rare combination of endurance and power pitching is what made Young such a star.