The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time People In Sports
Ultimate List
6  reranks 7,121 votes 805 voters 39,843 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.

List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 6 ReRanks
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
</> Rerank List
Score
  1. 1
    Up 242
    Down 48

    the people's #1 &most listed
    Babe Ruth

    1895 More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 214
    Down 51
    1934 More
    93
  3. 3
    Up 172
    Down 38
    1903 More
    92
  4. 4
    Up 110
    Down 58

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Manny Pacquiáo

    1978 More
    88
  5. 5
    Up 153
    Down 54
    1940 More
    87
  6. 6
    Up 138
    Down 52
    1886 More
    85
  7. 7
    Up 146
    Down 29

    ranked low on reranks
    Wayne Gretzky

    1961 More
    83
  8. 8
    Up 116
    Down 46
    1944 More
    83
  9. 9
    Up 116
    Down 55
    1986 More
    80
  10. 10
    Up 90
    Down 42
    1887 More
    79
  11. 11
    Up 143
    Down 43

    ranked low on reranks
    Sandy Koufax

    1935 More
    79
  12. 12
    Up 98
    Down 54

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Phil Mickelson

    1970 More
    77
  13. 13
    Up 141
    Down 51
    1969 More
    77
  14. 14
    Up 129
    Down 47
    1961 More
    76
  15. 15
    Up 115
    Down 44
    1920 More
    75
  16. 16
    Up 70
    Down 44
    1954 More
    75
  17. 17
    Up 104
    Down 45
    1963 More
    72
  18. 18
    Up 95
    Down 46
    1946 More
    71
  19. 19
    Up 68
    Down 28
    1921 More
    71
  20. 20
    Up 80
    Down 39
    1958 More
    70
  21. 21
    Up 98
    Down 56
    1967 More
    69
  22. 22
    Up 45
    Down 38
    1977 More
    68
  23. 23
    Up 76
    Down 45
    1960 More
    67
  24. 24
    Up 67
    Down 38
    1956 More
    67
  25. 25
    Up 48
    Down 31
    1900 More
    65
  26. 26
    Up 56
    Down 41
    1942 More
    64
  27. 27
    Up 50
    Down 35
    1961 More
    63
  28. 28
    Up 72
    Down 62
    1964 More
    62
  29. 29
    Up 81
    Down 37

    ranked low on reranks
    John McEnroe

    1959 More
    62
  30. 30
    Up 55
    Down 33
    1944 More
    57
  31. 31
    Up 50
    Down 29
    1966 More
    57
  32. 32
    Up 48
    Down 28
    1939 More
    56
  33. 33
    Up 56
    Down 41
    1945 More
    55
  34. 34
    Up 45
    Down 34
    1909 More
    54
  35. 35
    Up 37
    Down 31
    1943 More
    53
  36. 36
    Up 41
    Down 32
    1960 More
    52
  37. 37
    Up 42
    Down 35
    1950 More
    52
  38. 38
    Up 41
    Down 34
    1903 More
    52
  39. 39
    Up 45
    Down 38
    1972 More
    52
  40. 40
    Up 50
    Down 43
    1949 More
    52
  41. 41
    Up 66
    Down 63
    1980 More
    51
  42. 42
    Up 68
    Down 37
    1952 More
    51
  43. 43
    Up 37
    Down 36
    1965 More
    51
  44. 44
    Up 36
    Down 36
    1973 More
    49
  45. 45
    Up 41
    Down 48
    1987 More
    49
  46. 46
    Up 36
    Down 40
    1949 More
    48
  47. 47
    Up 32
    Down 37
    1962 More
    48
  48. 48
    Up 19
    Down 25
    1953 More
    47
  49. 49
    Up 30
    Down 38
    1978 More
    47
  50. 50
    Up 24
    Down 32
    1961 More
    46
  51. 75 +

    Something missing? Add it!

Is this list missing something?
RANKERS WHO ADDED ITEMS

items 1 - 50 of 74

think you can do better?

Rerank This List
why?

got a blog or website?

embed this list
why?

viewers of this list also saw

more popular lists