It seems like an endless debate – who, really, is the GOAT? The Greatest of All Time?
When it comes to baseball, you can use a variety of statistics to help you make your case. Some of the choices seem obvious. Other times, a great player gets lost in obscurity.
Who are the greatest baseball players of all time? Here are five to consider.
Very few will dispute The Babe being one of the greatest of all time – in fact, he tops almost everyone’s list. Why?
First of all, his career as a baseball player was 22 seasons – almost unheard of now. He began as a pitcher but was also an incredible slugger. Ruth still holds two Major League Baseball (MLB) records, for career slugging percentage and on-base plus slugging (OPS).
Ruth was one of the first five inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame and left a legacy that will never be matched. He is definitely one of the best baseball players of all time!
Willie Mays was another player with incredible longevity, as he also played for 22 seasons. He is considered one of the greatest because he still shares the record for most All-Star Games played.
He ended his career with 660 home runs, which is currently fifth all-time. He also won 12 Gold Gloves for his defense on the field.
Having such a great combination of hitting and defense, along with 24 All-Star appearances, cements him as one of the best baseball players.
Cobb is always in the top 10 of great baseball players. Cobb still holds the game’s best batting average at .366. He’s second in triples and fourth in career steals (897).
Why is he in the top five baseball players? He played 23 seasons and never batted below .316 after his first season. He topped .400 multiple times and won 12 batting titles. He was the first member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Unfortunately, his reputation took a hit after he passed away, although recent evidence shows that the allegations may not be true at all. On the field, however, his accomplishments make him one of the best.
It’s unfortunate when one of your lasting legacies is a rare and incurable disease, but the other parts of Gehrig’s life were amazing. He was an incredible hitter and his durability before his illness was without equal. There’s a reason he was called “the Iron Horse!”
He was a six-time World Series Champion, a seven-time All-Star, and had 493 career home runs. He won baseball’s Triple Crown in 1934, which means he led the league in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in (RBI) in a single season.
His retirement speech still pulls at the heartstrings, and no one will ever forget what an incredible player – and man – Lou Gehrig was.
For our fifth entry, take a look at the best player you’ve never heard of – Frank Robinson!
Active from 1956-1976, Robinson also won baseball’s Triple Crown in the 1966 season. In the same year, he hit a 541-foot home run that completely left Memorial Stadium. He is the only player to win league MVPs from both the National League and the American League.
He ended his career with 586 home runs, which is currently 10th all-time. He had 1812 RBIs and went on to become the first black manager in the Major League.
You might not have heard of Robinson as one of the greatest before today, but he has a great case to be in the top five!
Emulate the Greatest Baseball Players!
If you’re a Little League player or the parent of one, you can gain a lot of inspiration from the greatest baseball players of all time. These five are just the beginning – there are many more greats to read up on!
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