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.

1
1,088 2,290
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Pelé age 78

2
806 2,114
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
John McEnroe age 59

3
2,046 254
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Diego Maradona age 58

4
81 117
Rod Laver is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Rod Laver age 80

5
69 72
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Johan Cruijff age 71

6
676 480
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
49 87
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Marco van Basten age 54

8
508 151
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Larry Bird age 62

9
539 424
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Wayne Gretzky age 57

10
673 663
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Bill Russell age 84

11
54 120
Nate Archibald is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Nate Archibald age 70

12
419 311
Lou Gehrig is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Lou Gehrig Died at 38 (1903-1941)

13
338 314
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

14
251 87
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added LeBron James age 34

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15
24 45
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Ferenc Puskás Died at 79 (1927-2006)

16
330 236
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Steve Young age 57

17
27 72
Billy Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Billy Cunningham age 75

18
298 186
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Deion Sanders age 51

19
313 212
Ken Griffey, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

20
397 220
Martina Navratilova is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

21
37 55
Mark Spitz is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Mark Spitz age 68

Left Handed Tennis Players

22
233 219
Joe Frazier is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Joe Frazier Died at 67 (1944-2011)

23
449 234
Monica Seles is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Monica Seles age 45

24
162 54
James Harden is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
The boys Van Allen added James Harden age 29

25
116 138
Marvelous Marvin Hagler is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

26
223 178
Phil Mickelson is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

27
258 213
Ty Cobb is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Ty Cobb Died at 75 (1886-1961)

28
214 156
Randy Johnson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Randy Johnson age 55

The Best Current NBA Left-Handed Players

29
270 210
Sandy Koufax is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Sandy Koufax age 83

30
11 16
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Ruud Gullit age 56

31
194 155
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
126 110
Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Bill Walton age 66

33
324 334
Rafael Nadal is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Rafael Nadal age 32

34
157 137
Barry Bonds is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Barry Bonds age 54

35
183 144
Reggie Jackson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

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36
14 24
Adrian Dantley is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Adrian Dantley age 63

37
18 18
Lenny Wilkens is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Lenny Wilkens age 81

38
157 125
Manu Ginóbili is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

39
166 147
Shoeless Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Shoeless Joe Jackson Died at 64 (1887-1951)

40
87 76
Oscar de la Hoya is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

41
13 18
Bob Lanier is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Bob Lanier age 70

42
197 150
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Michael Vick age 38

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43
112 102
Warren Spahn is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Warren Spahn Died at 82 (1921-2003)

44
138 118
Rickey Henderson is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

45
113 88
Ken Stabler is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Ken Stabler age 73

46
93 100
Phil Esposito is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Phil Esposito age 76

47
21 16
Gail Goodrich is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Gail Goodrich age 75

48
19 16
Dave Cowens is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Dave Cowens age 70

49
129 118
Tony Gwynn is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Tony Gwynn Died at 54 (1960-2014)

50
88 87
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)