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
1,927 167
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
743 2,020
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
John McEnroe age 58

3
927 2,222
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Pelé age 77

4
48 54
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
386 125
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Larry Bird age 61

6
548 461
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
17 37
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 53

8
17 25
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Johan Cruijff age 70

9
474 406
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Wayne Gretzky age 56

10
33 84
Nate Archibald is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Nate Archibald age 69

11
375 298
Lou Gehrig is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Lou Gehrig Died at 38 (1903-1941)

12
598 651
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Bill Russell age 83

13
12 23
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
292 300
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

15
303 225
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
20 58
Billy Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Billy Cunningham age 72

17
272 177
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Deion Sanders age 50

18
159 64
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added LeBron James age 33

19
383 214
Martina Navratilova is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

20
440 226
Monica Seles is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Monica Seles age 44

21
282 205
Ken Griffey, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

22
221 211
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
31 44
Mark Spitz is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Mark Spitz age 65

24
206 171
Phil Mickelson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

25
111 129
Marvelous Marvin Hagler is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

26
242 207
Ty Cobb is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Ty Cobb Died at 75 (1886-1961)

27
249 205
Sandy Koufax is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Sandy Koufax age 82

28
199 150
Randy Johnson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Randy Johnson age 54

29
120 102
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
179 153
Stan Musial is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Stan Musial Died at 93 (1920-2013)

31
4 12
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Ruud Gullit age 55

32
285 331
Rafael Nadal is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Rafael Nadal age 31

33
108 46
James Harden is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
The boys Van Allen added James Harden age 28

34
11 18
Adrian Dantley is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Adrian Dantley age 60

35
141 131
Barry Bonds is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Barry Bonds age 53

36
170 141
Reggie Jackson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

37
134 122
Manu Ginóbili is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

38
84 74
Oscar de la Hoya is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

39
14 16
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
11 16
Bob Lanier is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Bob Lanier age 69

41
153 146
Shoeless Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Shoeless Joe Jackson Died at 64 (1887-1951)

42
179 147
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Michael Vick age 37

43
110 86
Ken Stabler is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Ken Stabler age 72

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44
105 102
Warren Spahn is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Warren Spahn Died at 82 (1921-2003)

45
89 99
Phil Esposito is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Phil Esposito age 75

46
129 118
Rickey Henderson is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

47
17 15
Gail Goodrich is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Gail Goodrich age 72

48
123 118
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
15 15
Dave Cowens is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Dave Cowens age 69

50
82 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)