If you’re a baseball enthusiast, then you know that the game is full of incredible players who have left their mark on the sport. From Honus Wagner and Babe Ruth to Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, some of the most iconic names in the sport have graced the diamond. Here are the ten greatest baseball players of all time.
10- Honus Wagner
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Honus Wagner is widely regarded as the greatest baseball player of all time. He won eight batting titles, led the National League in slugging percentage five times, and was a perennial All-Star. He also was the first player to amass 3,000 hits and 600 stolen bases. His career batting average of .327 is still the highest in the National League and sixth all-time. Wagner was the only player to hit over .300 for 17 consecutive seasons. He was a superb fielder, a master of the hit-and-run, and had a powerful throwing arm. He led the Pittsburgh Pirates to two World Series titles in 1909 and 1925. Honus was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936, becoming the first member from the 20th century.
9- Stan Musial
Stan Musial is widely considered to be the greatest baseball player of all time. He played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball, all with the St. Louis Cardinals. During that time, he won three National League MVP awards, made 24 All-Star appearances, and was named to the All-Century team. He compiled a batting average of .331, with 3,630 hits, 475 home runs, and 1,951 RBIs. He also scored 1,949 runs, collected 6,134 total bases, and had a .417 on-base percentage. Stan holds the National League record for career doubles with 725, and is second in all-time career hits behind only Pete Rose. His career slugging percentage of .559 is the sixth highest of all time. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969.
8- Lou Gehrig
Lou Gehrig was a legendary baseball player. He set numerous records during his career with the New York Yankees, including the most consecutive games played with 2,130. He was a six-time World Series champion, two-time MVP, and a seven-time All-Star. Gehrig also held the record for the most grand slams in a season with 23. He was an outstanding hitter, leading the league in batting average, runs scored, and home runs multiple times. On top of that, Gehrig was a great fielder, setting an American League record for putouts in a season with 476. He also won the Triple Crown in 1934 and was the first MLB player to have his uniform number retired. Lou Gehrig will forever be remembered as one of the greatest baseball players of all time.
7- Ty Cobb
Ty Cobb is widely regarded as one of the greatest baseball player of all time. He won 12 batting titles, set 90 records and hit over .400 three times. He won the Triple Crown twice and was the first player to accumulate 4,000 career hits. Cobb also played in the majors for 24 seasons, won the AL MVP award in 1911 and was the first player to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He led the American League in hits, runs, and stolen bases multiple times. Cobb was known for his aggressive playing style and sharp baserunning. He was renowned for his ability to hit to all fields, and he had a lifetime batting average of .366, the highest in Major League Baseball history. Cobb was also an excellent fielder, stealing 897 bases and recording a .964 fielding percentage. He ranks second in career hits and runs scored.
6- Hank Aaron
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Hank Aaron was one of the greatest baseball players of all time. He broke Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, hitting 755 career home runs. He was a 25-time All-Star, won two National League batting titles, and was the NL MVP in 1957. Aaron also held the record for most RBIs with 2,297. He hit over .300 for 20 consecutive seasons and batted .355 in the 1957 World Series. Aaron was a five-time Gold Glove winner and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982.
He also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002. Aaron was a leader off the field as well, as he was an advocate for civil rights and racial justice. He was also an ambassador for Major League Baseball, representing the league at various events and occasions. Aaron’s legacy will continue to live on, as he is remembered as one of the greatest baseball players of all time.
5- Walter Johnson
Walter Johnson was one of the greatest baseball players of all time. He set records for wins, shutouts, and strikeouts. Johnson won 417 games in his career, still a record today. He pitched 110 shutouts, more than any other pitcher. He struck out 3,509 batters, a record that stood until 1983. Johnson also had the lowest earned run average of any pitcher with more than 3,000 innings pitched. He was the first pitcher to throw more than 300 innings in a season, doing it a remarkable 12 times.
Johnson led the league in wins six times, in ERA five times, and in strikeouts 12 times. He was the first pitcher to reach the 3,000 strikeout mark and also the first to reach the 400 win mark. He was also a great hitter, batting .433 in 1925. In 1936, Johnson was inducted in to the Baseball Hall of Fame, the first pitcher to receive the honor. He remains the greatest pitcher of all time.
4- Ted Williams
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Ted Williams is widely regarded as the greatest baseball player of all time. He was the last major leaguer to hit over .400, a feat he accomplished in 1941. He was a 19-time All-Star and won two Triple Crowns. Ted also won six batting titles and four home run titles. He was a two-time MVP and won two World Series championships. Williams hit 521 home runs in his career, drove in 1,839 runs, and had a .344 career batting average.
He also had a .482 on-base percentage and a .634 slugging percentage. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966. His .344 batting average is the highest among players who never used performance-enhancing drugs. He was also one of the best defensive outfielders of his era. Williams was an innovator in the batting cage, creating a tee for batting practice. He was a mentor for countless young players and a hero to many. He served in two wars and was a legendary outdoorsman.
3- Willie Mays
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Willie Mays was a National League All-Star for 20 consecutive seasons and led the New York Giants to the World Series in 1954. His iconic over-the-shoulder catch in the 1954 World Series has become a legendary moment in baseball lore. He also led the league in home runs four times and was the National League MVP in 1954 and 1965. Mays was a prolific hitter, compiling a .302 career batting average and hitting 660 home runs, the fourth most in MLB history. He also won 12 Gold Glove Awards and had a lifetime slugging percentage of .557. Mays was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979, his first year of eligibility, and was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999. He is an enduring and beloved figure in baseball, and his legacy will remain as one of the all-time greats.
2- Barry Bonds
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Barry Bonds holds the MLB record for most home runs in a career with 762. Bonds also holds the record for most walks with 2,558. He was a 14-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove Award winner. Bonds won the National League MVP award seven times and is the only player to win four consecutive MVPs. He won the NL batting title six times and was the NL home run leader six times. He also won the NL RBI leader three times.
Bonds set the single-season home run record with 73 in 2001 and became the first player to hit 500 home runs and steal 500 bases in a career. His record-breaking performance earned him the nickname “The Home Run King.” Bonds also holds the record for the most intentional walks with 688. Also he was a member of the San Francisco Giants for 14 years, and won the World Series with the team in 2010. His legacy as one of the greatest players of all time will live on for generations.
1- Babe Ruth
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Babe Ruth is widely regarded as the greatest baseball player of all time. He set numerous records, including the most career home runs, most runs batted in, and most total bases. He also won seven World Series titles and was the first player to hit 500 home runs. Ruth’s batting average was an astonishing .342 and he was a two-time MVP. Additionally, he was the first player to hit 30 home runs in a single season. Ruth’s slugging percentage of .690 is an all-time record, and he also holds the record for the most bases on balls, with 2062. Ruth was a powerful and inspirational figure who helped popularize the game of baseball. Also his passion and skill earned him the nickname ‘The Sultan of Swat’ and his legacy continues to this day.