The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

Top 7 Baseball Players of All Time

Baseball has been around in the USA for over 150 years. It started in 1846 with a game between the NY Knickerbockers and the NY Gotham Club. 

Over time, baseball became extremely popular in the US. Many great players made their mark in it. This article will share the top seven baseball players of all time. Are you ready? Let’s dive into it. 

 


Image source: https://depositphotos.com/photos/baseball-field.html

7. Ty Cobb: The Furious Force of Nature

Though Ty Cobb lost his hits record to Rose, he boasts baseball’s finest batting average at .366. He ranks second in triples (295) and fourth in stolen bases (897). His debut saw a .240 average in 41 games, followed by an unbroken string of .316 or better through 23 seasons. He even exceeded .400 thrice and clinched a dozen batting titles.

Still, when we discuss Cobb, we can’t skip stories about a bitter racist who reportedly sharpened his cleats to hurt rivals when sliding. In the beloved baseball movie Fields of Dreams, Shoeless Jackson joked about not letting him play due to his unlikable nature.

Cobb came from Georgia and got the nickname “Georgia Peach.” He wasn’t just good at hitting. He was also amazing at stealing bases. He took almost 900 bases during his career.

6. Walter Johnson: The Unstoppable Pitching Phenom

Walter Johnson is known for his strong arms. He set the pitching standards for years. He was so good that he led most of the AL in strikeouts.

He took the top spot 12 times in his 21-year career.  He played his entire career for the Washington Senators and pitched impressive 110 complete-game shutouts. For sure, this major-league record will remain unmatched forever.

In 1913, he scored big with 36 wins, a tiny 1.14 ERA, and an impressive 0.78 WHIP. That’s how well he pitched. He earned the Chalmers Award. It’s like today’s MVP. In 1924, he did it again. 

He led the Senators to their first World Series win. Johnson’s 3,509 strikeouts set a 56-year record.

5. Barry Bonds: The Marvelous Record-Breaker

Yeah, we get it. He was grumpy, showing off, and likely used steroids. He’s not the guy who should be on the 5th spot of this list. Barry Bonds is the face of the steroid era and its supposed unfairness to many baseball fans.

However, he was already in the Hall of Fame before he started using steroids. Steroids wouldn’t have affected his fantastic hand-eye coordination. 

That also led to an incredible 2,558 career walks and an impressive .444 on-base percentage. The deal with steroids is that we can’t say exactly how they affect a player’s performance. 

So, let’s just appreciate and focus on Bonds’ remarkable stats.

4. Cy Young: The Invincible Master of the Mound

Long ago, Cy Young was the best player in baseball. He started playing in 1890 with the Cleveland Spiders, Then he joined the St. Louis Perfectos in 1899. 

He played for many teams in his 21-year career. Let’s name a few here. They are the Boston Americans, Cleveland Naps, and Boston Rustlers. He set unbreakable records, like pitching for 7356 innings in his career.

Young was a great pitcher in the early days of baseball. He pitched over 300 innings in 16 seasons. That’s unusual today when pitchers usually do around 200 innings. Young faced approximately 30,000 batters during his career, with an average score of 2.63 runs. 

There is even a special award after him. It’s called the Cy Young Award. It’s given to the best pitcher each year. When he was 36, he won the first World Series with the Boston Americans. Even at that age, he was the best pitcher in the American League.

3. Willie Mays: The Extraordinary All-Rounder

Born in Alabama, Willie Mays debuted with the NY Giants in 1950. He played most of his 23 MLB seasons with them and won Rookie of the Year in 1951. However, Willie took a break to serve in the U.S. Army during the war in Korea. After his comeback, he also became one of the 1979 Baseball’s Hall of Famers.

When Willie Mays played, he mostly stood in the center of the field for the Giants. People considered him to be among the greatest defenders of his time. 

There’s one thing everyone likes to talk about. In 1954’s big game, Mays caught the ball in a really cool way. The Giants won the match and the whole series. That’s the only time Mays got to be a champion.

2. Hank Aaron: The Majestic Home Run King

Back in 1954, Hank Aaron started in the big leagues at 20. He kept playing until the age of 42. Aaron was an All-Star each season except his first and last seasons. He spent most of his 22-year career with the Braves, playing with them for 20 seasons. In 1966, when they moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta, he was part of the team.

Hank Aaron got MVP votes in 18 of 22 years. He won MVP once in 1957 for leading in home runs and runs batted in. People think Hank’s the top slugger ever.

 

1. Babe Ruth: The Enduring Symbol of Greatness

Babe Ruth is a true baseball legend. He is known for his incredible hitting skills and vital role as a pitcher for the Red Sox (Boston) in the 1910s.

Ruth, who was from Baltimore, started in the big leagues in 1949. He was 19 at that time. First, he was with the Orioles but later joined the Red Sox. He mostly pitched until he got traded to the NY Yankees in 1920. That made him a pivotal figure in baseball history. 

Babe Ruth used to pitch well. Then, the Yankees turned him into an outfielder. He got so good at hitting. He slammed a total of 714 home runs in a time. Few players did that. It’s known as the dead ball era. 

His record stayed for 39 years until Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run in 1974. Right now, he’s third in all-time home runs after Aaron and Bonds. 

 

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