50 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time

Robert Knapel@@RobertKnapel_BRCorrespondent IAugust 23, 2011

50 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time

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    Debates over who the greatest baseball players of all time are rage on between fans. Many questions are asked when it comes to these discussions.

    Do steroid use and rumors impact the rankings of players such as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens? Does the fact that Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson were banned from baseball impact their spots?

    Both of these questions and more will be answered in the following slides. The list also includes some players who were never able to play in MLB. Keep in mind that the difference between one spot is very small. Feel free to join the debate in the comments section.

Honorable Mention: Joe Morgan

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    Career Stats: .271/.392/.427, 2517 H, 268 HR, 1133 RBI, 689 SB

    Joe Morgan was a two-time NL MVP and an outstanding second baseman. He was one of the key members of Cincinnati's Big Red Machine.

    Morgan was an All-Star 10 times during his career. The Cincinnati Reds retired his number. Morgan was a great player, but he just misses out on making the list.

Honorable Mention: Cool Papa Bell

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    Cool Papa Bell is considered one of the best players to ever play in the Negro Leagues. He was a speedster who was able to round the bases at a torrid pace. There are stories that he was able to score from second base on a sacrifice bunt.

    Bell's official numbers are not known because statistics of Negro League games were not reliably kept. Bell did spend some time in the Mexican League, where he was able to win a Triple Crown.

    Photo Credit: Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Honorable Mention: Nolan Ryan

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    Career Stats: 324-292, 3.19 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 5714 K

    Nolan Ryan is best known for the fact that he is baseball's all-time strikeout leader. However, he is often considered one of the most overrated players in baseball. In fact, Ryan never even won a Cy Young Award during his career, and he is also the all-time walks leader.

    One of the reasons that Ryan was able to rack up such a high strikeout total was the fact that he had the longevity to pitch for 27 years. It is still important to note all of his accomplishments, and it is incredibly impressive that Ryan threw seven no-hitters in his career.

Honorable Mention: Mariano Rivera

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    Career Stats: 75-57, 592 SV, 2.23 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 1095 K (as of Aug. 22, 2011)

    Mariano Rivera is the greatest relief pitcher of all time. His dominance in the postseason cannot be matched, and he is a major reason why the New York Yankees were so successful in the 1990s and 2000s and continue be successful today.

    However, Rivera does not make the top 50. His contributions to the game have been very impressive, but relief pitchers simply do not have enough of an impact to crack a list that includes so many deserving players.

Honorable Mention: Hank Greenberg

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    Career Stats: .313/.412/.605, 1628 H, 331 HR, 1276 RBI

    Hank Greenberg was one of the most feared power hitters of his generation. He hit 58 home runs in 1938, which was tied for the second-highest single-season total at the time. Greenberg also had a season where he drove in 183 runners in 154 games.

    He was limited to a 13-year career because of the fact that he served in World War II.

    Greenberg made national headlines for more than just his play. He was the first Jewish superstar in baseball and was one of the few players who publicly supported Jackie Robinson joining the majors.

    Photo Credit: The Baseball Biography Project

Honorable Mention: Johnny Bench

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    Career Stats: .267/.342/.476, 2048 H, 389 HR, 1376 RBI

    Johnny Bench is one of the greatest catchers in MLB history. He is a Hall of Famer that was not only able to perform offensively, but also defensively.

    Bench was a 14-time All-Star and won 10 Gold Gloves during his career. He was also a part of two World Series-winning teams with the Cincinnati Reds.

Honorable Mention: Addie Joss

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    Career Stats: 160-97, 1.89 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 920 K

    Addie Joss could have been one of the top three pitchers of all time had his career and life not been cut short by meningitis when he was just 31 years old. Joss had spent just nine seasons in the majors, but he was absolutely dominant.

    Joss has the second-lowest career ERA in MLB history as well as the lowest WHIP in MLB history. Joss had an ERA under 2.00 five times in his career and won more than 20 games four times. In addition to this, he threw a perfect game in 1908.

    Photo Credit: Baseball Reference

50) Mike Piazza

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    Career Stats: .308/.377/.545, 2127 H, 427 HR, 1337 RBI

    Mike Piazza is the best offensive catcher in MLB history. Piazza is the all-time home run leader for MLB catchers and ranks in the top five of many other offensive categories for the position. He was also drafted in the 62nd round as a favor to his father from Tommy Lasorda.

    During his career, Piazza was the face of two different franchises, the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He never won a World Series title, and his only chance to win it was in 2000 with the Mets. Piazza won 10 Silver Sluggers during his career and was a 12-time All-Star. He will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

49) Pete Rose

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    Career Stats: .303/.375/.409, 4265 H, 160 HR, 1314 RBI, 198 SB

    Along with Nolan Ryan, Pete Rose is another player who has longevity to thank for one of his records. Rose's 4,256 hits are a major league record, and so are his 3,562 games played, 14,053 at-bats and 10,328 outs.

    Over the course of his career, Rose played in 17 All-Star games. He also won the 1973 NL MVP award. Additionally, he won a Silver Slugger and two Gold Gloves.

    Rose is not in the Hall of Fame because he bet on baseball. Fans are split about if he should be reinstated by MLB.

48) Cal Ripken Jr.

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    Career Stats: .276/.340/.447, 3184 H, 431 HR, 1695 RBI

    Cal Ripken Jr. is one of the greatest infielders to ever play the game of baseball. He is most well known for the fact that he holds the record for consecutive games played with 2,632.

    Ripken is a Baltimore Orioles legend and spent all 21 years of his career with the team. The powerful shortstop and third baseman was an All-Star 19 times during his career and is also a member of the 3,000-hit club.

47) George Sisler

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    Career Stats: .340/.379/.468, 2812 H, 164 3B, 102 HR, 1175 RBI, 375 SB

    George Sisler managed to hit over .400 twice in his career. In the 1920 season, Sisler batted .407 and set an MLB record with 257 hits. That record stood until it was broken by Ichiro Suzuki. Two years later, Sisler managed to bat .420.

    In 1922, Sisler put together an outstanding season and won the American League MVP award. He also managed to string together a 41-game hit streak during that season. He led the AL in stolen bases four times during his career.

    Photo Credit: Baseball Reference

46) Bob Gibson

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    Career Stats: 251-174, 2.91 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 3117 K

    Bob Gibson is one of the few outstanding players who were selected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. Gibson earned this honor thanks to his impressive career.

    Gibson won two Cy Young awards and one MVP during his career. In 1968, Gibson had a 1.12 ERA. He was not only dominant in the regular season, but also in the playoffs. He had one of the best starts in World Series history, when he struck out 17 batters in a shutout.

    Over the course of his career, Gibson also managed to win nine Gold Gloves and appeared in nine All-Star games.

    Photo Credit: ESPN

45) Lefty Grove

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    Career Stats: 300-141, 55 SV, 3.06 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 2266 K

    For starting pitchers, membership in the 300-win club is the one of the most desirable accomplishments they can achieve. Lefty Grove's career ended just after he became a member.

    Twice in his career, Grove managed to win the pitching Triple Crown. He won it once in 1931, when he won 31 games, had a 2.06 ERA and struck out 175. Grove won the AL MVP award that season.

    Grove won two World Series titles as a member of the Philadelphia Athletics and has a very impressive playoff record.

    Photo Credit: Son of Sam Horn

44) Tony Gwynn

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    Career Stats: .338/.388/.459, 3141 H, 85 3B, 135 HR, 1138 RBI, 319 SB

    Tony Gwynn received votes from 532 out of 545 writers when he was first eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2007. He is one of the best hitters in baseball history.

    Gwynn never batted lower than .309 in a full season during his career. He also only struck out 434 times in 9,288 career at-bats.

    The eight-time NL batting leader flirted with hitting .400 in 1994 but fell just short, as he ended the strike-shortened season with a .394 batting average. Gwynn was a 15-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glover and won seven Silver Sluggers.

43) Albert Pujols

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    Career Stats: .328/.421/.619, 2029 H, 439 HR, 1307 RBI

    Albert Pujols has already broken into the top 50 after just 11 seasons in MLB.  Pujols could continue to rapidly rise up this list, as he is still in the prime of his career.

    He has already won three MVP awards as well as a Rookie of the Year award. Pujols has been one of the best players that the game has seen in the 21st century. He has won six Silver Sluggers and two Gold Gloves.

42) Eddie Mathews

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    Career Stats: .271/.376/.509, 2315 H, 512 HR, 1454 RBI

    As a 20-year-old, it was clear that Eddie Mathews was going to be a special player. In his first season, Mathews hit 25 home runs. The third baseman quickly established himself as a power hitter.

    Mathews would go on to become a member of baseball's exclusive 500 home run club. He appeared in 12 All-Star games during his career. Mathews had his No. 41 retired by the Atlanta Braves.

    Photo Credit: NNDB

41) Cap Anson

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    Career Stats: .334/.394/.447, 3435 H, 142 3B, 97 HR, 2075 RBI, 277 SB

    Cap Anson began his career when the National Association was the major league at the time. He became a member of the Chicago Cubs once the National League was recognized as the majors.

    Anson was one of the first players in baseball history to be considered a superstar. He impressed with his ability to get on base. Anson actually became the first player in MLB history to reach 3,000 hits in his career.

    Photo Credit: Baseball Reference

40) Greg Maddux

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    Career Stats: 355-227, 3.16 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 3371 K

    Greg Maddux was one of the best pitchers of the second half of the 20th century. He did not have overpowering stuff, but he was able to get batters out.

    Maddux was the first pitcher to win four consecutive Cy Young awards when he won the award every year from 1992 to 1995. He also is the only pitcher who has won 15 or more games for 17 consecutive years.

    He is also considered one of the best defensive pitchers of all time. Maddux won 18 Gold Gloves during his career.

39) Jimmie Foxx

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    Career Stats: .325/.428/.609, 2646 H, 125 3B, 534 HR, 1922 RBI

    Jimmie Foxx played his first major league game at the age of 17. As he got older, Foxx's power developed, and he emerged as one of the game's most feared power hitters in the 1930s.

    Foxx led the American League in home runs four times during his career and had a career-high 58 long balls during the 1932 season. He is a member of the 500 home run club. During his career, Foxx won three MVP awards and was selected to play in nine All-Star games.

    Photo Credit: The Baseball Biography Project

38) Kid Nichols

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    Career Stats: 361-208, 2.96 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 1881 K

    In just 17 seasons, Kid Nichols managed to rack up 361 career wins. That total is the seventh-highest amount of all time. He reached the 300-win plateau when he was just 30 years old and is the youngest player to reach that mark.

    Nichols won the National League pennant five times as a member of the Boston Beaneaters. For 10 consecutive years (1890-1899), Nichols won more than 20 games in a season.

    Photo Credit: Baseball Reference

37) Nap Lajoie

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    Career Stats: .338/.380/.466, 3242 H, 163 3B, 82 HR, 1599 RBI, 380 SB

    Nap Lajoie was one of the early superstars of the American League. Lajoie was one of the best hitters that the game has ever seen.

    Lajoie had the best season of his career in 1901 when he won the Triple Crown. He hit .426 with 14 home runs and 125 RBI. Lajoie would go on to lead the American League in batting average four other times during his career.

    Photo Credit: Baseball Reference

36) Sadaharu Oh

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    Career Stats: .301/.445/.634, 2786 H, 868 HR, 2170 RBI

    762. The number is well known by baseball fans for being the all-time home run record. Truth is, that is not actually the case. While 762 is the record for MLB, Sadaharu Oh holds the world home run record. He hit 868 home runs during his career in Japan.

    Oh was a nine-time winner of the Central League MVP award. Oh is also near the top of the record books for many other statistics in the Central League.

35) Alex Rodriguez

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    Career Stats: .302/.386/.568, 2762 H, 626 HR, 1883 RBI, 305 SB (as of Aug. 22, 2011)

    Alex Rodriguez has the potential to move much further up this list by the time his career is complete. He played his first major league game at age 18, and by the time he was 20, he was already a star.

    Rodriguez was the youngest player to reach the 600 home run plateau. He has had 14 seasons in which he has eclipsed the 100 RBI mark. Rodriguez has a chance to break Barry Bonds' career home run record.

34) Shoeless Joe Jackson

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    Career Stats: .356/.423/.517, 1772 H, 168 3B, 54 HR, 785 RBI, 202 SB

    Shoeless Joe Jackson had his career cut short because of his alleged participation in the 1919 Black Sox Scandal. In recent years, much doubt has been cast on his role in this event, and evidence has come out that Jackson may be innocent.

    During his playing career, Jackson was both an outstanding hitter and fielder. He has the third-highest career batting average in MLB history. In his rookie season, Jackson managed to hit .408.

    Photo Credit: Baseball Reference

33) Frank Robinson

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    Career Stats: .294/.389/.537, 2943 H, 586 HR, 1812 RBI, 204 SB

    Frank Robinson holds the distinction of being the only player to win an MVP award in both the American League and the National League. Robinson even challenged for the MVP award in his rookie season, when he finished seventh. He would win the NL Rookie of the Year award after hitting .290 with 38 home runs.

    In 1966, Robinson won the AL Triple Crown. Throughout his career, Robinson appeared in 14 All-Star games. He had his number retired by both the Baltimore Orioles and the Cincinnati Reds.

32) Mike Schmidt

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    Career Stats: .267/.380/.527, 2234 H, 548 HR, 1595 RBI, 174 SB

    Mike Schmidt is one of the greatest third basemen in the history of baseball. He was able to produce with the bat and had an outstanding glove.

    During his career, Schmidt was able to hit more than 30 home runs 13 times. He was a 12-time All-Star and won three MVP awards. Schmidt won 10 Gold Gloves and six Silver Sluggers.

    One of the crowning achievements of Schmidt's career has to be his World Series MVP award in 1980.

31) Jackie Robinson

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    Career Stats: .311/.409/.474, 1518 H, 137 HR, 734 RBI, 197 SB

    Jackie Robinson is most famous for being the player that broke MLB's color barrier. He played one season in the Negro Leagues before he was signed to play in the majors.

    Robinson immediately impressed when he reached the majors. He won the Rookie of the Year award in 1947, and two years later, in 1949, Robinson was the NL MVP. Robinson appeared in five All-Star games and impressed with his power and speed.

    Photo Credit: Portland State University

30) Grover Alexander

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    Career Stats: 373-208, 2.56 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 2198 K

    Grover Alexander broke onto the scene by setting the modern-era record for wins as a rookie when he won 28 games in 1911. Alexander continued his dominance for years.

    Alexander would lead the National League in wins six times during his career. He also was the NL ERA leader four times during his career. Alexander won at least 30 games for three consecutive years from 1915 to 1917.

    Photo Credit: Baseball Reference

29) Pedro Martinez

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    Career Stats: 219-100, 2.93 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 3154 K

    Pedro Martinez was one of the most dominant pitchers of the modern era. In 2000, Martinez had what was arguable one of the best seasons put together by a pitcher in baseball history.

    For a seven-year period from 1997 until 2003, Pedro Martinez was the best pitcher in baseball. He won three Cy Youngs over that period and placed second twice and third once. Martinez was also an eight-time All-Star.

28) Tom Seaver

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    Career Stats: 311-205, 2.86 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 3640 K

    Tom Seaver received the highest percentage of votes (98.8) of any player that has been elected to the Hall of Fame. He was one of the best pitchers of the 1970s. Seaver also played an instrumental part in the New York Mets' 1969 World Series championship.

    Seaver won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 1968. He would go on to win three Cy Young awards during his career. In 1978, Seaver threw a no-hitter. He was a 12-time All-Star.

    Photo Credit: Britannica

27) Mel Ott

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    Career Stats: .304/.414/.533, 2876 H, 511 HR, 1860 RBI

    Mel Ott made his debut for the New York Giants at age 17. He would begin to show off the tools that made him one of the best players in MLB history.

    Ott surprised many with his power because of his small stature. He also had outstanding patience and walked almost twice as much as he struck out. Ott had eight consecutive seasons of 100-plus RBI during his career.

    During his career, Ott was selected to play in the All-Star game 12 times. He had his number retired by the San Francisco Giants.

    Photo Credit: Bush Library

26) Mickey Mantle

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    Career Stats: .298/.421/.557, 2415 H, 536 HR, 1509 RBI, 153 SB

    Mickey Mantle is widely regarded as one of the best switch-hitters in MLB history. One of the most impressive things about Mantle's career is the fact that he was selected to the All-Star game in every season after his rookie year.

    In 1956, Mantle won the American League Triple Crown. He was awarded his first of three MVP awards following that season. The New York Yankees legend had his number retired by the team.

    Photo Credit: Notable Biographies

25) Roberto Clemente

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    Career Stats: .317/.359/.475, 3000 H, 166 3B, 240 HR, 1305 RBI

    Roberto Clemente saw his career and life end too soon when he tragically passed away in a plane accident while trying to deliver relief to Nicaraguan earthquake victims.

    Clemente awed fans with his tremendous talent. He had one of the best arms in MLB history and could make throws that no one else could. Clemente was also incredibly gifted at the plate and was a feared hitter.

    During his career, Clemente was selected to play in 12 All-Star games. He also won 12 Gold Gloves. In 1966, Clemente was the National League MVP.

    Photo Credit: Puerto Rico Herald

24) Roger Clemens

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    Career Stats: 354-184, 3.12 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 4672 K

    There are many questions surrounding steroids and Roger Clemens' career. Many of these questions have yet to be answered, but they have had an impact on Clemens' legacy.

    One thing that is known is that Clemens put up outstanding numbers when he was on the mound. He won seven Cy Young awards during his career and also twice won the pitching Triple Crown. Clemens led the American League in wins four times and in ERA six times.

23) Eddie Collins

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    Career Stats: .333/.424/.429, 3315 H, 187 3B, 47 HR, 1300 RBI, 741 SB

    Eddie Collins does not receive all of the credit that he deserves because he does not have big power numbers. However, Collins is one of the greatest second basemen in baseball history.

    Collins was a speedster. He ranks sixth all-time in career stolen bases. He also had no problem getting on base during his career. Defensively, Collins was very solid.

    In 1914, Collins managed to win the AL MVP award.

    Photo Credit: Baseball Reference

22) Satchel Paige

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    Career (MLB) Stats: 28-31, 32 SV, 3.29 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 288 K

    Satchel Paige was not able to play in the major leagues until he was 41 years old because of the fact that he was African-American. He was only able to pitch for five seasons in the majors before he retired. He then un-retired at age 58 and threw three shutout innings. Before he played in the majors, Paige was dominating the Negro Leagues.

    Many of the batters that he faced have said Paige was the best pitcher they have ever faced. Because Negro League statistics were not reliably kept, it is unknown what Paige's career totals are.

    Photo Credit: Magical Baseball

21) Stan Musial

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    Career Stats: .331/.417/.559, 3630 H, 177 3B, 475 HR, 1951 RBI

    Stan Musial is a St. Louis Cardinals and MLB legend. He is one of the best players to ever step foot on a baseball diamond. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest hitters ever.

    Musial was selected to an All-Star game for an astounding 20 consecutive seasons. During his career, Musial won three NL MVP awards and finished in the top three another four times. He also helped lead the Cardinals to three World Series titles.

    Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated

20) Randy Johnson

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    Career Statistics: 303-166, 3.29 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 4875 K

    Randy Johnson is one of the greatest, and tallest, pitchers to ever step on the mound. Johnson was able to get his massive frame behind his pitches and generate one of the most dominant fastballs in baseball history.

    Johnson manged to pitch successfully until he was 45 years old. He finished his career second all-time in strikeouts, but it was not all because of his longevity. Johnson actually has the highest K/9 rate of any starting pitcher in MLB history.

    During his career, Johnson threw a perfect game as well as a no-hitter. He won four Cy Young awards in the National League as well as one in the American League.

19) Rogers Hornsby

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    Career Stats: .358/.434/.577, 2930 H, 169 3B, 301 HR, 1584 RBI, 135 SB

    Rogers Hornsby is the greatest second baseman in the history of baseball. He could not only hit for average, but also for power. Opposing pitchers were afraid to face Hornsby.

    Hornsby hit over .400 in three different seasons during his career, including a career high of .424 in 1924. He led the National League in batting average seven times. His .358 career batting average is the second-highest total in MLB history. Hornsby also won the NL Triple Crown twice.

    Twice in his career, Hornsby was named the National League MVP. He led the St. Louis Cardinals to a World Series title in 1926.

    Photo Credit: NNDB

18) Ichiro Suzuki

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    Career (Japan and US) Stats: .323 AVG, 3660 H, 210 HR, 1116 RBI, 612 SB

    Ichiro accomplished the incredibly impressive feat of winning the AL Rookie of the Year award as well as the AL MVP award in the same season. For the first 10 years of his MLB career, Ichiro won a Gold Glove and appeared in an All-Star game.

    Ichiro began his career with 10 consecutive years of 200-plus hits. If you combine Ichrio's hit totals from both Japan and the United States, he has a chance to become baseball's all-time hits leader.

17) Rickey Henderson

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    Career Stats: .279/.401/.419, 2295 R, 3055 H, 297 HR, 1115 RBI, 1406 SB

    From his tremendous baseball abilities to referring to himself in third person, it was all just Rickey being Rickey. Widely regarded as the best leadoff hitter in baseball history, Rickey Henderson was an incredibly exciting player to watch.

    Henderson holds the MLB record for stolen bases in a career. He is also the single-season record holder. Henderson also scored the most runs in MLB history.

    In 1990, Henderson was named the AL MVP. He was selected to 10 All-Star games during his career. Henderson also won three Silver Sluggers.

16) Joe DiMaggio

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    Career Stats: .325/.398/.579, 2214 H, 131 3B, 361 HR, 1537 RBI

    Joe DiMaggio's name is brought up whenever a player has a hitting streak that breaks at least 25 games. Of course, DiMaggio is most famous for his 56-game hitting streak.

    DiMaggio missed out on a good part of his career because he was enlisted during World War II. He did play in an All-Star game each of the 13 seasons that he was in the majors. DiMaggio won three MVP awards during his Hall of Fame career.

    Photo Credit: Joe DiMaggio Biography

15) Sandy Koufax

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    Career Stats: 165-87, 2.76 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 2396 K

    Sandy Koufax had his career cut short at age 30 because his arthritis had become too unbearable for him to pitch any longer. He retired right in what was the prime of an incredibly dominant career.

    Koufax retired after the best season of his career. What is most impressive about his 1966 season, in which he won the NL Triple Crown after going 27-9 with a 1.73 ERA and 317 strikeouts, is the fact that he put up these numbers while pitching in pain.

    During his career, Koufax won three Cy Young awards and one MVP award. He finished in second place of the MVP voting twice. Koufax threw four no-hitters, including a perfect game, during his short career.

    Photo Credit: Topps

14) Ken Griffey Jr.

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    Career Stats: .284/.370/.538, 2781 H, 630 HR, 1836 RBI, 184 SB

    Ken Griffey Jr. had the potential to be the greatest player in baseball history. However, injuries interrupted parts of Griffey Jr.'s career and did not allow him to reach his potential. Junior still managed to have a phenomenal career.

    He was not only an outstanding talent with his bat, but also with his glove. Griffey Jr. won 10 Gold Gloves in his career in addition to his seven Silver Sluggers. Griffey Jr. also managed to appear in 13 All-Star games during his career. His 630 career home runs are fifth all-time.

13) Tris Speaker

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    Career Stats: .345/.428/.500, 3514 H, 792 2B, 222 3B, 117 HR, 1529 RBI, 436 SB

    Tris Speaker is known as one of the best defensive center fielders in MLB history. Speaker is also known for his fantastic offensive presence.

    Speaker was a doubles machine during his career. He is the MLB record holder for career doubles as well as the leader for outfield assists. Speaker came close to hitting .400 during a season in his career five times. He was the AL MVP in 1912.

    Photo Credit: Baseball Reference

12) Christy Mathewson

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    Career Stats: 373-188, 2.13 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 2507 K

    Christy Mathewson was one of the most dominant pitchers in MLB history. He was also one of the first five players that were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

    Mathewson ranks third all-time in wins, eighth in ERA, fifth in WHIP and third in shutouts. During his career, Mathewson won at least 20 games 13 times and at least 30 games four times. Twice during his career, Mathewson won the NL Triple Crown.

    Photo Credit: The Baseball Biography Project

11) Honus Wagner

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    Career Stats: .328/.391/.467, 3420 H, 252 3B, 101 HR, 1733 RBI, 723 SB

    Considered by many baseball historians to be the greatest shortstop in MLB history, Honus Wagner was one of the first five players inducted into Cooperstown.

    Wagner was a major threat to pitchers every time that he stepped to the plate. He led the National League in batting average eight times, slugging percentage six times and RBI five times. He also won five NL stolen base titles. Wagner was also revered for his play in the field.

    Photo Credit: Honus-Wagner.org

10) Cy Young

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    Career Stats: 511-316, 2.63 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 2803 K

    Although he has pitching's most famous award named after him, Cy Young is not the best pitcher in MLB history, although he is close. Cy Young does hold many of the game's pitching records.

    Young is the all-time leader in wins, losses, innings pitched, starts and complete games. He threw three no-hitters during his career, including a perfect game. Young won at least 30 games five times during his career.

    Photo Credit: The Baseball Biography Project

9) Hank Aaron

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    Career Stats: .305/.374/.555, 3771 H, 98 3B, 755 HR, 2297 RBI, 240 SB

    Hank Aaron was incredibly consistent during his 23-year major league career. He is known for holding the MLB career home record for years until it was broken by Barry Bonds.

    Aaron still holds the records for RBI in a career as well as extra-base hits in a career. Aaron was an All-Star in 21 different seasons. He won three Gold Gloves during his career. Aaron only won one MVP award despite having a number of impressive seasons. He was almost always in the top 10 of the MVP voting.

8) Lou Gehrig

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    Career Stats: .340/.447/.632, 2721 H, 493 HR, 1995 RBI, 102 SB

    Lou Gehrig saw his career cut short because of ALS. He is considered the greatest first baseman in MLB history by many. When he retired, Gehrig gave what is one of the most famous speeches in baseball history.

    Gehrig served as the New York Yankees captain for part of his career. He won six World Series titles and seven MVP awards. A feared hitter, Gehrig led the AL in RBI six times and in home runs three times. His offensive talents landed him two AL MVP awards.

    Photo Credit: ALS Association

7) Willie Mays

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    Career Stats: .302/.384/.557, 3283 H, 660 HR, 1903 RBI, 338 SB

    Willie Mays was one of the most feared sluggers of his generation. The Say Hey Kid was also one of the best defensive center fielders of all time.

    Despite the fact that the Gold Glove was not awarded until the sixth year of his career, Mays managed to win 12 of the awards. Mays burst into the majors with a 20 home run campaign in 1951 and won the Rookie of the Year award. During his career, he won two MVP awards. Mays was also an All-Star in 20 different seasons.

    Photo Credit: My Hero

6) Josh Gibson

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    Josh Gibson is undoubtedly the best player who never got a chance to play in MLB. He passed away at age 35, just months before Jackie Robinson broke the MLB color barrier. Gibson played in the Negro Leagues, and unfortunately, his exact statistics are not known.

    On his Hall of Fame plaque, it says that Gibson hit nearly 800 home runs during his career. Gibson not only hit for power, but also for average. Satchel Paige called him "the greatest hitter that has ever lived." It is incredibly unfortunate that Gibson never got to appear in the majors.

    Photo Credit: ESPN

5) Walter Johnson

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    Career Stats: 417-279, 2.17 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 3509 K

    Walter Johnson is widely regarded as the best pitcher in MLB history. He was able to dominant hitters consistently throughout his 21-year career.

    The Washington Senators great won at least 20 games 12 times during his career. Johnson also led the National League in strikeouts in 12 different season. He is second on the all-time wins list and is the MLB leader in shutouts (110). Johnson won the MVP award twice during his illustrious career.

    Photo Credit: The Baseball Biography Project

4) Barry Bonds

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    Career Stats: .298/.404/.607, 2935 H, 762 HR, 1996 RBI, 514 SB

    Barry Bonds holds both the career and single-season home run records, which many believe are tainted because of his connections to steroids. Bonds' performance on the field warrants his ranking even with everything that he has been accused of.

    Bonds is a 14-time All-Star that has won eight Gold Gloves and 12 Silver Sluggers during his career. Bonds also has won an impressive seven NL MVP awards. He was so feared as a hitter that he holds the career record for both walks and intentional walks. Bonds is the only member of the 500 home runs, 500 stolen bases club.

3) Ted Williams

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    Career Stats: .344/.482/.634, 2654 H, 521 HR, 1839 RBI

    Ted Williams had an incredibly impressive career and lost a few years in his prime because of World War II. He is one of the best pure hitters in baseball history. Williams also has one of the most unbelievable performances in the history of baseball.

    Williams was the last player to bat over .400 in a season. The two-time AL MVP won the AL batting title six times. In addition to this, he also won the Triple Crown twice in his career. Williams has the highest on-base percentage in baseball history. He was selected to the All-Star game 19 times during his career.

    Photo Credit: MLB

2) Ty Cobb

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    Career Stats: .366/.433/.512, 4189 H, 295 3B, 117 HR, 1938 RBI, 897 SB

    Ty Cobb was known for his fiery personality just as much as his outstanding play. Cobb was the best player that baseball had seen in the the early parts of the modern era.

    Cobb won 12 batting titles during his career and has the highest batting average in baseball history. He never batted under .320 during his career. Cobb is second all-time in both hits and runs scored and is also third all-time in stolen bases. He stole home an incredible 54 times during his career.

    Photo Credit: Baseball Reference

1) Babe Ruth

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    Career Stats: .342/.474/.690, 2873 H, 136 3B, 714 HR, 2213 RBI, 123 SB

    The New York Yankees great is the best player that has ever stepped foot on a baseball diamond. While many other rankings may have been close, Ruth holds the No. 1 spot by a fairly significant margin.

    Babe Ruth impacted the game in so many different ways. He was not only a dominant hitter but also an outstanding pitcher.

    The Sultan of Swat led the American League in home runs an incredible 12 times during his career. He also won six AL RBI titles. Ruth won more than 20 games twice in his career and led the American League in ERA in 1916.

    Ruth is the career leader in both slugging percentage and OPS. Ruth's dominance is apparent from his numerous appearances in the top 10 of many categories in the record books.

    Photo Credit: The Baseball Biography Project