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
1,932 191
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
763 2,030
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
John McEnroe age 58

3
953 2,231
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Pelé age 77

4
52 60
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
23 41
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Marco van Basten age 53

6
399 132
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Larry Bird age 61

7
23 30
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Johan Cruijff age 70

8
558 465
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
37 87
Nate Archibald is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Nate Archibald age 69

10
478 408
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Wayne Gretzky age 56

11
611 652
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Bill Russell age 83

12
379 300
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
14 25
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Ferenc Puskás Died at 79 (1927-2006)

14
300 300
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

15
306 226
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
275 177
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Deion Sanders age 50

17
169 66
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added LeBron James age 33

18
20 59
Billy Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Billy Cunningham age 74

19
383 215
Martina Navratilova is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

20
289 205
Ken Griffey, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

21
441 227
Monica Seles is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Monica Seles age 44

22
223 211
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
32 44
Mark Spitz is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Mark Spitz age 67

24
207 171
Phil Mickelson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

25
243 207
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
112 129
Marvelous Marvin Hagler is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

27
255 205
Sandy Koufax is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Sandy Koufax age 82

28
203 150
Randy Johnson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Randy Johnson age 54

29
120 103
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
120 46
James Harden is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
The boys Van Allen added James Harden age 28

31
180 153
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
5 12
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Ruud Gullit age 55

33
290 331
Rafael Nadal is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Rafael Nadal age 31

34
12 18
Adrian Dantley is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Adrian Dantley age 62

35
174 141
Reggie Jackson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

36
144 132
Barry Bonds is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Barry Bonds age 53

37
139 122
Manu Ginóbili is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

38
86 75
Oscar de la Hoya is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

39
14 17
Lenny Wilkens is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Lenny Wilkens age 78

40
156 146
Shoeless Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Shoeless Joe Jackson Died at 64 (1887-1951)

41
11 17
Bob Lanier is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Bob Lanier age 69

42
183 147
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Michael Vick age 37

43
107 102
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)

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44
111 87
Ken Stabler is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Ken Stabler age 72

45
131 118
Rickey Henderson is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

46
89 100
Phil Esposito is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Phil Esposito age 75

47
125 118
Tony Gwynn is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Tony Gwynn Died at 54 (1960-2014)

48
17 16
Gail Goodrich is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Gail Goodrich age 72

49
84 87
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
15 16
Dave Cowens is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Dave Cowens age 69