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
1,706 124
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Diego Maradona age 57

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2
878 2,001
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Pelé age 77

3
706 1,798
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
John McEnroe age 56

4
40 36
Rod Laver is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Rod Laver age 77

5
459 396
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Wayne Gretzky age 56

6
520 455
Babe Ruth is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Babe Ruth Died at 53 (1895-1948)

7
359 111
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Larry Bird age 59

8
363 290
Lou Gehrig is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Lou Gehrig Died at 38 (1903-1941)

9
579 644
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Bill Russell age 81

10
8 12
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Ferenc Puskás Died at 79 (1927-2006)

11
281 291
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

12
8 13
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Johan Cruijff age 70

13
23 77
Nate Archibald is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Nate Archibald age 67

14
3 8
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Marco van Basten age 53

15
291 218
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Steve Young age 56

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16
17 48
Billy Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Billy Cunningham age 74

17
255 174
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Deion Sanders age 50

18
376 208
Martina Navratilova is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

19
434 219
Monica Seles is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Monica Seles age 44

20
140 57
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added LeBron James age 33

21
27 36
Mark Spitz is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Mark Spitz age 67

22
269 202
Ken Griffey, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

23
212 209
Joe Frazier is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Joe Frazier Died at 67 (1944-2011)

24
109 123
Marvelous Marvin Hagler is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

25
199 167
Phil Mickelson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

26
235 204
Ty Cobb is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Ty Cobb Died at 75 (1886-1961)

27
237 204
Sandy Koufax is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Sandy Koufax age 80

28
188 149
Randy Johnson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Randy Johnson age 54

29
115 97
Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Bill Walton age 65

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30
2 5
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Ruud Gullit age 55

31
173 150
Stan Musial is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Stan Musial Died at 93 (1920-2013)

32
9 10
Adrian Dantley is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Adrian Dantley age 62

33
279 328
Rafael Nadal is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Rafael Nadal age 31

34
97 39
James Harden is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
The boys Van Allen added James Harden age 26

35
135 127
Barry Bonds is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Barry Bonds age 53

36
10 12
Lenny Wilkens is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Lenny Wilkens age 78

37
8 11
Bob Lanier is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Bob Lanier age 69

38
161 139
Reggie Jackson is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

39
79 72
Oscar de la Hoya is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

40
121 119
Manu Ginóbili is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

41
147 144
Shoeless Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Shoeless Joe Jackson Died at 64 (1887-1951)

42
103 98
Warren Spahn is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Warren Spahn Died at 82 (1921-2003)

43
86 94
Phil Esposito is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Phil Esposito age 75

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44
169 142
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Michael Vick age 37

45
104 85
Ken Stabler is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Ken Stabler age 72

46
125 116
Rickey Henderson is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

47
13 11
Dave Cowens is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Dave Cowens age 67

48
121 115
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
13 12
Gail Goodrich is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Gail Goodrich age 72

50
81 84
Lefty Grove is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Lefty Grove Died at 75 (1900-1975)