The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time People In Sports
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6  reranks 6,903 votes 779 voters 34,618 views more info

The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

List Criteria: List includes all professional and college athletes, all competitive sports, men and women

The greatest left-handed athletes of all time are some of the greatest men and women to ever play baseball, basketball, football, hockey, tennis, and many other sports. These talented athletes dominated their respective sports all while being in a minority, as a left-handed person. These athletes are not by any means all of the left-handed athletes but simply the best of the left-handed sports players ever. But which athlete is best? Tell us which left-handed athlete you think was the best ever by voting, re-ranking, and adding your favorites below!

While all sports will see their share of left-handed athletes, the hand orientation will affect some athletes more than others. Being left handed is something you might not notice for hockey players, such as Terry Sawchuk and Phil Esposito, basketball players, like Larry Bird and Bill Russell, or soccer players, like the great Pele, who often use both hands – or feet – regularly while playing the sport.

For other sports, it's clearer when athletes use their dominant hands. Baseball has, what might, be the highest percentage of left-handed athletes of all major sports, and they are easy to spot when one takes the mound or lines up to hit. Babe Ruth is perhaps the best left-handed athlete ever but is joined by many other legendary baseball lefties, such as Ty Cobb, Shoeless Joe Jackson, and Barry Bonds.

Tennis, boxing, and golf are other sports that allow southpaws shine. It's easy to spot left-handed tennis players like Monica Seles and John McEnroe, boxers like Oscar de la Hoya, and golfers like the great Phil Mickelson.

Left-handed people may make up only around 10% of the population but they're some of the top athletes of all time. We'll never know if Deion Sanders would have seen the success he did had he been right handed or if Rafael Nadal would have ever become the King of Clay as a righty, but these talented athletes all persevered through their disadvantages to become legends, and we have nothing but respect for them for that. 

Who are some of the greatest left handed athletes? Take a look here and you'll see for yourself.

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List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 6 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    Up 237
    Down 44

    the people's #1 &most listed
    Babe Ruth

    1895 More
    100
  2. 2
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    1934 More
    93
  3. 3
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    1903 More
    92
  4. 4
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Manny Pacquiáo

    1978 More
    88
  5. 5
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    1886 More
    86
  6. 6
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    1940 More
    86
  7. 7
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    1944 More
    83
  8. 8
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    ranked low on reranks
    Wayne Gretzky

    1961 More
    83
  9. 9
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    1887 More
    80
  10. 10
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    1986 More
    79
  11. 11
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    ranked low on reranks
    Sandy Koufax

    1935 More
    79
  12. 12
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Phil Mickelson

    1970 More
    77
  13. 13
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    1969 More
    76
  14. 14
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    1961 More
    76
  15. 15
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    1920 More
    76
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    1954 More
    75
  17. 17
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    1963 More
    72
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    70
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    1967 More
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    1956 More
    66
  25. 25
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    1900 More
    64
  26. 26
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    1942 More
    63
  27. 27
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    1961 More
    63
  28. 28
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    1964 More
    62
  29. 29
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    ranked low on reranks
    John McEnroe

    1959 More
    61
  30. 30
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    1944 More
    57
  31. 31
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    1939 More
    56
  32. 32
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    1966 More
    56
  33. 33
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    1945 More
    55
  34. 34
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    1909 More
    54
  35. 35
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    1943 More
    53
  36. 36
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    1950 More
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  37. 37
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    1903 More
    52
  38. 38
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    1960 More
    52
  39. 39
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    1972 More
    52
  40. 40
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    1949 More
    51
  41. 41
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    1980 More
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  42. 42
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    1965 More
    51
  43. 43
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    1952 More
    50
  44. 44
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    1973 More
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  45. 45
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    1949 More
    49
  46. 46
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    1962 More
    48
  47. 47
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    1987 More
    47
  48. 48
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    1978 More
    47
  49. 49
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    1953 More
    46
  50. 50
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    1929 More
    46
  51. 75 +

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