The 10 Best MLB Hitters of All Time

MLB is one of the most followed leagues in the United States. Many MLB players became household names, most of whom are the best MLB hitters of all time.

Hitter is the most attractive position in Baseball, and most children dream of being a great batter someday. Only a few of them succeed and break the time barrier to become the best in the game.

Hitters are the ones who score runs, and the team that scores more runs wins the game. Therefore, many argue that batters play the most important role in winning a game.

MLB started in 1876, which makes it one of the oldest sports tournaments. In the last one and a half centuries, many great hitters dominated the game and became all-time greats. In this article, we will feature ten players who are the best MLB hitters of all time.

Best MLB Hitters of All Time

Being a batter is a fancy idea, but it is not easy. It takes years of training, hard work, and dedication to master one’s focus and technique of sweeping the bat. Over the years, fans have witnessed hitters who were so good that they became the best MLB players of all time too.

Based on individual performance and a player’s contribution to the team’s success, we have listed the ten best hitters who excelled at hitting the ball.

Babe Ruth1914-1935
Lou Gehrig1923-1939
Barry Bonds1986-2007
Hank Aaron1954-1976
Willie Mays1951-1973
Ty Cobb1905-1928
Ted Williams1939-1960
Mickey Mantle1951-1968
Honus Wagner1897-1917
Rogers Hornsby1915-1937

These players had magnificent careers and became idols for all the next-generation players. Let’s have a look at their illustrated career.

1. Babe Ruth

Babe Ruth
Full NameGeorge Herman “Babe” Ruth Jr
Date of BirthFebruary 6, 1895
Place of BirthBaltimore, Maryland, U.S.
DebutJuly 11, 1914 ( Boston Red Sox)
TeamsBoston Red Sox, Boston Braves, and New York Yankees
PositionsOutfielder / Pitcher
Hall of Fame1936 (95.13% vote)
DeathAugust 16, 1948

Career Highlights

World Series Champion: 7 Times (1915, 16, 18, 1923, 27, 28, 1932)

All-Star: 2 Times (1933, 34)

Most Valuable Player: 1 Time (1923)

Batting champion: 1 Time (1924)

Home run leader: 12 Times (1918–1921, 1923, 1924, 1926–1931)

RBI leader: 5 Times (1919–1921, 23, 26)

ERA Leader: 1 Time (1916)

There is no better way to start the list than Babe Ruth. He is not just the best hitter but the best Baseball player ever to play in the MLB. Ruth changed the game. He showed sheer power on the pitch and made Baseball the game of power.

Ruth was ahead of his time. He was the best during his time, and the second-best hitter was way below him. Till 1918, the most home runs in a season was 27, which Ruth broke in 1919 by hitting 29 home runs, which lasted only a few days, as the following season, Ruth hit 54 home runs!

No other player ever dominated the game like Ruth. He was 12 times home run leader and won 7 World Series championships. He achieved everything there was to achieve for him, becoming ERA leader, batting champion, MVP, and all.

Ruth had his debut in 1914 with the Boston Red Sox and was active till 1935. By this time, he had scored a total of 2174 runs. With so many accomplishments and impacts on the game, Ruth stands at the top of our best MLB hitter of all time list.

Career Stats of Babe Ruth

WARAt BatsHitsHome RunsRunsRBISLGStolen Bases

2. Lou Gehrig

Lou Gehrig
Full NameHenry Louis Gehrig
Date of BirthJune 19, 1903
Place of BirthYorkville, Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
DebutJune 15, 1923 (New York Yankees)
TeamsNew York Yankees
PositionsFirst Baseman
Hall of Fame1939 (Special Election)
DeathJune 2, 1941

Career Highlights

World Series Champion: 6 Times (1927, 1928, 1932, 1936–1938)

All-Star: 7  Times (1933–1939)

Most Valuable Player: 2 times (1927, 1936)

Triple Crown: 1 Time (1934)

Batting Champion: 1 Time (1934)

Home Run Leader: 3 Times (1931, 34, 36)

RBI Leader: 5 Times (1927, 1928, 1930, 31, 34)

Gehrig was a workhorse with an incredible record of playing 2,130 games. The streak was unbroken for 56 years. Despite being broken, his streak is one of the most cited records in the history of the MLB.

Gherig was a powerful hitter. He played his first MLB match on June 15, 1923, for the New York Yankees. He was one of the pillars of the dominance Yankees showed during that time. He helped the Yankees win 6 World Series championships.

Gherig’s personal achievement list is also stacked with seven all-stars, 5 RBI leader awards, etc. Gherig is a three times home run leader and one-time batting champion.

His best performance came in 1934 when he won a triple crown. He hit a career total of 493 home runs and scored 1888 runs.

It is unfair to compare both Gehrig and Ruth to each other. However, the two legends played together for the Yankees from 1925 to 1934. During this time, Gehrig hit more home runs than Ruth.

The workhorse showed great strength while fighting Lou Gehrig, a disease that was named after him. He had to retire in 1939, and in the same year, he was put into the Hall of Fame class through special selection.

The Yankees Dedicated a Center Field Monument to Gehrig on July 6, 1941

Career Stats of  Lou Gehrig

WARAt BatsHitsHome RunsRunsRBIStolen Bases

3. Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds
Full NameBarry Lamar Bonds
Date of BirthJuly 24, 1964
Place of BirthRiverside, California, U.S.
DebutMay 30, 1986 (Pittsburgh Pirates)
TeamsPittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco, Giants
PositionsLeft Fielder

Career Highlights

All-Star: 14 Times (1990, 1992–1998, 2000–2004, 2007)

Most Valuable Player: 7 Times (1990, 1992, 1993, 2001–2004)

Batting Champion: 2 Times (2002, 2004)

Home Run Leader: 2 Times (1993, 2001)

Silver Slugger Award: 12 Times (1990–1994, 96, 97, 2000–2004)

RBI Leader: 1 Time (1993)

Gold Glove Award: 8 Times (1990–1994, 1996–1998)

Barry Bonds grew up in a Baseball family and had a fascination for the game since childhood. His father and cousins played in the MLB. Besides, he is the grandson of the legendary Willie Mays.

Bonds showed great potential since his childhood. Bonds debuted in 1986. During this time, players were addicted to steroids, and Bonds were also involved in taking them.

Many may want to claim that he became so good because of steroids, but you cannot overlook his techniques and skills. But taking steroids alone cannot enable someone to hit 762 home runs, the most in the history of the MLB.

He became the MVP seven times in fifteen years between 1990 and 2004 and two times home runner. Bonds surely lived up to the name of his grandfather. Bonds recorded the fourth-highest Wins Above Replacement of 162.8.

Bonds retired in 2007, and to honor his legacy, San Francisco Giants retired no.25, his jersey number.

Career Stats of Barry Bonds

WARAt BatsHitsHome RunsRunsRBIStolen Bases

4. Hank Aaron

Hank Aaron
Full NameHenry Louis Aaron
Date of BirthFebruary 5, 1934
Place of BirthMobile, Alabama
DebutApril 13, 1954 (Milwaukee Braves)
TeamsMilwaukee/Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers
PositionsRightfielder and First Baseman
Hall of Fame1982 (97.8% Vote)

Career Highlights

World Series Champion: 1 Time (1957)

All-Star: 25 Times (1955–1975)

Most Valuable Player: 1 Time (1957)

Gold Glove Award: 3 Times (1958–1960)

Batting champion: 2 Times (1956, 59)

Home Run Leader: 4 Times (1957, 1963, 1966)

RBI Leader: 4 Times (1957, 1960, 63, 66)

One can write a whole book on the greatness of Hank Aaron and the impact he left on Baseball. With 25 all-star appearances, he tops the chart. He never missed it in 20 years, from 1955 to 1975. He was dedicated to the game and managed his fitness for over two decades.

Aaron is one of the greatest African American players and stands among the best MLB players of all time, too. There are legends who might have one or two bad seasons in their long career, but that was not the case for Aaron. Throughout his career, he was on top of the game.

With 755 home runs, he is just behind Barry Bonds, who holds the record for most career home runs (762). Aaron was one of the finest hitters in the game. His leading the home run for four years, four times RBI leading, and two times batting championship proves that.

Aaron has been a top-class player since his debut in the MLB. However, he gave his best performance in 1957 and was named the MVP of the year.

Aarons’s achievements and statistics speak for him. He scored over two thousand runs and recorded 240 stolen bases. After retiring in 1976, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame class in 1982 with a 97.8% vote.

Career Stats of Hank Aaron

WARAt BatsHitsHome RunsRunsRBIStolen Bases

5. Willie Mays

Willie Mays
Full NameWillie Howard Mays Jr.
Date of BirthMay 6, 1931
Place of BirthWestfield, Alabama, U.S.
DebutMay 25, 1951 (New York Giants)
TeamsNew York / San Francisco Giants, Birmingham Black Barons, and New York Mets
PositionsCenter Fielder
Hall of Fame1979 (94.7% Vote)

Career Highlights

World Series Champion: 1 Time (1954)

All-Star: 24 Times (1954–1973)

Most Valuable Player: 2 Times (1954, 1965)

NL Rookie of The Year: 1951

NL Home run Leader: 4 Times (1955, 1962, 1964, 1965)

NL Stolen Base Leader: 4 Times (1956–1959)

Batting Champion: 1 Time (1954)

Willie Mays was another great player who dominated the game for nearly two decades. He was an elite hitter of the ball. He showed his class from the very first season he played and won the Rookie of the year award in 1951.

Like Ruth, Mays also achieved everything, from being the home run leader, batting champion, stolen base leader, and all-star 24 times!

1954 was an excellent year for him when he won the World Series championship. Mays contributed to his team greatly and was named the MVP of that year.

From 1954 to 1966, he had, on average, hit 40 home runs per season. With a total of 660 home runs, he holds the record for the 6th most home runs in his career. Mays showed an unreal performance on April 30, 1961, when he hit four home runs in one game.

Mays also recorded over three hundred stealing bases and 0.557 sluggish. Mays ruled the game for more than twenty years and finally retired in 1973, leaving behind an inspiring career.

Career Statistics of Willie Mays

WARAt BatsHitsHome RunsRunsRBISLGStolen Bases

6. Ty Cobb

Ty Cobb
Full NameTyrus Raymond Cobb
Date of BirthDecember 18, 1886
Place of BirthNarrows, Georgia, U.S.
DebutAugust 30, 1905 (Detroit Tigers)
Teams Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Athletics
PositionsCenter Fielder
Hall of Fame1936 (98.2% vote)
DeathJuly 17, 1961

Career Highlights

Most Valuable Player: 1 Time (1911)

Triple Crown:  1 Time (1909)

Batting champion: 12 Times (1907–1915, 1917–1919)

Home run leader: 1 Time (1909)

RBI Leader: 4 Times (1907–1909, 1911)

AL Stolen Base Leader: 6 Times (1907, 1909, 1911, 1915–1917)

Ty Cobb was one of the earliest legends to dominate the game. Cobb had his debut in the MLB more than a century ago, yet he is widely respected and honored even after his death. It shows the greatness and ingenuity of the man.

He had his debut in 1905, and in the next fifteen years, he completely dominated the game. Cobb was named the batting champion twelve times between 1905 and 1920.

No other hitter had any chance to compete against Cobb.

Cobb scored a total of 2245 runs and 117 home runs. His career home runs may seem less than many other great players, but you need to remember that he played before Babe Ruth, and during that time, hitting 100 home runs was a great achievement.

The Georgian center fielder was active in the game since 1905 and retired in 1928. He was honored with the Hall of Fame induction in 1936. Cobb received a total of 98.2% votes.

Career Stats of Ty Cobb

WARAt BatsHitsHome RunsRunsRBIStolen Bases

7. Ted Williams

Ted Williams
Full NameTheodore Samuel Williams
Date of BirthAugust 30, 1918
Place of BirthSan Diego, California, U.S.
DebutApril 20, 1939 (Boston Red Sox)
Teams Boston Red Sox
PositionsLeft fielder
Hall of Fame1966 (93.4%)
DeathJuly 5, 2002

Career Highlights

All-Star: 19 Times (1940–1942, 46–1951, 1953–1960)

Most Valuable Player: 2 Times (1946, 1949)

Triple Crown:  2 Times  (1942, 1947)

Batting Champion: 6 Times (1941, 42, 47, 48, 1957, 58)

Home Run Leader: 4 Times (1941, 42, 47, 49)

RBI Leader: 4 Times (1939, 1942, 47, 49)

If you want to talk about the best hitters of MLB of all time, then you have to mention Ted Williams right after Babe Ruth, which itself is a remarkable achievement.

The 19 times all-star achieved everything in the MLB except winning a World Series championship. But that is not a good enough reason to put the legend off this list. His personal achievement includes 2 MVPs, two times triple crowns, and many more achievements in his accolades.

Williams was in his prime when he left the game to serve for the U.S. Army and missed two seasons of MLB. Many believe that had he not missed the 1952 and 1953 seasons, he would have reached more than 3000 hits.

Ted Williams stands second in the slugging percentage OPS+, wOBA, and wRC+. Williams retired in 1960 after establishing himself as among the best MLB hitters of all time. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1966 with a 93.4% vote.

Career Stats of Ted William

WARAt BatsHitsHome RunsRunsRBIStolen Bases

8. Mickey Mantle

Mickey Mantle
Full NameMickey Charles Mantle
Date of BirthOctober 20, 193
Place of BirthSpavinaw, Oklahoma, U.S.
DebutApril 17, 1951 (New York Yankees)
Teams New York Yankees
PositionsCenter Fielder
Hall of Fame1974 (88.2%  Vote)
DeathAugust 13, 1995

Career Highlights

World Series Champion: 7 Times (1951–1953, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1962)

All-Star: 20 Times (1952–1965, 1967, 1968)

Most Valuable Player: 3 Times (1956, 1957, 1962)

Gold Glove Award: 1 Time (1962)

Triple Crown: 1 Time (1956)

Batting Champion: 1 Time (1956)

Home Run Leader: 4 Times (1955, 56, 58, 1960)

RBI Leader: 1 Time (1956)

The seven-time World Series Champion Mickey Mantle debuted in 1951, and in his 20+ long career, he never left the Yankees.

Despite being strikeout several times, he made a name for himself in history. Mantle was at the peak of his career from 1956 to 1962. During this time, he won 3 MVP awards, hit more than 300 home runs, and became a triple crown in 1956.

During his career, Mantle helped the Yankees win seven World Series Championships. In each of those seasons, he at least won one award for his performance, whether it was the MVP or being the batting champion, RBI leader, or Home run leader.

 Mantle recorded the sixth-best wRC+ (170) in the MLB and secured his position amongst the best MLB hitters of all time. Before retiring in 1968, he scored 1676 runs.

The Yankees retired his jersey no.7 to honor his legacy. Mantle was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1974.

Despite being a legend on the pitch, Mantle led a controversial private life. He had an excessive alcohol addiction which caused liver cancer and ultimately cost him his life in 1995.

Career Stats of Mickey Mantle

WARAt BatsHitsHome RunsRunsRBIStolen Bases

9. Honus Wagner

Honus Wagner
Full NameJohannes Peter “Honus” Wagner
Date of BirthFebruary 24, 1874
Place of BirthCarnegie, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DebutJuly 19, 1897 (Louisville Colonels)
TeamsLouisville Colonels and Pittsburgh Pirates
Hall of Fame1936 (95.13% Votes)
DeathDecember 6, 1955

Career Highlights

World Series  Champion: 1 Time (1909)

Batting Champion: 8 Times (1900, 1903, 1904, 1906–1909, 1911)

Stolen Base Leader: 5 Times (1901, 02, 14, 07, 08)

RBI Leader: 5 Times (1901, 1902, 1908, 1909, 1912)

The eight times batting champion Honus Wagner and had 3420 hits and scored run 1739 runs. He played in the MLB for 21 seasons and mostly played for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Wagner had played a total in every position except for the pitcher but mostly was a shortstop.

Before retiring in 1917, he had become five times stolen base leader. He also won the World Series Championship in 1909. In 1935, he became one of the first five Hall of Famer, getting about 95.13% votes.

  • Career stats of Honus Wagner
WARAt BatsHitsHome RunsRunsRBIStolen Bases

10. Rogers Hornsby

Rogers Hornsby
Full NameRogers Hornsby Sr.
Date of BirthApril 27, 1896
Place of BirthWinters, Texas, U.S.
DebutSeptember 10, 1915 (St. Louis Cardinals)
TeamsSt. Louis Cardinals, New York Giants, St. Louis Browns, and Chicago Cubs
PositionsSecond Baseman
Hall of Fame1942 (78.1%  Votes)
DeathJanuary 5, 1963

Career Highlights

World Series Champion: 1 Time (1926)

Most Valuable Player: 2 Times  (1925, 1929)

Triple Crown:  2 Times (1922, 1925)

Batting Champion:  7 Times (1920–1925, 1928)

Home Run Leader: 2 Times  (1922, 1925)

RBI Leader: 4 Times (1920–1922, 1925)

Though Hornsby won many awards, he could have won many more only if he had been born at any other time, as during his time, Ruth and Gehrig were dominating the league.

Hornsby had a long career of over 23 years and had the highest single-season batting average of 0.424 in 1924. Between  1920 and 1925, Hornsby became batting champion six times in a row.

On September 10, 1915, Hornsby batted for the first time in the National League as a thin infielder who weighed 135 pounds and stood 5 feet 11 inches tall. On the bat, he choked and knelt over the plate. Many thought the boy would not last long, but Hornsby proved them all wrong.

Hornsby believed that with dedication and hard work, a player could achieve almost everything, and he himself did it. He ended his career as one of the best hitters of all time in MLB history. Among all modern players, Hornsby and Cobb are the only two players to hit .400 three times.

Hornsby announced his retirement in 1937 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1942.

Career Stats of Rogers Hornsby

WARAt BatsHitsHome RunsRunsRBIStolen Bases


Hitters entertain the audience and fans more than any other players, as people love to see their favorite teams hitting home runs. Hitters over the years have entertained the audience and made MLB a top sports league in the United States.

From Ruth to Mantle and Bonds, these players have made the game interesting. They have set many records that will always keep them alive in history as the best MLB hitters of all time.

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Toybur Rahman is a seasoned MLB journalist with over 4 years of experience covering the league for various online media publications. He has a deep understanding of the sport, a keen eye for detail, and a great talent for breaking down compound issues into easy-to-understand language.


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