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The All-Time Top 10 Baseball Players

Baseball is the oldest of the four major leagues in the United States. MLB has bestowed upon its fans some of the sport’s most illustrious names.

Baseball, like other sports, is not immune to the debate about who is the greatest player of all time.

To determine the greatest player of all time, we combed through player records and careers to compile a top ten list.

Only teammates to make in our list Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig
Only teammates to make in our list Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig

The Top 10 Baseball Players

Roger Clemens (#10)

The Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, and Houston Astros are the four major league baseball teams.

  • Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Houston Astros
  • 2x World Series / 1x NL MVP

 

Although Clemens’ career has been marred by controversy, ranging from special treatment to steroid use, one thing cannot be denied: he is one of the best pitchers in MLB history.

Roger Clemens
Roger Clemens

Clemens has won the CY Young Award for being the top pitcher in the league a record seven times. In addition, he owns the record for the most strikeouts in a single game with two.

Clemens is the first pitcher in MLB history to win 350 games and strike out 4,500 batters. Later in his career, he had 354 victories and 4,672 strikeouts.

Similarly, his career WAR of 139.2 ranks second among pitchers and eighth overall.

Seven times, Clemens led the league in ERI, and five times, he led the league in strikeouts. He has a 3.12 ERA in 24 seasons as a professional pitcher.

Roger Clemens had a stellar career, winning two World Series titles and appearing in 11 All-Star games.

Stan Musial (#9)

  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • 3x World Series Champion/ 3x NL MVP

Stan Musial is considered one of baseball’s most consistent and prolific hitters.

Musial won three World Series titles and three NL MVP awards during his 22-year career with the Cardinals. He’s also the second-most All-Star with 24 appearances.

Stan Musial
Stan Musial

He’s also a seven-time National League batting champion and two-time NL RBI leader.

Musial had a.331 batting average, 475 home runs, and 1951 RBI in his career. Similarly, Musial has 3,630 hits and 724 doubles in his career, which places him second in both categories.

After retiring, he worked as a vice president for the city of St. Louis. Musial was later inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969.

Walter Johnson (#8)

  • Washingon Senators
  • 1x World Series, 2x AL MVP

Next on our list is Walter Johnson, one of the best pitchers of all time. No other pitcher in his era was as dominant as he was.

Walter Jhonson
Walter Jhonson

Johnson led the league in strikeouts 12 times over his 20-year career.

Furthermore, his record of 110 career shutouts has yet to be surpassed. Similarly, his strikeout total of 3,058 was held for 56 years.

Similarly, Johnson’s 164.5 WAR places him best among pitchers, while his 417 wins place him second all-time.

In 1923, he became the first pitcher to reach the milestone of 3,000 strikeouts.

Johnson finished his career with two MVP awards, one World Series victory, and three triple crown titles.

He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as one of the first members in 1936, giving him a spot on our list of the “Best Baseball Players of All Time.”

Lou Gehrig (#7)

  • New York Yankees
  • 6x World Series/ 2x  AL MVP

Because of his consistency and mastery as a hitter, Lou Gehrig received the moniker “The Iron Horse.”

Gherig is the first player to have his jersey number retired by the team in MLB history. His number 4 was retired by the Yankees in 1939.

He had a 340 batting average, 493 home runs, and 1995 runs batted in during his career.

Lou Gehrig (Source: Latimes.com)
Lou Gehrig (Source: Latimes.com)

Greig earned six world series victories during his career. He’s also a two-time MPV, a seven-time All-Star, and a triple crown winner.

He appeared in 2,130 straight games for the Yankees from 1925 to 1939. For 60 years, the record stood. Greig’s streak may have been extended, but he was forced to retire owing to illness.

Similarly, during his retirement, he gave a legendary statement in Yankees Stadium as the “Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth.” In the following year, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Ty Cobb (#6)

  • Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Athletics
  • 1x AL MVP

Several historians and the media have referred to Ty Cobb as one of the best baseball players of the dead-ball era.

During his playing career, he is noted for breaking numerous records. Furthermore, some of his records have yet to be broken.

Ty Cobb
Ty Cobb

Cobb has the highest lifetime batting average of all time (.366). He also holds the record for most batting champions (12) and home runs stolen (54).

Cobb is the youngest player in MLB history to reach 4,000 hits and 2,000 runs. He concluded his career with 4,191 hits and 2245 runs, good for second place on the all-time hits and runs list.

Cobb played 3,035 games in 22 seasons, ranking him fifth all-time in games played.

Cobb is also a three-time MVP and triple crown winner. Cobb was inducted into the Base Ball Hall of Fame for the first time in 1936.

Ted Williams (#5)

  • Boston Red Sox
  • 2x AL MVP

Due to his military service during WWII and the Korean War, Ted Williams was unable to play in all three seasons of his heyday.

However, his professional achievements are sufficient to place him in fifth place. He is frequently said to as baseball’s purest hitter.

Ted Williams (Source: Military.com)
Ted Williams (Source: Military.com)

Furthermore, his.482 lifetime on-base percentage ranks first all time. He’s also the last player to hit.400 or better in a single season.

Similarly, Williams concluded his career with 521 home runs and a batting average.344, ranking him 20th all-time.

Williams won the Triple Crown and was named MVP twice throughout his career. He’s also a six-time batting champion, four-time home run leader, and all-time RBI leader.

Similarly, he was an All-Star every season of his 19-year professional career. In 1966, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Hank Aaron (#4)

  • Indianapolis Clowns, Milwaukee/ Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers
  • 1x World Series, 1x NL MVP

Hank Aaron, regarded as one of baseball’s greatest power hitters, is next on our list.

He is well known for shattering Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record. Aaron’s 755 home runs place him second all-time in the American League.

Likewise, with 2,297 runs batted in, 6,856 total bases, and 1,477 extra-base hits, he is the all-time leader in RBI, total bases, and extra-base hits. Aaron’s amazing power can be seen in these records.

Hank Aaron (Source: Wikipedia)
Hank Aaron (Source: Wikipedia)

He’s also a three-time Gold Glover, two-time NL Batting Champion, four-time NL Home Run Leader, and four-time NL RBI Leader.

He also won the NL MVP and World Series in 1957. Aaron has also made the most All-Star appearances, with 25.

He was later inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. Since 1999, MLB has given the Hank Aaron award to the league’s best offensive player in honor of Aaron Hanks.

Barry Bonds (#3)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants
  • 7x NL MVP

Barry Bonds, a 14-time All-Star, is next on our list. He is a well-known personality in baseball, both as a player and as a result of the steroid scandal.

Unfortunately, despite being eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2013, he did not garner enough votes to be inducted. The usage of PED as a justification was noted by BBWAA voters.

But we must not overlook Bonds’ contribution to baseball. Bond was also a fantastic all-around player, making him one of baseball’s top players.

Barry Bonds (Source: Instagram)
Barry Bonds (Source: Instagram)

He’s recognized as one of the best hitters in the game. The Giants’ player has the most career home runs (762), as well as the most home runs in a single season (73 in 2001).

He’s also won eight golden glove honors for his defense. Bonds is also the first and only player in baseball history to hit 500 home runs and steal 500 bases.

Despite the fact that Bonds has never won a World Series, he is a seven-time NL MVP winner. With 12 silver slugger awards, he also holds the record for the most.

Willie Mays (#2)

  • New York/ San Fransico Giants, New York Mets
  • 1x World Series, 2x NL MVP

Willie Mays is the ultimate example of a great all-around baseball player.

Mays’ offensive numbers may not match those of other players, but his overall performance puts him in second place on our ranking of the “Best Baseball Players of All Time.”

Willie Mays (Source: The Newyork Times)
Willie Mays (Source: The Newyork Times)

With 660 home runs, he is sixth all-time in home runs hit. He led the National League in home runs four times.

Mays also earned a record 12 straight golden glove awards as an outfielder from 1957 to 1968. On three times, he also led in the stolen base.

From 1954 to 1973, he was an All-Star in 24 consecutive seasons. It’s also tied for second place in terms of All-Star appearances.

He was also a two-time All-Star MVP and the National League MVP in 1954 and 1965. In 1954, he also won his only World Series.

MLB renamed the World Series MVP award to the Willie Mays World Series MVP award in 2017.

Mays was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979.

Babe Ruth (#1)

  • Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Boston Braves
  • 7x World Series Champion/ 1x AL MVP/ MLB All-Time Team

Babe Ruth is arguably the greatest, if not the best, baseball player of all time. He is also well-known among individuals who are not baseball fans.

Despite beginning his career as a pitcher, Ruth evolved into one of the greatest hitters of all time.

Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth

He led the American League in home runs 12 times during his career. He hit a then-record 60 home runs in a single season in 1927.

Aside from that, Ruth’s.690 slugging percentage is the best of all time. Similarly, his 714 home runs are tied for third all-time, while his 2,214 RBI are tied for second.

Ruth was a great pitcher as well, finishing his career with a 2.28 ERA, third among starters, with 17 shutouts.

He won three World Series with the Red Sox before going on to win four more with the Yankees.

Ruth only earned the MVP award in the American League once. He would have gotten a lot of votes. However, the rules at the time stipulated that the player could only receive the prize once.

The National Basketball Hall of Fame has inducted Babe Ruth. Ruth’s status as an MLB goat, though, extends beyond his playing career.

His popularity on and off the field made him a celebrity figure in the United States. Ruth was also the first athlete to receive an endorsement deal.

Summary

The players on the list were chosen based on their career stats and achievements.

There are no active or modern-era players on our list of the greatest baseball players of all time. Surprisingly, more than half of the players have previously served in the US military.

Let’s look at the quick summary.

  1. Babe Ruth
  2. Willie Mays
  3. Barry Bonds
  4. Hank Aaron
  5. Ted Williams
  6. Ty Cobb
  7. Lou Gehrig
  8. Walter Johnson
  9. Stan Musial
  10. Roger Clemens
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