Left Handed The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
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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
1,163 2,516
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 79

2
828 2,370
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 60

3
951 502
Babe Ruth is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Dec. at 53 (1895-1948)

4
624 338
Lou Gehrig is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Dec. at 38 (1903-1941)

5
102 333
Rod Laver is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 81

6
668 554
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 58

7
766 815
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 85

8
714 208
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 63

9
2,101 468
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 59

10
95 262
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 72

11
444 226
Ty Cobb is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Dec. at 75 (1886-1961)

12
77 302
Nate Archibald is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 71

13
69 277
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 55

14
366 167
Stan Musial is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Dec. at 93 (1920-2013)

15
381 471
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

16
330 162
Shoeless Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Dec. at 64 (1887-1951)

17
57 201
Billy Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 76

18
402 359
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 58

19
516 286
Martina Navratilova is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

20
223 97
Lefty Grove is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Dec. at 75 (1900-1975)

21
249 124
Warren Spahn is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Dec. at 82 (1921-2003)

22
233 168
Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 67

23
385 283
Sandy Koufax is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 84

24
305 333
Joe Frazier is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Dec. at 67 (1944-2011)

25
350 247
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 35