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
1,943 213
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Diego Maradona age 58

2
985 2,239
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Pelé age 78

3
774 2,040
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
John McEnroe age 59

4
57 69
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
28 50
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 54

6
30 37
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Johan Cruijff age 71

7
581 470
Babe Ruth is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Babe Ruth Died at 53 (1895-1948)

8
425 137
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
499 412
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Wayne Gretzky age 57

10
41 95
Nate Archibald is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Nate Archibald age 70

11
629 654
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Bill Russell age 84

12
389 301
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
313 303
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

14
15 28
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Ferenc Puskás Died at 79 (1927-2006)

Left Handed Football Players

15
315 228
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Steve Young age 57

16
188 72
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added LeBron James age 34

17
282 179
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Deion Sanders age 51

18
21 62
Billy Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Billy Cunningham age 75

19
384 217
Martina Navratilova is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

20
296 207
Ken Griffey, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

21
444 229
Monica Seles is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Monica Seles age 45

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22
226 214
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
33 47
Mark Spitz is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Mark Spitz age 68

24
213 172
Phil Mickelson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

25
249 208
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
259 207
Sandy Koufax is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Sandy Koufax age 83

27
113 132
Marvelous Marvin Hagler is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

28
208 151
Randy Johnson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Randy Johnson age 55

Famous Left Handed Boxers

29
137 48
James Harden is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
The boys Van Allen added James Harden age 29

30
121 105
Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Bill Walton age 66

31
187 153
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
6 13
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Ruud Gullit age 56

33
296 331
Rafael Nadal is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Rafael Nadal age 32

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 63

35
145 123
Manu Ginóbili is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

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36
177 141
Reggie Jackson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

37
145 134
Barry Bonds is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Barry Bonds age 54

38
15 17
Lenny Wilkens is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Lenny Wilkens age 81

39
86 76
Oscar de la Hoya is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

40
159 146
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
12 17
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
188 147
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
109 102
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
112 87
Ken Stabler is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Ken Stabler age 73

45
135 118
Rickey Henderson is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

46
90 100
Phil Esposito is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Phil Esposito age 76

47
19 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
127 118
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
86 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
16 16
Dave Cowens is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Dave Cowens age 70