Top 12 Best Baseball Players of all time

There has been a lot of greats that took to the Baseball field. Let's have a look at some of the best baseball players in history
Best Baseball Players of all time

The proper origin of the game of ‘Baseball’ cannot be confirmed anywhere. Most believe that it originated in America in 1845 by Abner Doubleday and the first game played was between the New York Knickerbockers and the New York Nine. But some other texts from that period show that the sport may have been played in England and Ireland in the 1700’s. Moving to 2021, Baseball is now one of the richest and most famous sports in the world with the MLB (Major League Baseball) being one of its premier competitions.

Baseball is played between 9 players on each side and the game has 9 innings. Four bases are arranged diagonally to each other and once the batter reaches all the bases and comes back to his home base, he gets credited with one run. The team that scores the most runs wins the game.

Over the years, there have been a lot of greats that took to the Baseball field. Let’s have a look at some of the best baseball players in history.

12. Honus Wagner

At number 12 is Hall of famer Honus Wagner. The “Flying Dutchman” of baseball was an American baseball shortstop who played 21 seasons in Major League Baseball.

His career spanned between 1897-1917. After retiring as a player, he also managed and coached his beloved Pittsburgh Pirates team till 1951. Honus was also one of the 5 initial Hall of famers of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Full NameJohannes Peter “Honus” Wagner
Born inFebruary 24, 1874 ( Chartiers Borough, Pennsylvania)
Passed away inDecember 6, 1955 (aged 81) (Carnegie, Pennsylvania)
PositionShortstop
Batted/ThrewRight/Right
Played Baseball between1897-1917  
Coached between1933-1951
Teams played forLouisville Colonels (1897-1899)Pittsburgh Pirates (1899-1917)
Teams CoachedPittsburgh Pirates (1933-1951)
Batting average0.329
Hits3430
Homeruns101
Runs batted in1732
Stolen Bases722
Career highlightsWorld Series champion (1909)8× NL batting champion (1900, 1903, 1904, 1906–1909, 1911)5× NL RBI leader (1901, 1902, 1908, 1909, 1912)5× NL stolen base leader (1901, 1902, 1904, 1907, 1908)Pittsburgh Pirates No. 33 retiredMajor League Baseball All-Century TeamMajor League Baseball All-Time TeamBaseball Hall of Fame

11. Stan Musial

Stanley Musial also known as ‘Stan the Man’ was a Baseball player who represented the St. Louis Cardinals from 1941-1963. He played 22 seasons in the MLB and became one of the game’s best hitters in the meantime.

He was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1969 as a first Ballot entry with over 90 percent votes and was also included in the MLB team of the 20th Century. When the Second World war broke out Musial also served in the Navy, before returning back to the MLB after the war in 1946.

Full NameStanley Frank Musial
Born inNovember 21, 1920 (Donora, Pennsylvania)
Passed away inJanuary 19, 2013 (aged 92) (Ladue, Missouri)
PositionOutfielder/First Baseman
Batted/ThrewLeft/Left
Played Baseball between1941-1944 & 1946-1963
Teams played forSt. Louis Cardinals (1941-1963)
Batting average0.331
Hits3630
Homeruns475
Runs batted in1951
Career highlights24× All-Star (1943, 1944, 1946–1963)3× World Series champion (1942, 1944, 1946)3× NL MVP (1943, 1946, 1948)7× NL batting champion (1943, 1946, 1948, 1950–1952, 1957)2× NL RBI leader (1948, 1956)St. Louis Cardinals No. 6 retiredSt. Louis Cardinals Hall of FameBaseball Hall of FameMajor League Baseball All-Century Team

10. Rogers Hornsby

Rogers Hornsby Sr. was a former Baseball player, manager and coach who played 23 seasons in the MLB. Nicknamed as ” The Rajah ”, he was named the MVP of the National League twice and also a member of the World Series Championship team once. His playing career spanned between 1915 and 1937, playing for six teams and retiring with the St. Louis Browns.

As a manager, The Rajah managed over 1500 games at six teams before retiring in 1953 at the Cincinnati Reds. He was best known for being one of the first player-managers in the game and he is best remembered by Baseball fans for playing at the St. Louis Cardinals where he spent 13 years. Hornsby was inducted in the Baseball hall of fame in 1942.

Full NameRogers Hornsby Sr.
Born inApril 27, 1896 (Winters, Texas)
Passed away inJanuary 5, 1963 (aged 66) (Chicago, Illinois)
PositionSecond Base
Batted/ThrewRight/Right
Played Baseball between1915-1937
Managed between1925-1953
Teams played forSt. Louis Cardinals (1915–1926)New York Giants (1927)Boston Braves (1928)Chicago Cubs (1929–1932)St. Louis Cardinals (1933)St. Louis Browns (1933–1937)
Teams managedSt. Louis Cardinals (1925–1926)New York Giants (1927)Boston Braves (1928)Chicago Cubs (1930–1932)St. Louis Browns (1933–1937, 1952)Cincinnati Reds (1952–1953)
Batting average0.358
Hits2930
Homeruns301
Runs batted in1584
Career highlightsWorld Series champion (1926)2× NL MVP (1925, 1929)2× Triple Crown (1922, 1925)7× NL batting champion (1920–1925, 1928)2× NL home run leader (1922, 1925)4× NL RBI leader (1920–1922, 1925)St. Louis Cardinals Hall of FameChicago Cubs Hall of FameMajor League Baseball All-Century TeamMajor League Baseball All-Time TeamBaseball Hall of Fame

9. CY Young

Widely regarded as one of the best pitchers to ever play the game, Denton “Cy” Young comes in at number 9 in our list of the best Baseball players of all time. Young started his professional Baseball journey with Cleveland spiders in 1890 and would go on to pitch for the team for another 8 years before moving to the Cardinals.

At the start of his career, he was more of a hard pitcher but over time as his speed decreased he adapted and made the best use of his ball control. Young still holds the MLB records for the most career wins, along with most career losses, innings pitched, games started, and complete games. He retired from the game in 1911 and also had a short managerial stint with the Boston Americans in 1907. Young was inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937.

Full NameDenton True “Cy” Young
Born inMarch 29, 1867 (Gilmore, Ohio)
Passed away inNovember 4, 1955 (aged 88) (Newcomerstown, Ohio)
PositionPitcher
Batted/ThrewRight/Right
Played Baseball between1890-1911
Managed in1907
Teams played forCleveland Spiders (1890–1898)St. Louis Perfectos (1899)St. Louis Cardinals (1900) [Team’s Name Changed]Boston Americans (1901–1907)Boston Red Sox (1908) [ Team’s Name Changed]Cleveland Naps (1909–1911)Boston Rustlers (1911)
Teams managedBoston Americans (1907)
Win-Loss Record511-315
Earned run average2.63
Strikeouts2803
Innings Pitched7356
Career highlightsWorld Series champion (1903)Triple Crown (1901)5× Wins leader (1892, 1895, 1901–1903)2× ERA leader (1892, 1901)2× Strikeout leader (1896, 1901)Pitched a perfect game on May 5, 1904Pitched three no-hittersBoston Red Sox Hall of FameCleveland Indians Hall of FameBaseball Hall of Fame Major League Baseball All-Century Team

8. Walter Johnson

“Barney” as he was lovingly called, was another top pitcher that easily makes into the top baseball players in the world. Walter played his entire 21-year career in the MLB with the Washington Senators before retiring as a player in 1927.

In 1929, he would come back to the Senators, but with the role of the team manager that he served till 1932. He would then manage Cleveland Indians for a couple of years before retiring from the game in 1935. He is still at the top of records as the all-time career leader in shutouts with 110, second in wins with 417, and fourth in complete games with 531. Johnson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936.

Full NameWalter Perry Johnson
Born inNovember 6, 1887 (Humboldt, Kansas)
Passed away inDecember 10, 1946 (aged 59) (Washington, D.C.)
PositionPitcher
Batted/ThrewRight/Right
Played Baseball between1907-1927
Managed between1929-1935
Teams played forWashington Senators (1907-1927)
Teams managedWashington Senators (1929–1932)Cleveland Indians (1933–1935)
Win-Loss Record417-279
Earned run average2.17
Strikeouts3,508
Shutouts110
Career highlightsWorld Series champion (1924)2× AL MVP (1913, 1924)3× Triple Crown (1913, 1918, 1924)6× AL wins leader (1913–1916, 1918, 1924)5× AL ERA leader (1912, 1913, 1918, 1919, 1924)12× AL strikeout leader (1910, 1912–1919, 1921, 1923, 1924)Pitched a no-hitter on July 1, 1920MLB record 110 career shutoutsMajor League Baseball All-Century TeamMajor League Baseball All-Time TeamBaseball Hall of Fame

7. Lou Gehrig

Henry Louis Gehrig was a Baseball player who spent 17-years in the MLB playing for the New York Yankees. Known for his hitting, durability and strength, he was nicknamed as “The Iron Horse”. Till this date, Lou Gehrig has the highest ratio of runs scored plus runs batted in per 100 plate appearances and per 100 games among Hall of Fame players.

Lou Gehrig played for the Yankees between 1923 and 1939, winning the Triple Crown once and becoming an All-Star seven consecutive times. His career was hampered by an undiagnosed ailment subsequently confirmed to be an incurable neuromuscular illness, which is now commonly referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s disease” which forced him to retire at 36 and subsequently took his life in 1941. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939 as a special election.

Full NameHenry Louis Gehrig
Born inJune 19, 1903 (Manhattan, New York City)
Passed away inJune 2, 1941 (aged 37) (Bronx, New York City)
PositionFirst Baseman
Batted/ThrewLeft/Left
Played Baseball between1923-1939
Teams played forNew York Yankees (1923-1939)
Batting average0.340
Hits2721
Homeruns493
Runs batted in1995
Career highlights7× All-Star (1933-1939)6× World Series champion (1927, 1928, 1932, 1936-1938)2× AL MVP (1927, 1936)Triple Crown (1934)AL batting champion (1934)3× AL home run leader (1931, 1934, 1936)5× AL RBI leader (1927, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1934)New York Yankees No. 4 retiredMonument Park honoreeMajor League Baseball All-Century TeamMajor League Baseball All-Time TeamBaseball Hall of Fame

6. Ty Cobb

“The Georgia Peach” was another MLB player who would go down as one of the best players ever to play the game. Tyrus Cobb played 22 seasons in the league, playing for the majority of his career with the Detroit Tigers before spending one season at Philadelphia Athletics before finishing his career in 1928.

He also managed the Tigers between 1921 and 1926 when he played for the team. Cobb is widely credited with setting an astonishing 90 MLB records during his playing career. His combined total of 4,065 runs scored and runs batted in, is still the highest ever produced by any major league player. In 1936, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame with a record 98.2% votes.

Full NameTyrus Raymond Cobb
Born inDecember 18, 1886 (Narrows, Georgia)
Passed away inJuly 17, 1961 (aged 74) (Atlanta, Georgia)
PositionCentral Fielder
Batted/ThrewLeft/Right
Played Baseball between1905-1928
Managed between1921-1926
Teams played forDetroit Tigers (1905-1926)Philadelphia Athletics (1927-1928)
Teams managedDetroit Tigers (1921-1926)
Batting average0.366
Hits4189
Home Runs117
Runs batted in1938
Stolen Bases892
Managerial Record479-444
Career highlightsAL MVP (1911)Triple Crown (1909)12× AL batting champion (1907–1915, 1917–1919)AL home run leader (1909)4× AL RBI leader (1907–1909, 1911)6× AL stolen base leader (1907, 1909, 1911, 1915–1917)Name honored by the TigersMajor League Baseball All-Century TeamMLB record .366 career batting averageBaseball Hall of Fame

5. Hank Aaron

Henry Louis Aaron also known as the “Hammer” or “Hammerin’ Hank” was a Baseball player who played 23 seasons in the MLB. Aaron spent 21 years at the Braves in the National League before ending his career in 1976 after playing two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Apart from this, he also spent a couple of years at the Indianapolis Clowns playing in the Negro American League and the Minor league. Henry Aaron used to play as a Batter and Right fielder in his career and in 1982, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility with 97.8 % Votes.

Full NameHenry Louis Aaron
Born inFebruary 5, 1934 (Mobile, Alabama)
Passed away inJanuary 22, 2021 (aged 86) (Atlanta, Georgia)
PositionRight Fielder
Batted/ThrewRight/Right
Played Baseball between1954-1976
Teams played forMilwaukee / Atlanta Braves (1954-1974)Milwaukee Brewers (1975-1976)
Batting average0.305
Hits3771
Homeruns755
Runs batted in2297
Career Total Bases6856
Career highlights25× All-Star (1955–1975)World Series champion (1957)NL MVP (1957)3× Gold Glove Award (1958–1960)2× NL batting champion (1956, 1959)4× NL home run leader (1957, 1963, 1966, 1967)4× NL RBI leader (1957, 1960, 1963, 1966)Atlanta Braves No. 44 retiredMilwaukee Brewers No. 44 retiredBraves Hall of FameMilwaukee Brewers Wall of HonorMajor League Baseball All-Century TeamBaseball Hall of Fame

4. Ted Williams

Theodore Samuel Williams was a professional Baseball player and Manager who spent 19 years in the MLB. Throughout his career, he only played for the Boston Red Sox team till he retired in 1960. Between 1942 and 1946 he served as a U.S. Navy reserve in the second world war.

As a manager, Williams served a three-year career with the Washington Senators before leaving the game in 1972. Ted was nicknamed “Teddy Ballgame”, “The Kid”, “The Splendid Splinter”, and “The Thumper” during his 19-year long career and is known best for his hitting. He was inducted into the Baseball hall of fame in 1966.

Full NameTheodore Samuel Williams
Born inAugust 30, 1918 (San Diego, California)
Passed away inJuly 5, 2002 (aged 83) (Inverness, Florida)
PositionLeft Fielder
Batted/ThrewLeft/Right
Played Baseball between1939-1960
Managed between1969-1972
Teams played forBoston Red Sox (1939-1942, 1946-1960)
Teams managedWashington Senators / Texas Rangers (1969-1972)
Batting average0.344
Hits2654
Home Runs521
Runs batted in1839
On base percentage0.482
Managerial Record273-364
Career highlights19× All-Star (1940–1942, 1946–1951, 1953–1960²)2× AL MVP (1946, 1949)2× Triple Crown (1942, 1947)6× AL batting champion (1941, 1942, 1947, 1948, 1957, 1958)4× AL home run leader (1941, 1942, 1947, 1949)4× AL RBI leader (1939, 1942, 1947, 1949)MLB record .482 career on-base percentageBoston Red Sox No. 9 retiredBoston Red Sox Hall of FameMajor League Baseball All-Century TeamMajor League Baseball All-Time TeamBaseball Hall of Fame

3. Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds is regarded by many as one of the best players to ever grace the game of Baseball. Bonds spent 22 seasons in the MLB as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Francisco Giants.

Barry Bonds holds many hitting records in Major League Baseball, including most career home runs (762), most home runs in a single season (73, set in 2001), and most career walks. He is also the only MLB player with at least 500 home runs and 500 stolen bases. Bonds retired in 2007, playing for the Giants.

Full NameBarry Lamar Bonds
Born inJuly 24, 1964 (Riverside, California)
Age57 years
PositionLeft Fielder
Batted/ThrewLeft/Left
Played Baseball between1986-2007
Teams played forPittsburgh Pirates (1986–1992)San Francisco Giants (1993–2007)
Batting average0.298
Hits2934
Home Runs762
Runs batted in1996
Stolen Bases514
Career highlights14× All-Star (1990, 1992–1998, 2000–2004, 2007)7× NL MVP (1990, 1992, 1993, 2001–2004)8× Gold Glove Award (1990–1994, 1996–1998)12× Silver Slugger Award (1990–1994, 1996, 1997, 2000–2004)3× NL Hank Aaron Award (2001, 2002, 2004)2× NL batting champion (2002, 2004)2× NL home run leader (1993, 2001)NL RBI leader (1993)San Francisco Giants No. 25 retiredSan Francisco Giants Wall of Fame

2. Willie Mays

Willie Howard Mays Jr. is regarded by some as the greatest Baseball player of all time. Nicknamed as “The say hey kid”, Willie spent around 23 seasons in the MLB playing most of his career at the San Francisco Giants. His career spanned from 1951-1973 before taking his final bow with the New York Mets.

After his debut, Mays spent two years in the U.S. army, taking part in the Korean war. Willie Mays holds the MLB records for most putouts (7,095) and the most extra-inning home runs (22). He was inducted into the Baseball hall of fame in 1979.

Full NameWillie Howard Mays Jr.
Born inMay 6, 1931 (Westfield, Alabama)
Age90 years
PositionCenter Fielder
Batted/ThrewRight/Right
Played Baseball between1951-1973
Teams played forNew York / San Francisco Giants (1951-1952, 1954-1972)New York Mets (1972-1973)
Batting average0.302
Hits3283
Home Runs660
Runs batted in1903
Stolen Bases338
Career highlights24× All-Star (1954–1973)World Series champion (1954)2× NL MVP (1954, 1965)NL Rookie of the Year (1951)12× Gold Glove Award (1957–1968)Roberto Clemente Award (1971)NL batting champion (1954)4× NL home run leader (1955, 1962, 1964, 1965)4× NL stolen base leader (1956–1959)San Francisco Giants No. 24 retiredSan Francisco Giants Wall of FameMajor League Baseball All-Century TeamMajor League Baseball All-Time TeamMLB record 7,095 putouts as an outfielderBaseball Hall of Fame

1 Babe Ruth

George Herman “Babe” Ruth was the first “all-rounder” of Baseball and can be regarded as the greatest Baseball player of all time. Famously nicknamed “The Bambino” and “The Sultan of Swat”, Ruth began his MLB career as a star left-handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, but achieved his greatest fame as a slugging outfielder for the New York Yankees. His career started in 1914 and spanned 22 seasons long before he retired with the Boston Braves in 1935.

At the time of his retirement, Babe Ruth held many esteemed records, including the career records for home runs (714), slugging percentage (0.690), runs batted in (2,213), bases on balls (2,062), and on-base plus slugging (1.164). Ruth was included in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936 as a first-ballot vote.

Full NameGeorge Herman “Babe” Ruth
Born inFebruary 6, 1895 (Baltimore, Maryland)
Passed away inAugust 16, 1948 (aged 53) (New York City)
PositionPitcher/Outfielder
Batted/ThrewLeft/Left
Played Baseball between1914-1935
Teams played forBoston Red Sox (1914–1919)New York Yankees (1920–1934)Boston Braves (1935)
Batting average0.342
Hits2873
Home Runs714
Runs batted in2213
Earned Run average 2.28
Win-Loss ratio94-46
Career highlights2× All-Star (1933, 1934)7× World Series champion (1915, 1916, 1918, 1923, 1927, 1928, 1932)AL MVP (1923)AL batting champion (1924)12× AL home run leader (1918–1921, 1923, 1924, 1926–1931)6× AL RBI leader (1919–1921, 1923, 1926, 1928)New York Yankees No. 3 retiredMonument Park honoreeBoston Red Sox Hall of FameMajor League Baseball All-Century TeamMajor League Baseball All-Time TeamBaseball Hall of Fame

Jasvinder Singh
I am Jasvinder Singh, a content specialist editor at Kheltalk, who is a sports enthusiast. I try to cover every cricket game being played on the planet. For me, sports is not limited to just writing but also playing it on the field as well.
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