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
1,134 2,425
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 78

2
818 2,267
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 59

3
843 489
Babe Ruth is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 53 (1895-1948)

4
2,081 393
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 58

5
543 322
Lou Gehrig is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 38 (1903-1941)

6
92 253
Rod Laver is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 80

7
612 200
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 62

8
720 757
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 84

9
603 510
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 57

10
84 198
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 71

11
63 210
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 54

12
68 236
Nate Archibald is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 70

13
371 219
Ty Cobb is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 75 (1886-1961)

14
357 416
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

15
301 161
Stan Musial is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 93 (1920-2013)

16
48 148
Billy Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 75

17
475 261
Martina Navratilova is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

18
360 324
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 57

19
271 154
Shoeless Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 64 (1887-1951)

20
197 142
Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 66

21
203 106
Warren Spahn is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 82 (1921-2003)

22
298 192
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 34

23
274 296
Joe Frazier is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 67 (1944-2011)

24
339 261
Sandy Koufax is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 83

25
509 283
Monica Seles is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 45

26
326 311
Ken Griffey, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

27
312 283
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 51

28
166 90
Lefty Grove is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 75 (1900-1975)

29
26 145
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Died at 79 (1927-2006)

30
46 141
Mark Spitz is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 68

31
123 227
Marvelous Marvin Hagler is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

32
235 262
Phil Mickelson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

33
346 413
Rafael Nadal is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 32

34
220 239
Randy Johnson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 55

35
149 90
Steve Carlton is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 74

36
196 210
Reggie Jackson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

37
185 135
James Harden is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
The boys Van Allen added age 29

38
121 69
Mel Ott is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 49 (1909-1958)

39
30 61
Bob Lanier is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 70

40
171 183
Manu Ginóbili is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

41
116 98
Don Mattingly is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 57

42
105 132
Phil Esposito is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 76

43
168 214
Barry Bonds is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 54

44
66 25
Bobby Orr is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 70

45
134 156
Tony Gwynn is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 54 (1960-2014)

46
208 205
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 38

47
69 50
Gale Sayers is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
willyboymcoy added age 75

48
15 78
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 56

49
87 15
Ted Williams is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Died at 84 (1918-2002)

50
93 127
Oscar de la Hoya is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time