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
1,116 2,301
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 78

2
810 2,136
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 59

3
2,067 266
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 58

4
89 130
Rod Laver is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 80

5
699 485
Babe Ruth is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 53 (1895-1948)

6
76 83
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 71

7
57 95
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 54

8
525 157
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 62

9
557 428
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 57

10
685 669
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 84

11
58 126
Nate Archibald is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 70

12
425 314
Lou Gehrig is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 38 (1903-1941)

13
348 320
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

14
273 95
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 34

15
25 51
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Died at 79 (1927-2006)

16
337 242
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 57

17
306 190
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 51

18
28 77
Billy Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 75

19
320 216
Ken Griffey, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

20
402 224
Martina Navratilova is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

21
39 59
Mark Spitz is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 68

22
237 222
Joe Frazier is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 67 (1944-2011)

23
451 237
Monica Seles is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 45

24
121 139
Marvelous Marvin Hagler is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

25
173 60
James Harden is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
The boys Van Allen added age 29

26
229 181
Phil Mickelson is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

27
263 215
Ty Cobb is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 75 (1886-1961)

28
278 211
Sandy Koufax is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 83

29
215 161
Randy Johnson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 55

30
196 158
Stan Musial is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 93 (1920-2013)

31
332 335
Rafael Nadal is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 32

32
12 22
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 56

33
127 116
Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 66

34
164 139
Barry Bonds is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 54

35
186 146
Reggie Jackson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

36
163 127
Manu Ginóbili is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

37
15 28
Adrian Dantley is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 63

38
92 77
Oscar de la Hoya is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

39
168 149
Shoeless Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 64 (1887-1951)

40
19 21
Lenny Wilkens is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 81

41
203 154
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 38

42
114 104
Warren Spahn is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 82 (1921-2003)

43
13 23
Bob Lanier is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 70

44
139 120
Rickey Henderson is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

45
95 102
Phil Esposito is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 76

46
115 92
Ken Stabler is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 73

47
131 119
Tony Gwynn is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 54 (1960-2014)

48
21 18
Gail Goodrich is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 75

49
19 18
Dave Cowens is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 70

50
89 88
Lefty Grove is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 75 (1900-1975)