Sports

The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated June 14, 2019 45.9k votes 6.9k voters 112.4k views 119 items

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
Babe Ruth is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Dec. at 53 (1895-1948)
2
Lou Gehrig is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Dec. at 38 (1903-1941)
3
Ty Cobb is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Dec. at 75 (1886-1961)
4
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Age: 63
5
Martina Navratilova is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
6
Stan Musial is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Dec. at 93 (1920-2013)
7
Shoeless Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Dec. at 64 (1887-1951)
8
Lefty Grove is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Dec. at 75 (1900-1975)
9
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Age: 58
10
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Age: 35
11
Sandy Koufax is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Age: 84
12
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Age: 59
13
Ted Williams is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Dec. at 84 (1918-2002)
14
Warren Spahn is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Dec. at 82 (1921-2003)
15
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Age: 58
16
Monica Seles is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Age: 46
17
Steve Carlton is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Age: 75
18
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Age: 52
19
Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Age: 67
20
Mel Ott is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Dec. at 49 (1909-1958)
21
Joe Frazier is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Dec. at 67 (1944-2011)
22
Bobby Orr is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added Age: 71
23
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Age: 41
24
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Age: 85
25
Don Mattingly is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Age: 58