In the pre-steroids era, when power hitters resembled actual human beings and not Marvel superheroes, few batters had the physical strength to hit the ball effectively and regularly to the opposite field. Ted Williams, one of the greatest hitters the game has ever known, never adjusted to the dramatic shifts defenses employed against him, savvy to his extreme tendency toward pulling the ball.
As players got stronger, whether through legal or illegal means, more and more players began to recognize the value of taking an extra moment before swinging at the pitch. No longer were these hitters forced to swing early so that they might pull the ball and exact sufficient power; instead, their greater strength meant they no longer had to sacrifice a chance at a powerful hit in order to gain an extra moment of decision-making.
Even as the steroids era has begun to fade away and players' bodies are a bit more proportional, this tendency to hit the ball to the opposite field has remained more common than it has generally been in the past. Some of the game's finest hitters have achieved much of their success due to their ability to hit the ball to the opposite field.
Here we rank eight of the game's finest opposite-field hitters.