The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

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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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  • 8 ReRanks
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  1. 1
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    the people's #1 & most listed
    Died at 53 (1895-1948)

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    age 54

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    Died at 38 (1903-1941)

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    age 75

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    age 54

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    age 80

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    Died at 67 (1944-2011)

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    Died at 75 (1886-1961)

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  11. 11
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    age 37

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  12. 12
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    ranked low on reranks
    age 46

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  13. 13
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    age 45

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    age 48

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    age 59

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    Died at 64 (1887-1951)

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    age 52

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  18. 18
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    Died at 93 (1920-2013)

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    ranked low on reranks & added by slaft
    age 59

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    age 69

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    age 56

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    age 57

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    Died at 82 (1921-2003)

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    age 61

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  25. 25
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    Died at 54 (1960-2014)

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    age 38

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  27. 27
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    Died at 75 (1900-1975)

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    age 73

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    42

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    age 54

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    age 51

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    age 71

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    age 63

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    age 70

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    age 28

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    age 76

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    age 49

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    age 55

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    age 65

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    Died at 49 (1909-1958)

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    age 72

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    age 42

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    Died at 85 (1903-1988)

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    age 63

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  47. 47
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    - 20

    ranked low on reranks & added by The boys Van Allen
    age 26

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    - 17

    ranked low on reranks & added by slaft
    31

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  49. 49
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    age 50

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    age 53

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