The 20 Best Baseball Players of All Time
Lists of the greatest players in any given sport are just like greatest lists for any given topic (such as movies, songs, foods, etc.) -- they are quite subjective by nature. And so arguments must be handy to justify choices on each particular list.
Baseball, the sports pastime of this great nation, has seen players come and go over its 150-year-plus history, but there are definitely athletes in professional baseball who have left their mark as "immortals" in their game.
The list of the 20 best in MLB cannot begin without a name known by all ages, all fans, even those only loosely tied to the game -- #1) Babe Ruth. Any discussion on this topic usually begins with the Great Bambino, the Sultan of Swat. He played 22 seasons professionally, some with the Boston Red Sox as a pitcher and others, and possibly more famously as an outfielder and hitter with the New York Yankees.
The list can continue with an innovator, #2) Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in baseball in 1947 when he became the first black/African-American in MLB.
Players like #3) Mark McGuire, #4) Barry Bonds, #5) Sammy Sosa, and #6) Alex Rodriguez have their names brought up almost always on these lists of the best MLB athletes, but the mentions are usually followed by debates based on performance enhancing drugs and steroids. That debate will likely continue, but these men undoubtedly left their mark, especially with the long ball, homeruns at feverish pace and with mammoth distances.
The Iron Horse was born #7) Lou Gehrig, and he may be best known for his speech that he gave when he left the game in 1939 for health reasons (he was suffering from ALS). But Gehrig played in 2,130 consecutive games and he was a great offensive and defensive attribute for his team and his league.
#8) Cal Ripken makes this collection of names since he was able to beat Gehrig's record by playing in 2,632 consecutive games! Talk about longevity, dedication, and perseverance. Cal is also a member of the 3,000 hit club.
#9) Carl Yastrzemski was a Boston Red Sox left-fielder who was the last MLB hitter to hit for the Triple Crown.
#10) George Brett was a Kansas City Royal 3rd baseman that many remember for the infamous pinetar incident, but he also is the only man to win a batting title in 3 different decades.
#11) - #20) on the list would be: #11) Honus Wagner is one of the original five members of the Hall of Fame. #12) Roger Clemens, although controversial due to PED's, was a 6-time AL Cy Young Award winner. #13) Reggie Jackson was known simply as Mr. October. #14) Ty Cobb is considered to be the greatest pure hitter of all-time. #15) "Stan the Man" Musial batted over .300 in 17 out of 22 seasons he played with the Cardinals. #16) Mickey Mantle, #17) Joe DiMaggio, #18) Nolan Ryan, #19) Willie Mays, and #20) Hank Aaron.