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
1,119 2,342
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 78

2
811 2,180
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 59

3
2,072 308
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 58

4
749 485
Babe Ruth is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 53 (1895-1948)

5
89 172
Rod Laver is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 80

6
563 163
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 62

7
466 316
Lou Gehrig is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 38 (1903-1941)

8
78 122
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 71

9
575 457
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 57

10
695 699
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 84

11
59 132
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 54

12
62 160
Nate Archibald is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 70

13
352 343
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

14
282 120
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 34

15
344 261
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 57

16
26 74
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Died at 79 (1927-2006)

17
309 212
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 51

18
30 96
Billy Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 75

19
417 236
Martina Navratilova is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

20
297 216
Ty Cobb is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 75 (1886-1961)

21
324 241
Ken Griffey, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

22
305 218
Sandy Koufax is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 83

23
246 246
Joe Frazier is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 67 (1944-2011)

24
228 158
Stan Musial is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 93 (1920-2013)

25
460 258
Monica Seles is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 45

26
41 88
Mark Spitz is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 68

27
122 170
Marvelous Marvin Hagler is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

28
232 208
Phil Mickelson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

29
177 80
James Harden is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
The boys Van Allen added age 29

30
218 181
Randy Johnson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 55

31
198 150
Shoeless Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 64 (1887-1951)

32
336 355
Rafael Nadal is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 32

33
135 130
Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 66

34
133 104
Warren Spahn is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 82 (1921-2003)

35
14 42
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 56

36
165 135
Manu Ginóbili is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

37
191 162
Reggie Jackson is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

38
166 163
Barry Bonds is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 54

39
107 88
Lefty Grove is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 75 (1900-1975)

40
15 37
Adrian Dantley is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 63

41
20 29
Lenny Wilkens is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 81

42
92 90
Oscar de la Hoya is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

43
206 170
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 38

44
18 33
Bob Lanier is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 70

45
96 110
Phil Esposito is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 76

46
141 131
Rickey Henderson is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

47
115 100
Ken Stabler is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 73

48
66 31
Gale Sayers is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
willyboymcoy added age 75

49
132 129
Tony Gwynn is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 54 (1960-2014)

50
22 25
Gail Goodrich is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 75