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
+ - 654 1,234
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Pelé age 77

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2
+ - 924 53
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

3
+ - 498 1,031
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
John McEnroe age 58

4
+ - 507 443
Babe Ruth is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Babe Ruth Died at 53 (1895-1948)

5
+ - 565 638
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Bill Russell age 83

6
+ - 445 391
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Wayne Gretzky age 56

7
+ - 357 285
Lou Gehrig is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Lou Gehrig Died at 38 (1903-1941)

8
+ - 25 31
Mark Spitz is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Mark Spitz age 67

9
+ - 281 216
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Steve Young age 56

10
+ - 107 121
Marvelous Marvin Hagler is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

11
+ - 343 105
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Larry Bird age 61

12
+ - 374 204
Martina Navratilova is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

13
+ - 271 290
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

14
+ - 431 214
Monica Seles is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Monica Seles age 44

15
+ - 232 203
Ty Cobb is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Ty Cobb Died at 75 (1886-1961)

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16
+ - 245 173
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Deion Sanders age 50

17
+ - 264 201
Ken Griffey, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

18
+ - 207 207
Joe Frazier is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Joe Frazier Died at 67 (1944-2011)

19
+ - 196 167
Phil Mickelson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

20
+ - 129 54
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
LeBron James age 31

21
+ - 235 203
Sandy Koufax is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Sandy Koufax age 82

22
+ - 112 97
Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Bill Walton age 65

23
+ - 184 149
Randy Johnson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Randy Johnson age 54

24
+ - 16 15
Nate Archibald is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

25
+ - 269 327
Rafael Nadal is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Rafael Nadal age 31

26
+ - 118 118
Manu Ginóbili is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

27
+ - 17 14
Rod Laver is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Rod Laver age 79

28
+ - 171 148
Stan Musial is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Stan Musial Died at 93 (1920-2013)

29
+ - 132 125
Barry Bonds is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Barry Bonds age 53

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30
+ - 145 144
Shoeless Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Shoeless Joe Jackson Died at 64 (1887-1951)

31
+ - 158 139
Reggie Jackson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

32
+ - 91 38
James Harden is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
James Harden age 28

33
+ - 3 6
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Ferenc Puskás Died at 79 (1927-2006)

34
+ - 101 83
Ken Stabler is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Ken Stabler age 72

35
+ - 162 140
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Michael Vick age 37

36
+ - 14 10
Billy Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

37
+ - 79 83
Lefty Grove is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Lefty Grove Died at 75 (1900-1975)

38
+ - 86 93
Phil Esposito is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Phil Esposito age 75

39
+ - 123 114
Rickey Henderson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

40
+ - 119 113
Tony Gwynn is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Tony Gwynn Died at 54 (1960-2014)

41
+ - 101 97
Warren Spahn is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Warren Spahn Died at 82 (1921-2003)

42
+ - 80 80
Don Mattingly is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Don Mattingly age 54

43
+ - 122 130
Tim Tebow is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Tim Tebow age 30

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44
+ - 45 21
Gale Sayers is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Gale Sayers age 74

45
+ - 89 82
Steve Carlton is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Steve Carlton age 73

46
+ - 78 71
Oscar de la Hoya is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

47
+ - 7 8
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Johan Cruijff age 70

48
+ - 61 66
Fernando Valenzuela is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

49
+ - 73 68
Lou Brock is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Lou Brock age 78

50
+ - 75 71
Tom Glavine is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Tom Glavine age 49