25 Biggest Winners in Baseball History

Dan TylickiAnalyst INovember 28, 2011

25 Biggest Winners in Baseball History

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    Throughout baseball, there are players who put up amazing numbers, get elected to the Hall of Fame and are enshrined in glory for their efforts. Others get into the Hall of Fame thanks to their sheer number of awards and World Series rings.

    This list is about those players. Some were admittedly lucky and were a solid piece in a dynasty, leading to at least one hand being filled with World Series rings, while others were great and named to All-Star teams year after year, winning a couple MVP Awards in the process.

    Here are the top 25 winners in baseball history, who come with plenty of hardware as proof of their greatness.

Not Listed: Barry Bonds, Pete Rose, Others

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    Pete Rose is the all-time hits leader and led the Reds and Phillies to World Series titles, but at the end of the day, he has a lifetime ban from baseball, and I can't include those players on this list.

    Barry Bonds may have the all-time home runs mark and seven MVP awards, but I can't add in players such as him and Roger Clemens that were clearly a product of the steroids era, as that makes them the furthest thing from a winner.

    I'm also noting Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera here. Yes, they won four World Series titles and are two key pieces of the Yankees' latest dynasty, but those WS numbers pale in comparison to some Yankees that got double the rings, or even more.

25. Roy Campanella

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    Despite only having a short 10-year career, Campanella quickly established himself as one of the best catchers to play the game, making eight All-Star appearances and winning the 1955 World Series with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

    What gets him on this list is three MVP victories, beating out players like Stan Musial, Eddie Mathews and Duke Snider in the process. Had he been able to play a few more years, his final numbers could have been even better.

24. Tom Seaver

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    In a lengthy 20-season career, Tom Seaver won 311 games, helped New York win the 1969 World Series and made 12 All-Star teams.

    Seaver also won three Cy Young Awards with the Mets and came close to winning MVP in 1969 when he won the Cy Young nearly unanimously. Had he joined the Reds a couple years earlier than he did, he would've had a couple extra World Series wins to his name and would be higher on the list.

23. Pedro Martinez

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    One of the greatest pitchers in his prime, Pedro Martinez won three Cy Young Awards, nearly winning five in his tenure with the Expos and Red Sox.

    He was also a key piece of the 2004 Red Sox World Series team. Had he won the MVP in 1999 to become one of the few pitchers in recent memory to do so, he may have shot higher on the list.

22. Mike Schmidt

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    Ten Gold Gloves, a first-ballot Hall of Fame induction and a World Series ring weren't enough for one of the best third basemen to play the game.

    Mike Schmidt also had 12 All-Star appearances and three MVP wins and in fact was a unanimous MVP decision in 1980, when he won his ring. That year, he was named World Series MVP in the process.

21. Eddie Collins

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    One of the greatest second basemen of all time, Eddie Collins won the MVP Award in 1914, back when it was still relatively new, and won four World Series rings.

    This may not sound like much on the surface, but his four titles and six World Series appearances with the Philadelphia Athletics and Chicago White Sox are the most by anyone who did not have any wins or appearances with the Yankees.

20. Hank Aaron

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    How is the home run king and one of the greatest power hitters only 20th on this list? Suffice it to say, he does not have the hardware of many of the others on the list.

    He won MVP in 1957 and a World Series ring that same year. He played nearly 20 more seasons, but he never finished higher than third in MVP voting again despite his numbers. His 25 All-Star appearances are the most in major league history, and it is a record that will likely never be broken.

19. Herb Pennock

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    Herb Pennock has seven World Series rings to his credit to go along with over 200 wins, but many of those rings came to him thanks to luck. He was on the Athletics during their 1913 World Series win, but he was a teenage reliever at the time.

    He was also on the Red Sox in 1915 and 1916 for their World Series titles in the same situation. He wasn't a key part of any World Series teams until leading the Yankees in the 1920s to three World Series wins. He went 5-0 in his WS career, so it would not have hurt for the A's and Red Sox to use him.

18. Frankie Crosetti

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    Like Pennock to an extent, Frankie Crosetti has a huge amount of hardware despite the fact that he got it due to being on the right team at the right time rather than due to his talent.

    Crosetti won eight World Series rings during his time on the Yankees and was active on the World Series roster for six of them. He may have gotten the rings, but he was the weak link on the lineup and far from a Hall of Famer, like many of his teammates.

17. Albert Pujols

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    Albert Pujols has solidified himself as the greatest active baseball player, winning three MVP Awards and coming close to winning nearly every year he has been active.

    Combine that with two World Series wins, and Pujols can easily continue to climb this list throughout his career, as I'm sure he has a few more MVP seasons in him.

16. Willie Mays

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    The Say Hey Kid was one of the greatest all-around players ever. His hardware collection, while not necessarily up to par with others on this list, was still very solid given the fact that most of his career was with one team.

    He won his lone World Series title in 1954 and was MVP both that year and in 1965. He also won Rookie of the Year in 1951. His 24 All-Star appearances were second only to Hank Aaron.

15. Casey Stengel

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    If there's one head coach that deserves to be on this list, there's no question that it's Casey Stengel, who led the Yankees to seven World Series appearances in 12 years.

    He had an eighth title as a player for the New York Giants in 1922, so even though his playing career was rather modest, he had rings on both ends.

14. Jimmie Foxx

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    Jimmie Foxx was one of the most productive sluggers of the 1930s. He put up some of the best numbers of the era, and he was named MVP three times as a result.

    He also won two World Series with the Philadelphia Athletics relatively early in his career, and he kept his average over .300 in every WS he played, so it would have been nice to see him on more winning teams.

13. Bill Dickey

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    Bill Dickey is one of the most prolific players in terms of World Series rings in baseball history. Depending on whether you count 1928, when he played just 10 games, he either won seven or eight rings, which ranks him up there with a couple others higher on this list.

    The only reason he's not higher is that he doesn't have the individual accolades to go with the rings, aside from 11 All-Star appearances. Yes, he's in the Hall of Fame, but he never won an MVP Award and only came close one year, when he finished second to Jimmie Foxx.

12. Greg Maddux

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    Greg Maddux established himself as one of the best pitchers in the 1990s and 2000s, winning four straight Cy Young Awards with the Cubs and Braves to go along with 355 wins.

    What keeps him from making the top 10 is his postseason record. He won one World Series ring but went 11-14 in his postseason career, and had that number been better, he may have been able to earn a second ring at some point.

11. Phil Rizzuto

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    Phil Rizzuto's stats may not exactly be amazing, but they were good enough to earn him five All-Star appearances and an MVP win.

    On top of that, he was a key part of nine Yankees teams that made it to the World Series and seven that won it. He won the Babe Ruth Award in 1951 as postseason MVP as well, and he was one of many who could have won more hardware had it not been for World War II.

10. Babe Ruth

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    Surprisingly, Babe Ruth ranks 10th on this list. It's not due to lack of rings, as he won three with the Red Sox and four with the Yankees, establishing himself as a postseason great.

    It is, however, due to lack of individual hardware. For whatever reason, he only won one MVP Award and wasn't even on the ballot most years. In hindsight, it is ridiculous, but it knocks down his ranking big time here.

9. Steve Carlton

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    Steve Carlton was one of the great ones in the 1970s, winning four Cy Young Awards, including winning 27 games during a 59-win season for the Phillies.

    Carlton also has two World Series rings to his credit, one with the Cardinals and one with the Phillies. Despite a 2-0 record in the 1980 WS, he was not named MVP, though he certainly helped the Phillies win that title.

8. Randy Johnson

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    Randy Johnson, in terms of individual hardware, is the most decorated of any pitcher on the list. He has five Cy Young Awards and is a no-brainer for the Hall of Fame when his time comes.

    He won one World Series ring in 2001 with the Arizona Diamondbacks and looked like a true ace doing it, but to be higher on the list you need more than just one; everyone else higher has a minimum of three.

7. Lou Gehrig

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    Lou Gehrig was a staple of the Yankees teams of the 1920s and 1930s as the original Iron Horse. In the process, he won two MVP Awards and finished second twice as well.

    With the Yankees, he won six World Series rings, hitting .361 in his postseason career. Shockingly, as great as he was, the other Yankees remaining on this list are more decorated on both ends. In fact, those that remain have at least three rings and three individual titles.

6. Jim Palmer

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    If you ask an Orioles fan who they think of when they think of winning, they'll give you Jim Palmer. The 268-game winner won three Cy Young Awards in his prime and nearly won MVP as well.

    He was also a key part of the rotation for all three of the Orioles' World Series wins. They lost a few as well, but with an 8-3 postseason record, Palmer certainly did his part winning rings.

5. Stan Musial

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    Stan Musial is definitely one of the best players in Major League Baseball history, and he is one of the most decorated as well. The first-ballot Hall of Famer has three World Series rings to his name, having earned all of them relatively early in his career.

    Musial also had three MVP wins but finished second four other times. Had things ended up slightly differently, he could have ended with five to seven MVP awards, which would have shot him up past many of the names above him.

4. Sandy Koufax

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    With the exception of a few Yankees, the biggest winner in baseball history is Sandy Koufax. The fact that he is as decorated as he is while only pitching 12 seasons makes him look even better.

    Koufax won three Cy Young Awards and was one of the few pitchers to win an MVP Award after the Cy Young was established. Not only did he win three World Series rings with the Dodgers (four if you count his rookie season of 1955), but he was also named World Series MVP twice in the process thanks to his dominance.

3. Mickey Mantle

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    When it comes to winners, the top three are naturally going to be Yankees, and starting off that pack is Mickey Mantle. The three-time MVP winner finished second three other times and was great in 18 seasons with Yankees. Naturally, he ended up a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

    Mantle also won seven World Series rings with the Yankees, though he was on the losing end of five other Yankee WS appearances.

2. Joe DiMaggio

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    Joltin' Joe DiMaggio missed some playing time due to World War II, and had he and the other Yankees been active while he was in his prime, he may have been No. 1 on the list.

    DiMaggio won three MVP awards in his career and should have won four (1937), and he was a key part of nine World Series wins for the Yankees, the second-highest total in history. Who's first?

1. Yogi Berra

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    The biggest winner in Major League Baseball history, put simply, is Yogi Berra. Berra had 18 All-Star appearances and won three MVP Awards as the Yankees' catcher, yet that is not what puts him on top.

    With the Yankees as a player, he won 10 World Series titles, more than any other player in history. He had great performances in three seasons where the Yankees lost the World Series as well, so if others had stepped it up just a bit, he could have had 13 rings, which would have made baseball's biggest winner untouchable.