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
1,111 2,299
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 78

2
809 2,133
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 59

3
2,062 265
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 58

4
87 126
Rod Laver is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 80

5
76 80
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 71

6
691 485
Babe Ruth is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 53 (1895-1948)

7
55 94
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 54

8
520 154
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 62

9
551 428
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 57

10
682 666
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 84

11
57 124
Nate Archibald is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 70

12
422 313
Lou Gehrig is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 38 (1903-1941)

13
346 318
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

14
268 94
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 34

15
25 49
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Died at 79 (1927-2006)

16
335 240
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 57

17
28 75
Billy Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 75

18
305 189
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 51

19
317 216
Ken Griffey, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

20
401 223
Martina Navratilova is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

21
39 58
Mark Spitz is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 68

22
235 222
Joe Frazier is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 67 (1944-2011)

23
451 236
Monica Seles is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 45

24
172 58
James Harden is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
The boys Van Allen added age 29

25
119 139
Marvelous Marvin Hagler is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

26
227 180
Phil Mickelson is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

27
261 215
Ty Cobb is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 75 (1886-1961)

28
276 211
Sandy Koufax is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 83

29
215 160
Randy Johnson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 55

30
12 20
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 56

31
194 158
Stan Musial is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 93 (1920-2013)

32
127 114
Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 66

33
330 335
Rafael Nadal is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 32

34
160 139
Barry Bonds is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 54

35
185 145
Reggie Jackson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

36
161 126
Manu Ginóbili is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

37
15 27
Adrian Dantley is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 63

38
92 76
Oscar de la Hoya is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

39
19 20
Lenny Wilkens is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 81

40
167 149
Shoeless Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 64 (1887-1951)

41
202 153
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 38

42
13 22
Bob Lanier is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 70

43
112 104
Warren Spahn is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 82 (1921-2003)

44
139 119
Rickey Henderson is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

45
95 101
Phil Esposito is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 76

46
115 90
Ken Stabler is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 73

47
21 17
Gail Goodrich is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 75

48
19 17
Dave Cowens is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 70

49
129 119
Tony Gwynn is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 54 (1960-2014)

50
88 88
Lefty Grove is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 75 (1900-1975)