left handed The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time  

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List Rules 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 ordered by

1
1,386 96
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Diego Maradona age 55

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2
623 1,482
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
John McEnroe age 58

3
790 1,683
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Pelé age 77

4
35 18
Rod Laver is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Rod Laver age 79

5
21 16
Nate Archibald is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Nate Archibald age 69

6
16 10
Billy Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Billy Cunningham age 72

7
450 393
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Wayne Gretzky age 56

8
513 453
Babe Ruth is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Babe Ruth Died at 53 (1895-1948)

9
348 109
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Larry Bird age 61

10
571 642
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Bill Russell age 83

11
358 287
Lou Gehrig is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Lou Gehrig Died at 38 (1903-1941)

12
4 6
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Ferenc Puskás Died at 79 (1927-2006)

13
284 217
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Steve Young age 56

14
273 290
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

15
374 205
Martina Navratilova is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

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16
431 216
Monica Seles is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Monica Seles age 44

17
26 32
Mark Spitz is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Mark Spitz age 67

18
8 8
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Johan Cruijff age 70

19
3 3
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Marco van Basten age 53

20
208 207
Joe Frazier is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Joe Frazier Died at 67 (1944-2011)

21
107 121
Marvelous Marvin Hagler is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

22
134 56
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added LeBron James age 31

23
250 173
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Deion Sanders age 50

24
265 201
Ken Griffey, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

25
233 203
Ty Cobb is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Ty Cobb Died at 75 (1886-1961)

26
197 167
Phil Mickelson is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

27
236 203
Sandy Koufax is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Sandy Koufax age 82

28
113 97
Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Bill Walton age 65

29
185 149
Randy Johnson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Randy Johnson age 54

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30
172 149
Stan Musial is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Stan Musial Died at 93 (1920-2013)

31
93 39
James Harden is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
The boys Van Allen added James Harden age 28

32
273 328
Rafael Nadal is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Rafael Nadal age 31

33
120 118
Manu Ginóbili is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

34
159 139
Reggie Jackson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

35
9 9
Adrian Dantley is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Adrian Dantley age 60

36
133 126
Barry Bonds is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Barry Bonds age 53

37
145 144
Shoeless Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Shoeless Joe Jackson Died at 64 (1887-1951)

38
10 11
Lenny Wilkens is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Lenny Wilkens age 80

39
102 97
Warren Spahn is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Warren Spahn Died at 82 (1921-2003)

40
86 93
Phil Esposito is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Phil Esposito age 75

41
2 3
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Ruud Gullit age 55

42
7 10
Bob Lanier is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Bob Lanier age 69

43
78 71
Oscar de la Hoya is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

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44
104 84
Ken Stabler is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Ken Stabler age 72

45
166 141
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Michael Vick age 37

46
124 115
Rickey Henderson is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

47
11 10
Dave Cowens is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Dave Cowens age 69

48
120 113
Tony Gwynn is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Tony Gwynn Died at 54 (1960-2014)

49
80 83
Lefty Grove is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Lefty Grove Died at 75 (1900-1975)

50
122 132
Tim Tebow is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Tim Tebow age 30