The 10 Best MLB Players of All Time

Major League Baseball, also called MLB, is one of the oldest professional baseball leagues and has showcased many great players over the years.

During different eras, different players have ruled the game, and some have surpassed the time barrier and become legendS. A few of them were so great that it is impossible to match their caliber. They are considered the best MLB players of all time.

In this article, we will feature ten players who ruled the game, defined the role of their position, and became idols for all the upcoming players.

Best MLB Players of All Time

Being the best in the MLB makes a player the best in Baseball, so it is not easy to be called the best MLB player of all time. It requires to have certain skills, aggression, fitness, timing, good coordination, etc.

Having all these qualities is more difficult than it looks on paper, but there were some players who mastered all of these. Hence, they became the greatest players ever to play in the MLB.

After comparing players from different generations of different positions, taking account of their individual performance and achievement, we have come up with the following ten players who excelled in their positions and became the best.

Babe Ruth1914-1935
Willie Mays1951-1973
Ted Williams1939-1960
Hank Aaron1954-1976
Ty Cobb1905-1928
Walter Johnson1907-1927
Mickey Mantle1951-1968
Lou Gehrig1923-1939
Cy Young1890-1911
Greg Maddux1986-2008

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. Ruth was not just a good player. He 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.

The following season, Ruth went into a ballistic mode and scored 54 home runs, breaking his own record. During that season, no one even hit 20 home runs. Ruth did things that fans and other players thought were impossible.

Ruth dominated the game like no one. 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 players of all time list.

Career Stats of Babe Ruth

WARAt BatsHitsHome RunsRunsRBISLGStolen Bases

2. 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)
Teams New 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, the greatest centerfielder in the history of MLB, was an all-rounder player. After his debut in 1951, he quickly became a  top player, winning the rookie of the player award that same year.

Like Ruth, Mays also achieved everything, and 1954 was an excellent year for him when he won the World Series championship, was an all-star, and was MVP.

Mays was an elite hitter. 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

3. 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)
TeamsBoston 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 is quite a remarkable achievement.

The 19 times all-star achieved everything in the MLB except winning a World Series championship. Other than that, he had one of the most successful careers, with 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 players of all time. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1966 with a 93.4% vote.

Career Stats of

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)

Hank Aaron is one of the greatest African American players and stands among the best MLB players of all time, too.

Aaron holds the record for the most all-star appearances(25), and 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.

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. Ty Cobb

Ty Cobb
Full NameTyrus Raymond Cobb
Date of BirthDecember 18, 1886
Place of BirthNarrows, Georgia, U.S.
DebutAugust 30, 1905 (Detroit Tigers)
TeamsDetroit Tigers and Philadelphia Athletics
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 who dominated 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.

 then 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

WARAt BatsHitsHome RunsRunsRBIStolen Bases

6. Walter Johnson

Walter Johnson
Full NameWalter Perry Johnson
Date of BirthNovember 6, 188
Place of BirthHumboldt, Kansas, U.S.
DebutAugust 2, 1907 (Washington Senators)
TeamsWashington Senators
Hall of Fame1936 (83.63%  Vote0
DeathDecember 10, 1946

Career Highlights

World Series Champion: 1 Time (1924)

Most Valuable Player: 2 Times (1913, 1924)

Wins Leader: 6 Times (1913–1916, 1918, 1924)

ERA Leader: 5 Times (1912, 1913, 1918, 1919, 1924)

AL Strikeout Leader: 12 Times (1910, 1912–1919, 1921, 1923, 1924)

Triple Crown: 3 Times (1913, 1918, 1924)

What do you expect from a pitcher? Walter Johnson could do it all. He had a win-loss record of 417-279, 3509 strikeouts, and 666 games he started.

Johnson was the most dominant pitcher and one of the best pitchers of all time. He did not win any Cy Young award during his time because the award did not exist. Otherwise, he would have won plenty of it.

Johnson made his debut in the MLB in 1907, and in his first decade, he posted a 1.65 ERA and 1.86 FIP.In his 20-year-long career, he became the American League strikeout leader 12 times, six times win leader, and five times ERA leader!

But that is not all. In 1913 and 1924, he achieved the triple crown and was named the MVP. On July 1, 1920, Johnson pitched a no-hitter. Johnson had countless achievements in his long career. It is tough to decide whether Cy Young or Walter Johnson is the greatest pitcher.

After his retirement in 1927, he received the Hall of Fame honor in 1936.


7. 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)
TeamsNew 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 with the New York Yankees and never changed teams till retirement.

Mantle was considered a modern player of his time. 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.

Mantle was a great centerfielder, one of the best of all time in fact. He won the Gold Glove award in 1962.

The seven times the Yankees won the World Series Championships, Mantle played a vital role in either hitting the most home runs, being a batting champion, or leading the RBI.

 Mantle recorded the sixth-best wRC+ (170) in the MLB and secured his position amongst the best MLB players 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

WARAt BatsHitsHome RunsRunsRBIStolen Bases

8. 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)

During his time, Gehrig was called a workhorse for his hardworking. He had a passion and love for the game, which helped him set a record for the consecutive-games streak of 2,130. The streak remained untouched for 56 years.

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

9. Cy Young

Cy Young
Full NameDenton True “Cy” Young
Date of BirthMarch 29, 1867
Place of BirthGilmore, Ohio
DebutAugust 6, 1890 (Cleveland Spiders)
TeamsCleveland Spiders, St. Louis Perfectos / Cardinals, Cleveland Naps, Boston Americans / Red Sox, and Boston Rustlers
Hall of Fame1937 (76.12%)
DeathNovember 4, 1955

World Series Champion: 1 Time (1903)

Wins Leader: 5 Times (1892, 1895, 1901–1903)

ERA Leader: 2 Times (1892, 1901)

Strikeout Leader: 2 Times (1896, 1901)

Triple Crown: 1 Time (1901)

Obviously, you cannot expect the list to end without mentioning the great Cy Young, the man who defines pitching in Baseball.

If Gehrig was a workhorse hitter, Young had been the workhouse pitcher. He played for 22 seasons in the MB, and his ERA never hovered above 4.00.

Young set the record for most career wins with 511, which is still unbroken. No other pitcher has secured even 450 wins. Young was a five times wins leader, two-time ERA leader, and two times strikeout leader. In 1901, he won a triple crown too.

Young set several other records, including most innings pitched, most career games started, and most consecutive hitless (25 1⁄3) innings pitched.

Young retired in 1911 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1937. After his demise in 1955, MLB wanted to honor the legend and so the “Cy Award” was introduced the following year. The award is given to the best pitcher of the year. The award carries the legacy of Young.

Career Stats of Cy Young


10. Greg Maddux

Greg Maddux
Full NameGregory Alan Maddux
Date of BirthApril 14, 1966
Place of BirthSan Angelo, Texas, U.S.
DebutSeptember 3, 1986 (Chicago Cubs)
TeamsChicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Diego Padres
Hall of Fame2014 (97.2%)

Career Highlights

World Series Champion: 1 Time (1995)

All-Star: 8 Times (1988, 1992, 1994–1998, 2000)

Gold Glove: 18 Times (1990–2002, 2004–2008)

NL Cy Young Award: 4 Times (1992–1995)

Wins Leader: 3 Times (1992, 1994, 1995)

ERA Leader: 4 Times (1993–1995, 1998)

Greg Maddux is the best pitcher fans have witnessed in modern times. During the 90s, he dominated the game with unrivaled savvy, pinpoint control,  and a devastating arsenal of pitches.

Maddox won 4 consecutive Cy Young awards from 1992 to 1995. During this time, he became the win leader three times and the Era leader thrice as well. Maddux was also one of the best fielders and won 18 Gold Gloves.

Greg Maddux is the only player with 3,000-plus strikeouts, 300-plus wins,  and fewer than 1,000 walks. In 1995, he played a key role in the Braves World Series Championship win.

Maddux retired in 2008 and was inducted into both the Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame and Braves Hall of Fame. Both teams retired his jersey no. 31.

In 2014, he got inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame with a staggering 97.2% votes.

Career Stats of Greg Maddux



Baseball is one of the most popular sports in the USA, and MLB has one of the largest fanbases. This popularity and fanbase were not built over a day. Players in different eras entertained the fans with their talent, skills, and athleticism. The player mentioned in the article is the ones who made the game so famous and passed on the legacy.

They are the prototypes of their positions. Young players find inspiration and motivation from their incredible careers. They defined what Baseball is. Because of their contribution and achievement, they will always be remembered by the fans as the best MLB players 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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