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
1,132 2,420
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 78

2
817 2,263
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 59

3
839 489
Babe Ruth is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 53 (1895-1948)

4
2,081 389
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 58

5
540 322
Lou Gehrig is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 38 (1903-1941)

6
91 250
Rod Laver is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 80

7
719 754
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 84

8
607 200
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 62

9
602 508
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 57

10
83 195
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 71

11
62 206
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 54

12
67 233
Nate Archibald is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 70

13
368 219
Ty Cobb is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 75 (1886-1961)

14
356 413
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

15
298 161
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
472 261
Martina Navratilova is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

18
360 321
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 57

19
268 154
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
297 189
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 34

21
193 142
Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 66

22
200 106
Warren Spahn is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 82 (1921-2003)

23
271 296
Joe Frazier is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 67 (1944-2011)

24
336 261
Sandy Koufax is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 83

25
506 283
Monica Seles is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 45

26
326 308
Ken Griffey, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

27
312 280
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 51

28
163 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
26 142
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
46 138
Mark Spitz is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 68

31
123 224
Marvelous Marvin Hagler is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

32
235 259
Phil Mickelson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

33
345 410
Rafael Nadal is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 32

34
220 236
Randy Johnson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 55

35
146 90
Steve Carlton is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 74

36
196 207
Reggie Jackson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

37
185 132
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
118 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 58
Bob Lanier is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 70

40
116 95
Don Mattingly is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 57

41
171 180
Manu Ginóbili is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

42
168 211
Barry Bonds is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 54

43
104 130
Phil Esposito is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 76

44
134 154
Tony Gwynn is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 54 (1960-2014)

45
64 25
Bobby Orr is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 70

46
69 48
Gale Sayers is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
willyboymcoy added age 75

47
208 203
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 38

48
15 76
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 56

49
93 124
Oscar de la Hoya is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

50
23 61
Lenny Wilkens is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 81