People often forget how rare it is to find a truly great switch-hitter.
In general, the switch-hitter himself is not all that rare of a commodity—you see them in nearly every game. But, once in a great while, you will find one that is head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to utilizing this special skill.
I have compiled a list of the top 10 switch hitters of all time.
Enjoy. I look forward to your feedback.
"The Big Puma" is one of just two active players to make the list.
In his 11 seasons in a big league uniform, all with the Astros, Berkman has hit 313 home runs, knocked in over 1000 runs, and has been selected to the All Star squad on five occasions.
His .412 on base percentage, and .299 career batting average are testaments to his consistency.
Bernie makes the list as much for his postseason play as he does for his regular season numbers.
After 16 seasons with the Yankees, Williams amassed 287 Home Runs, 1257 Ribbies, and appeared in five All Star games.
Where he really shined, however, was in October. He hit 22 career postseason long balls, and was the 1996 ALCS Most Valuable Player.
Bernie Williams was the definition of clutch.
Simply put, he was the greatest second baseman to play the game, and the BBWAA really dropped the ball when they failed to induct him into the Hall Of Fame this year.
Everybody remembers the glove, but I think his offensive production is, at times, overlooked. He finished his career with 2724 hits, 1508 runs scored, 504 doubles, 210 home runs, 474 stolen bases, an even .300 batting average, and over 1100 RBI.
Not to mention his 12 consecutive All Star nods, and his 1992 ALCS MVP award.
He was, truly, one of the greats.
The greatest leadoff hitter of his era, not named Ricky Henderson.
Raines has several things working against him when it comes to people giving him the credit he deserves.
First, he played the prime of his career in Montreal. Just ask Andre Dawson what that can do to you. Secondly, his admitted cocaine use in the '80s is surely a factor in his stunningly, and appallingly low Hall Of Fame vote percentage.
Raines finished his lengthy career with 808 stolen bases, 2605 hits, 113 triples, 430 doubles, 170 home runs, and a .385 on base percentage.
He won the 1986 NL batting title, and was elected to seven All Star games in his big league service.
As you can tell by the picture, we have come to our first member of the Hall Of Fame.
Truthfully, I didn't know a lot about George Davis when I began doing research for this article, but I came to realize he was truly one of the greatest switch-hitters of his era, or any other era, for that matter.
Playing in the dead ball era, his power numbers don't jump out you. But remember that this was a different time, and in some senses, a different game.
He hit just 73 long balls in his career, but that number is misleading. He also collected 163 triples, 451 doubles, and ranks 17th all-time for his 616 stolen bases.
I also discovered this little nugget of information: On Jun. 14, 1983, Davis became the first big league player to triple and homer in the same inning.
We have arrived at our second stop in the way-back machine.
"The Fordham Flash" played from 1919 up until 1937. Not only was he the greatest switch-hitter of his time, he was also the leader of the famed "Gashouse Gang" of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Frisch would collect 2880 hits over his career, including 105 homers, 138 triples, and 466 doubles. He finished up his playing days with a lifetime .316 average.
Frankie was elected to the Hall Of Fame in 1947.
Look up "consistent" in the dictionary, and you will find a picture of Eddie Murray. In fact, he was so consistent, he earned the nickname "Steady Eddie."
The numbers speak for themselves: over 3000 hits, 504 home runs, 1917 RBI, and a lifetime .836 ops.
Although he never won the MVP award, he did finish in the top five in voting on five separate occasions, and in the top ten seven times.
A first ballot Hall Of Famer, and an absolute professional. You cannot discuss the greatest of all time, without discussing Eddie Murray.
I know that some people are going to gripe about me putting Chipper ahead of Murray, and those complaints are not totally without merit.
Chipper is still a very productive, All-Star-caliber player, even in the late stages of his career. In 2008, he won his first batting title at the age of 36, hitting .364—one point away from the all-time switch-hitting record.
He had on off year in '09, hitting just 18 home runs, breaking a streak of 14-straight seasons in which he hit 20 or more long balls.
At this stage of his career, Jones has gathered 2406 hits, 426 home runs, 1445 RBI, and an outstanding .947 lifetime OPS.
The 1999 NL MVP is a future Hall Of Fame third baseman, the least represented position in Cooperstown.
I put him above Murray because, despite being 36 years old and coming off a down year, I believe his career is far from over. I see him playing another four years, and if he stays healthy he should be able to rack up his 500th home run, and perhaps, even his 3000 hit.
Perhaps a shift to the AL, as the Braves continue to get younger, will extend his career. I think he could really benefit from utilizing the DH spot.
I don't think I really need to go over the numbers to tell you how great Pete Rose was. He is the all-time hit king, he made 17 All Star squads at five different positions; the man was the definition of "baseball player."
We all know how the story ends, but to let that take away from how truly great Pete Rose was at playing the game of baseball would be a horrible mistake.
Charlie Hustle may have bet on baseball, but anybody who watched him play will tell you, he never cheated the game when he was between the lines.
Oh, what could have been.
Mickey's numbers are already amazing, can you imagine if he had been healthy? My god, there is no telling how many tape measure shots he would have hit. How many more MVP awards would he have won? Would he have multiple triple crowns to his name?
Perhaps. However, to speculate is futile. We got what we got from the Mick, and that was the best he had.
Even with all the injuries and personal issues, he is still, without a doubt, the greatest switch-hitter of all time.