The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All-Time

Methodology.

 

RankPlayerPositionYears
1Barry BondsOF1986-2007
2Babe RuthOF1914-1935
3Willie MaysOF1951-1973
4Roger ClemensSP1984-2007
5Lou Gehrig1B1923-1939
6Randy JohnsonSP1988-2009
7Hank AaronOF1954-1976
8Ted WilliamsOF1939-1960
9Greg MadduxSP1986-2008
10Alex RodriguezSS1994-2016
11Mike Schmidt3B1972-1989
12Albert Pujols1B2001-2020
13Ty CobbOF1905-1928
14Clayton KershawSP2008-active
15Mike TroutOF2011-active
16Pedro MartinezSP1992-2009
17Rogers Hornsby2B1915-1937
18Mickey MantleOF1951-1968
19Stan MusialOF1941-1963
20Walter JohnsonSP1907-1927
21Lefty GroveSP1925-1941
22Mariano RiveraRP1995-2013
23Justin VerlanderSP2005-active
24Max ScherzerSP2008-active
25Jimmie Foxx1B1925-1945
26Tom SeaverSP1967-1986
27Manny RamirezOF1993-2011
28Rickey HendersonOF1979-2003
29Miguel Cabrera1B2003-active
30Warren SpahnSP1942-1965
31Joe DiMaggioOF1936-1951
32Christy MathewsonSP1900-1916
33Ken Griffey Jr.OF1989-2010
34Frank RobinsonOF1956-1976
35David OrtizDH1997-2016
36Frank Thomas1B1990-2008
37Reggie JacksonOF1967-1987
38Bob GibsonSP1959-1975
39Johnny BenchC1967-1983
40Sandy KoufaxSP1955-1966
41Willie StargellOF1962-1982
42Mel OttOF1926-1947
43Cy YoungSP1890-2011
44Tris SpeakerOF1907-1928
45Jim PalmerSP1965-1984
46Steve CarltonSP1965-1988
47Honus WagnerSS1897-1917
48Chipper Jones3B1993-2012
49George Brett3B1973-1993
50Carl YastrzemskiOF1961-1983
51Curt SchillingSP1988-2007
52Joe Morgan2B1963-1984
53Pete AlexanderSP1911-1930
54Pete RoseOF1963-1986
55Derek JeterSS1995-2014
56Yogi BerraC1946-1965
57Jeff Bagwell1B1991-2005
58Jim Thome1B1991-2012
59Vladimir GuerreroOF1996-2011
60Mike PiazzaC1992-2007
61Tom GlavineSP1987-2008
62Gaylord PerrySP1962-1983
63John SmoltzSP1988-2009
64Roy HalladaySP1998-2013
65Cal Ripken Jr.SS1981-2001
66Nolan RyanSP1966-1993
67Gary SheffieldOF1988-2009
68Whitey FordSP1950-1967
69Eddie Mathews3B1952-1968
70Johan SantanaSP2000-2012
71Wade Boggs3B1982-1999
72Al KalineOF1953-1974
73Roberto ClementeOF1955-1972
74Harmen Killebrew1B1954-1975
75Ernie BanksSS1953-1971
76Carl HubbellSP1928-1943
77Hal NewhouserSP1939-1955
78Mark McGwire1B1986-2001
79Willie McCovey1B1959-1980
80Tony GwynnOF1982-2001
81Rod Carew2B1967-1985
82Sammy SosaOF1989-2007
83Bob FellerSP1936-1956
84Robin RobertsSP1948-1966
85Ferguson JenkinsSP1965-1983
86Hank Greenberg1B1930-1947
87Johnny Mize1B1936-1953
88Nap Lajoie2B1896-1916
89Adrian Beltre3B1998-2018
90Brooks Robinson3B1955-1977
91Rafael Palmeiro1B1986-2005
92Eddie Murray1B1977-1997
93Paul MolitorDH1978-1998
94Pudge RodriguezC1991-2011
95Dennis EckersleyRP1975-1998
96Joey Votto1B2007-active
97IchiroOF2001-2019
98Gary CarterC1974-1992
99Edgar MartinezDH1987-2004
100Trevor HoffmanRP1993-2010

7 thoughts on “The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All-Time

  1. Hey Patrick!

    I appreciate the question. I guess it’s a matter of perspective but I don’t consider them low on the list. All three are in the top 70 or in the 99.65 percentile of players to ever suit up for a MLB team. However, to address why they aren’t rated higher than they are, I’ll go one at a time…

    George Brett

    Brett at #49 is pretty lofty. The next 3b I have ahead of him is Chipper Jones. Chipper has a pretty substantial advantage in OPS+ which is fueled by his superiority in getting on base and hitting for power. Chipper also gets the advantage in degree of difficulty as he played in a league that was experiencing an influx of international talent. There are a few players ranked ahead of Brett who I could make an argument for moving Brett ahead of on the strength of era (Cy Young, Tris Speaker, and Honus Wagner to name a few) but there aren’t many.

    Nolan Ryan

    Nolan was one of a kind, for better or worse. Nobody was more unhittable, but nobody walk more batters. In fact, Nolan led the league in walks eight times. In 27 years, he won zero Cy Youngs and finished second just once. There are just too many great pitchers with much better command and substantially better resumes for Ryan to rate higher on the list.

    Cal Ripken Jr.

    Cal deserves major kudos for showing up to play for 2,632 consecutive games. That’s bananas. Still, it’s important to recognize that Cal’s greatest achievement doesn’t really have anything to do with on-field performance. When we examine what he did on the field, it starts to become evident why it’s more appropriate to rate him outside of the top 50. Ripken, of course, started his career with 10 consecutive 20 home runs seasons which was unheard of for a shortstop. While he proved that shortstops could hit home runs, his career OPS+ is a pedestrian 112 which represents one of the lowest marks in the top 100. His .340 OBP also leaves a lot to be desired.

  2. Hi Laura!

    I love me some Kruk but he only had 1,100 career hits. That’s not gonna fly in the top 100 let alone the top 500.
    Downing has a stronger case but he falls well short of the top 100 as well. Consider that his score on the Gray-Ink Test (which measures the number of times a player finished in the top 10 in a significant category) is 25. The average score for a Hall of Famer is 144.

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