The 100 Greatest Baseball Players in MLB History (1950-Present)

  1. Willie Mays-The Say Hey Kid could do it all: hit, throw, run, field...and did all superbly. Ted Williams once said "They invented the All-Star Game for Willie Mays"
  2. Ted Williams-The greatest hitter of all time bar none. The Kid hit a career .344, including the magical season of '41, in which he hit .406.
  3. Hank Aaron-Hammerin' Hank belted 755 steroid-free home runs in his 21-season career and still holds the MLB records for most RBIs (2,297) and total bases (6,856)
  4. Mickey Mantle-Breaking into the league at 19, Micky went on to compile 536 home runs, 3 AL MVPs, and a whopping 7 World Series Titles.
  5. Stan Musial-A lifetime Cardinal, Stan the Man appeared in 24 all-star games and hit a career .331 with 3,630 hits, 1,951 RBIs, 3 MVPs, and 3 World Series rings.
  6. Frank Robinson
  7. Mike Schmidt
  8. Warren Spahn-Heralded as the "thinking man's pitcher," Spahn won an incredible 363 games and might have passed 400 had he not missed three seasons due to the war.
  9. Pete Rose-He may never get into the hall, but there's no doubt he's one of the greatest hitters to ever play the game. An unheard of 4,256 career hits is just stupid-good, and his 17 all-star appearances at five different positions attests to what an athlete he really was.
  10. Bob Gibson-Gibson was such a force in the 60's (an insane 1.12 era in 1968) that baseball actually made the decision to lower the mound by 5 inches as a result. Gibson owned the inside part of the plate, and was notorious for letting oppposing hitters know it. His lifetime 2.91 era and 3,117 punchouts were a truly remarkable acheivement for the live ball era.
  11. Greg Maddux-Unlike the other three modern day pitchers to make this list, Maddux was never one to beat you with power or intimidation. Instead, it was all about getting in the batter's head and making use of his outstanding control to outduel his opponents. Maddux has the remarkable achievment of being the only pitcher in MLB history to win at least 15 games for 17 straight seasons. He also won a record 18 gold gloves and had a four year stretch in which he won 4 straight Cy Youngs going 75-29 with a 1.98 ERA. First ballot hall-of-famer all the way.
  12. Whitey Ford-Known as "Chairman of the Board" for his ability to stay calm in high pressure situations, Whitey owns a lifetime 2.75 era and pitched the Yankees to 6 World Series championships.
  13. Yogi Berra-Baseball's winningest winner with 10 World Series Championships, Lawrence Peter Berra is also the game's greatest backstop. With phenominal plate coverage, intelligent game management, and a superb arm (AL record for catcher putouts with 8,723) Yogi was elected to 15 all-star games. I'd tell you nobody will ever surpass his catching prowess, but hey, "It ain't over till it's over."
  14. Eddie Matthews-Adorning the first ever cover of Sports Illustrated, this hero of the Boston, Milwaukee, and Atlanta Braves hit 512 home runs and is widely regarded as one of the greatest third basemen of all-time.
  15. Alex Rodriguez
  16. Barry Bonds
  17. Johnny Bench
  18. Joe Morgan-As a central member of The Big Red Machine, Morgan won two World Series titles at second base. He is now a miserable commentator on ESPN Baseball.
  19. Jackie Robinson
  20. Ricky Henderson-Without a doubt baseball's greatest leadoff hitter. 3,055 hits, 2,295 runs, and a whopping 1,406 stolen bases, including 130 in 1982, better than most teams in today's game. The eccentric left fielder played on ten different teams, including three different stints with the Oakland A's.
  21. Brooks Robinson-Nicknamed "The Human Vacuum Cleaner," Brooks may be the greatest defensive infielder ever, winning sixteen gold gloves at third base in his 21-year career. A lifetime Oriole, he led his team to two World Series Championships.
  22. Tom Seaver
  23. Roberto Clemente-The Puerto Rican Pirate won a gold glove in every year from '61-'72. When his life was tragically cut short by a plane crash, Clemente had exactly 3,000 hits to hit name.
  24. Al Kaline-The Tiger great began his career as the youngest player to ever win an AL batting title, and from there he never looked back. An 10-time gold glover hit over 3,000 hits and captured his only World Series in 1968.Duke Snider-Part of the NY trifecta of centerfield greats that also included Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle, The Duke took the Dodgers to two World Series championships in the 1950s.
  25. Rod Carew-Though probably most known in todays generation for being immortalized in the hannukah song, Rod hit himself to a career .328 avg and 18 all-star games.
  26. Steve Carlton-One of the greatest lefty hurlers in history, Carlton won four cy youngs, 329 games, and struck out 4,136 in his remarkable career.
  27. Randy Johnson
  28. Carl Yastrzemski-Spending his entire 23-year career with the Red Sox, Yaz may have never captured any rings but he sure compiled some heady statistics. 3,419 hits, 452 home runs, 7 gold gloves, 1,844 RBIs, 18 All-Star selections, 1 MVP, and the last player to ever hit for a triple crown. Not too shabby...
  29. Jim Palmer-Another lifetime Oriole, "Cakes" won 3 World Series, 3 cy youngs, and finished his career with a steller 2.86 era.
  30. Ken Griffey Jr.-There might never have been anyone as fun to watch as "The Kid" in the nineties. From the moment he burst on the seen at nineteen, Griffey electrified fans with his magical swing, dazzling defense, and laid back personality. Though hampered by injuries for much of his second decade, he still managed to amass 630 home runs, 2,763 hits, 1,828 RBI, and 10 gold gloves.
  31. Sandy Koufax-The Golden Jew. Though arthritis prematurely ended his career at age 30, the six years that preceded his retirement have to be the most dominant stretch by any pitcher in baseball history. In his relatively short career, Koufax pitched four no-hitters, won 3 Cy Youngs, captured 3 triple crowns, and led the Dodgers to three championships with his otherwordly 0.95 postseason era.
  32. Pedro Martinez-There might not have ever been anyone as dominant as Pedro in his prime. In 1999, he went 23–4 with a 2.07 ERA and 313 strikeouts (good for the pitching Triple Crown) at a time when offense was at its all-time peak. With pinpoint control, upper 90's heat, a devastating change, and a baffling curveball, Pedro a man among boys for much of the '90s.
  33. Mariano Rivera--Mo has cemented himself as the greatest closer of all time with one single, devastating pitch: the cut-fastball. A 10-time all-star, the Panamanian Sensation (alright, nobody actually has ever called him that) had 526 saves and a career 2.25 era as of press time.
  34. Cal Ripken Jr-His 2,632 consecutive game streak is one of the most unbreakable records in baseball, and his 19 all-star games, 2 gold gloves, 2 MVP awards, and 3,184 hits mean that he did a little more than just "show up."
  35. Albert Pujols-Think this call is a little premature? Consider the fact that he's not even 30 years old, and already has 4 silver sluggers, 2 mvps, a world series title, a .334 career avg and 366 homers. Ten years from now we could be talking about the greatest right-handed hitter of the live-ball era. Now lets all pray that he's clean.
  36. George Brett-Though best remembered for the infamous pine-tar meltdown, Brett would probably prefer to be known as one of four players in MLB history to accumulate 3,000 hits, 300 home runs, and a career .300 batting average, the others being Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Stan Musial. Pretty good company.
  37. Tony Gwynn-A model of consistency, the lifetime Padre won eight batting titles en route to a career .338 avg and 3,141 hits.
  38. Ernie Banks-Mr. Cub was one of the most likable players in MLB history, no small feat for a black man in 1950's. Despite his 11 all-star appearances, 512 home runs, and 2 MVPs, he is perhaps most remembered for his famous catchphrase "It's a beautiful day for a ballgame... Let's play two!"
  39. Reggie Jackson-One of the loudest and most polarizing players to ever get up to bat, Mr. October was truly that, winning a World Series MVP with two different teams. He remains the only player to hit three home runs in a World Series game, doing so in game 6 of the '77 championship.
  40. Nolan Ryan-"The Ryan Express" owns some of the most unbreakable records in baseball: a staggering 7 no-hitters, 5,714 strikeouts, and an ability to break 100-mph at the ripe age of 40. Just ridiculous.Ozzie Smith-Arguably the greatest defensive shortstop ever, The Wizard won thirteen consecutive gold gloves.
  41. Robin Yount-Debuting for the Brewers as an 18-year-old in 1974, Yount went on to collect 3,142 hits in his 20-year career.
  42. Derek Jeter-Love him or hate him, when all's said and done, he could go done as the greatest Yankee ever, and thats saying a whole lot. A lifetime .317 hitter, Jeter has cemented his spot in Cooperstown by leading his team to 5 World Series Championships. Let's hope it stops there.
  43. Roger Clemens- So it turned out The Rocket had a little extra jet fuel in the tank. This is why he's way down here instead of among the top three pitchers of all-time, which you really can't deny his numbers qualify him for. Just for the hell of it, lets review: 354 wins, 3.13 era, 4,672 strikeouts, two triple crowns and a ridiculous 7 Cy Youngs, all at a time when offense was booming. Looking at his body with the Red Sox, you've got to imagine that he was clean was at least a solid decade, a decade in which he struck out 20 batters in a game twice!
  44. Ichiro Suzuki- The greatest Japanese player of all-time cracks the list with 9 consecutive 200-hit seasons (including an MLB single season record of 268) and an inhuman .333 career avg. Add to that 8 gold-gloves, 2 WBC titles, and all the stats he accumulated in Japan and its a wonder this guy isn't top 20. No doubt thats where he'll end up when all is said and done.
  45. Tom Glavine
  46. Roy Campanella-Though only playing a mere ten years in the major leagues before becoming paralyzed in an tragic automobile accident, the Dodger catcher helped break down baseball's color barrier to win 3 mvp awards and star in 8 straight all-star games.
  47. Willie McCovey
  48. Willie Stargell-Stargell was known for warming up in the on-deck circle with a sledge-hammer, and personally crushed 7 of the 16 balls ever hit out of Forbes Field. Dodger great Don Sutton once said of Stargell, "He doesn't just hit pitchers, he takes away their dignity."
  49. Harmon Killebrew-Hammerin Harmon hit 40+ home runs in eight different seasons, retiring with 573.
  50. Wade Boggs-Boggs won a dazzling 5 batting titles in the eighties, hitting below .349 only once between 1982-1988.
  51. Craig Biggio
  52. Roberto Alomar
  53. Carlton Fisk
  54. Chipper Jones
  55. Gaylord Perry-Perhaps the best pitcher to ever throw the spitball, Gaylord was notorious for doctoring balls. He is even said to have approached Vaseline about endorsing their product. Whatever the secret, it certainly worked. Perry ended his career with 314 wins and 3,534 strikeouts across 9 different ballclubs.
  56. Kirby Puckett
  57. Paul Moliter-The only player since 1930 with at least 3,000 hits, a .300 lifetime batting average, and 500 stolen bases. Wow.
  58. Manny Ramirez
  59. Dave Winfield-Born the same day as the "shot heard 'round the world," its perhaps no surprise that Winfield spent much of his career in New York. Another member of the 3,000 hit club, Winfield appeared in every all-star game between 1977 and 1988.
  60. Jim Thome
  61. Jeff Bagwell
  62. Ryne Sandberg
  63. Eddie Murray
  64. Robin Roberts
  65. Dennis Eckersley
  66. Orlando Cepeda
  67. Billy Williams
  68. Lou Brock
  69. Juan Marichal
  70. Don Drysdale
  71. Vladamir Guerrero
  72. Minnie Minoso
  73. Rollie Fingers
  74. Mark McGwire
  75. Frank Thomas
  76. Luis Aparicio
  77. Don Sutton
  78. Nellie Fox
  79. Mike Piazza
  80. Tim Raines
  81. Roy Halladay
  82. Ron Santo
  83. Barry Larkin
  84. Tony Pérez
  85. Phil Niekro
  86. Catfish Hunter
  87. Bert Blyleven
  88. Goose Gossage
  89. Bruce Sutter
  90. Ferguson Jenkins
  91. Gary Carter
  92. Bill Mazeroski
  93. Jim Rice
  94. Jim Bunning
  95. Richie Ashburn
  96. Andre Dawson
  97. Rafael Palmeiro
  98. John Smoltz
  99. Miguel Cabrera
Author Comments: 

We've all seen the top 100 baseball players lists but its time to narrow it down a little. I've always thought comparing the players of this era to those that played at the turn of the century is impossible; it was a different game. That and I'm completely unqualified to make any kind of assessment on players from that long ago other than looking at the numbers, which are completely skewed relative to today. So save your angry comments. You will not be seeing Babe Ruth on this list, nor Ty Cobb, nor Joe Dimaggio (he played until '51) Why the 1950 cutoff? For one, the beginning of integration transformed the makeup of the game. Around the same time, baseball was expanding around the country, first with the milwaukee braves, and then with the Dodgers moving to Los Angeles by the end of the decade. Also, stars were gaining increased national exposure due to the introduction of television.
Another note of clarification: Steroids. I've tried to bear its effect in mind, but don't see it as a disqualifier. This is why Bonds is not at the top spot (which his numbers surely qualify for), but still makes the list. He was so good, with and without the juice, that steriods can't possibly account for all his success. Dido with Clemens, A-Rod, and Manny.

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