One of the most exciting games on the planet, Baseball has enthralled fans since many decades. Among the key contributors to the game’s popularity include some very talented baseball players, who went on to become legends owing to their unparalleled performance. If you love the game of baseball, you would certainly want to know more about the greatest players in the history of baseball. Towards that end, here’s a list of the top 10 greatest baseball legends of all time.
Roger Clemens: In his glorious career spanning 24 years, Roger Clemens staked his claim to several records including 7 Cy Young Awards. He got these awards for the best pitcher of the year when playing for American and National League. Clemens also holds the record for 4,672 strikeouts, which is third largest in the history of baseball. Another great achievement for Clemens came in 1986, when he managed to win a league MVP award while playing for Boston Red Sox. Clemens has a 24–4 record, earned run average (ERA) of 3.12 and 238 strikeouts.
Honus Wagner: Among the thousands of baseball players, Honus Wagner was among the five who were chosen to receive the first ever Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936. One of the key achievements in Wagner’s career was to lead in batting average eight times while playing the National League. By the time he retired in 1917, Wagner had several records to his credit including second most hits (3,420), 643 doubles, 252 triples, and 1,732 runs batted in major-league games.
Stan Musial: Lovingly called by fans as ‘Stan the Man’, Stan Musial played for St. Louis Cardinals in his entire 22-season career. He is considered as one of the best athletes in the game and also a model citizen. Musial has a lifetime batting average of .331 and has played a key role in winning three World Series titles in 1942, 1944, and 1946. He has also won MVP awards three times in 1943, 1946, and 1948.
Ty Cobb: Even though Ty Cobb cannot be described as a model citizen like Musial, there’s no questioning his supremacy in the game of baseball. Cobb was involved in quite a few controversies, but his baseball record is impeccable. At .366, Cobb has the best lifetime batting average in the history of major-league. In his 24-year career, Cobb helped ensure the highest batting average for American League (AL) for 12 times. By the time he retired in 1928, Cobb had 2,246 runs scored, 4,189 hits, and 892 stolen bases.
Walter Johnson: One of the greatest pitchers in baseball history, Walter Johnson holds the record for leading in strikeouts 12 times in American League. Johnson played for Washington Senators throughout his 21-year career and holds the record for 110 complete-game shutouts. This is a major-league record that is unlikely to be broker ever. Johnson’s record of 3,509 career strikeouts stood its ground for 56 years and his win total of 417 is second best.
Hank Aaron: Called the Home Run King for his unparalleled power play, Hank Aaron is probably one of the best power hitters the game of baseball has witnessed. His record of 755 career homers had remained unbroken for 33 years. His other achievements include 2,297 runs batted in and total bases of 6,856. Aaron’s career batting average is .305 and he has won Gold Gloves three times for his superior performance in the outfield.
Ted Williams: Known as the ‘greatest pure hitter’, Ted Williams played for Boston Red Sox and has the highest on-base percentage of .482. He also ranks amongst the top 20 players in terms of home runs, total runs scored, walks and runs batted in. Williams did military service in his prime and had to miss five full seasons, otherwise his record would have been even better.
Barry Bonds: There were quite a few controversies surrounding Barry Bonds including his potential use of steroids. However, he had aced the game well before he may have started taking steroids. Moreover, his records are related to eye-hand coordination, which is unlikely to be enhanced by steroids. Bonds has lifetime on-base percentage of .444, 2,558 career walks and 762 home runs.
Willie Mays: Playing for New York Giants, Mays has several achievements to his credit including 1,903 runs batted in, 660 home runs and 3,283 hits. Mays was also brilliant in the outfield, having won Gold Glove Awards for 12 consecutive years from 1957 to 1968. Perhaps the most iconic moment in his career and in the history of the game was the time when Mays took an over-the-shoulder catch that ensured his team’s win in 1954 World Series championship.
Babe Ruth: A remarkable power hitter, Babe Ruth had 21 glorious years in baseball spanning 22 seasons. He was adoringly referred to by fans with various nicknames such as ‘The Sultan of Swat’ and ‘The Bambino’. Some of Ruth’s records still stand such as on-base plus slugging (OPS) of 1.164 and slugging percentage of .690. His other records include 2,062 bases on balls, 2,213 runs batted in and 714 home runs. Many people consider Ruth as the greatest baseball player and one of the best sportsperson in American sporting history. Ruth was one of the five players who entered the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936.