MLB's 10 Greatest Left Fielders of All Time
10. Ed Delahanty
Delahanty was one of the first great hitters in the game's history. In his 16 year career, he had a .346 average, 101 home runs, 1464 RBI, 1599 runs scored, 522 doubles, 185 triples and 455 stolen bases. He was never selected to an All-Star game because there were none during his playing days.
He had a .400 or better average in three different seasons and his .346 career average ranks fifth all time. He also had two on base percenage titles, five slugging percentage titles and five OPS titles. His 185 triples rank 13th all time and he had 2596 career base hits. Finally, he led the league in RBI three times.
9. Jim Rice
Rice is one of the greatest Red Sox ever. In his 16 year career, he had a .298 average, a .352 on base percentage, 382 home runs, 1451 RBI, 1249 runs scored, 2452 base hits and 373 doubles. He was selected to the All-Star team eight times, starting in left field in three of them. He also won back-to-back Silver Slugging Awards in the 1983 and 1984 seasons.
Rice finished in the top five in the MVP voting six times, including winning the award in the 1978 season. In that season, he had a .315 average, 46 home runs, 139 RBI, 121 runs scored and seven stolen bases. He nearly won the Triple Crown that year as he finished third in batting average and led the league in both home runs and RBI.
8. "Shoeless" Joe Jackson
Jackson is one of the best, if not the best, hitters ever. In his 13 year career, he had a .356 average, 54 home runs, 785 RBI, 873 runs scored, 1772 base hits and 202 stolen bases. His career was cut short though as he was not allowed to play, as he was accused of being part of the Black Sox Scandal. It is reported that members of the White Sox tried to fix the 1919 World Series.
His .356 career average ranks third all time as he is only behind Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby. He finished in the top five in the MVP voting three times, including a second place vote in the 1913 season. Jackson easily would have had over 3,000 hits as he was only 30 years old when he was not allowed to play anymore.
7. Al Simmons
Simmons was simply a beast offensively. In his 20 year career, he had a .334 average, 307 home runs, 1827 RBI, 1507 runs scored, 2927 base hits, 539 doubles, 149 triples and 88 stolen bases. He was selected to the All Star team three times, but it would've been more had there been an All Star game in his entire career.
He helped lead the Athletics and the Reds to four World Series appearances, including two championships back-to-back with the Athletics in the 1929 and 1930 seasons. He won two batting titles and he finished in the top five in MVP voting four times, including a second place finish in the 1925 season.
6. Manny Ramirez
Ramirez is one of the five greatest right handed hitters of all time. So far in his 16 year career, he has a .314 average, 527 home runs, 1725 RBI 1444 runs scored, 2392 base hits, 507 doubles, a .411 on base percentage and a .593 slugging percentage. He has been selected to the All-Star team 12 times, starting at left field in five of them.
He has won the Silver Slugging Award nine times, has one batting title, three on base percentage titles, three slugging percentage titles and three OPS titles. He ranks 17th all time in career home runs and 20th all time in career RBI. Finally, he is one of the greatest postseason performers as he led the Red Sox to two championships and he has 28 home runs and 74 RBI in the postseason, both in the top three all time.
5. Carl Yastrzemski
Yastrzemski was one of the most all-round players ever. In his long 23 year career, he had a .285 average, 452 home runs, 1844 RBI, 1816 runs scored, 3419 base hits, 646 doubles, 168 stolen bases and a .379 on base percentage. He was selected to an amazing 18 All Star teams, starting in left field in three of them. He won three batting titles and five on base percentage titles.
He was also one of the best defensive outfielders ever as he won seven Gold Glove awards and is the last player to have won a Triple Crown, which he accomplished in 1967. In that season, he had a .326 average, 44 home runs, 121 RBI, 112 runs and ten stolen bases as he won his only MVP award.
4. Rickey Henderson
Henderson is the greatest lead-off hitters of all time without a doubt. In his extremely long 25 year career, he had a .279 average, a .401 on base percentage, 297 home runs, 1115 RBI, 2295 runs scored, 3055 base hits, 510 doubles, 66 triples and an unheard of 1406 stolen bases. He is the all time leader in both total runs and stolen bases. He was selected to the All-Star team 10 times, starting in left field in four of them.
His best season came in 1990 as he won his only MVP award. In that season, he had a .325 average, a .439 on base percentage, 28 home runs, 61 RBI, 119 runs scored and 65 stolen bases. He was also a solid defensive player as he won a Gold Glove Award in 1981 and he helped lead the Athletics in 1989 and Blue Jays in 1993 each to a championship.
3. Barry Bonds*
Statistically, Bonds is the greatest player of all time. However, with all of the issues concerning him and steroids, I rated him number three on this list. In his 22 year career, he had a .298 average, 762 home runs, 1996 RBI, 2227 runs scored, 2935 base hits, 601 doubles, 77 triples, 514 stolen bases and a .444 on base percentage. He was selected to the All-Star team 14 times, starting at left field in 11 of them.
He has also won a record seven MVP awards, including four in a row from 2001 until 2004. He won 12 Silver Slugging Awards, two batting titles, 10 on base percentage titles and seven slugging percentage titles. He was also a great defensive player as he won eight consecutive Gold Glove awards from 1990 until 1998. However, he never won a championship as his teams lost twice in the World Series.
Finally, one thing many people forget about Bonds is that he still would have been one of the greatest players ever without steroids, as he won three MVP awards in the early 90's before he took any steroids. He was that skinny person when he was drafted. He likely would have had 500 home runs and better speed numbers without steroids, but he got jealous of Mark McGwire, so he took steroids.
2. Ted Williams
Williams is considered by many to be the greatest hitter ever. In his 19 year career, he had a .344 average, 521 home runs, 1839 RBI, 1798 runs scored, 2654 base hits, 525 doubles, a .482 on base percentage and a .634 slugging percentage. He was selected to the All-Star team every year he played in, starting in left field in 12 of them. He won six batting titles and ten on base percentage titles.
He ranks seventh all time in career batting average, first all time in on base percentage, second all time in slugging percentage and second all time in OPS. He won two MVP awards and the Triple Crown Award twice. He had four home run titles and led the league in RBI four times. His best season came in 1949 as he had a .343 average, a .490 on base percentage, a .650 slugging percentage, 43 home runs and 159 RBI. However, he never won a championship as he played hit entire career with the Red Sox.
1. Stan Musial
Musial is the greatest left fielder of all time and arguably the greatest player ever. In his 22 year career with the St. Louis Cardinals, he had a .331 average, a .417 on base percentage, 475 home runs, 1951 RBI, 1949 runs scored, 3630 base hits, 725 doubles, 177 triples and 78 stolen bases. He was selected to an amazing 24 All Star teams. He won seven batting titles, six on base percentage titles, six slugging percentage titles and seven OPS titles.
He also led the league in RBI twice, runs scored five times and hits six times. He won the MVP award three times and finished second four times. His best season came in 1947 as he had a .376 average, 39 home runs, 131 RBI, 135 runs scored, 230 base hits and seven stolen bases. Finally, he led the Cardinals to the World Series four times, including three championships in the 1940's.
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