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 2,302
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 78

2
810 2,137
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 59

3
2,068 268
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 58

4
89 131
Rod Laver is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 80

5
703 485
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 84
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 71

7
57 96
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 54

8
526 158
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 62

9
560 428
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 57

10
685 670
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 84

11
58 127
Nate Archibald is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 70

12
428 314
Lou Gehrig is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 38 (1903-1941)

13
348 321
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

14
274 97
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 34

15
25 52
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
338 242
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 57

17
307 190
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 51

18
28 78
Billy Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 75

19
322 216
Ken Griffey, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

20
402 225
Martina Navratilova is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

21
40 61
Mark Spitz is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 68

22
238 222
Joe Frazier is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 67 (1944-2011)

23
451 238
Monica Seles is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 45

24
122 140
Marvelous Marvin Hagler is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

25
174 61
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
230 181
Phil Mickelson is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

27
265 215
Ty Cobb is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 75 (1886-1961)

28
280 211
Sandy Koufax is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 83

29
216 161
Randy Johnson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 55

30
197 158
Stan Musial is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 93 (1920-2013)

31
333 336
Rafael Nadal is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 32

32
127 117
Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 66

33
12 23
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 56

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

35
187 146
Reggie Jackson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

36
163 128
Manu Ginóbili is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

37
171 149
Shoeless Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 64 (1887-1951)

38
15 29
Adrian Dantley is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 63

39
92 79
Oscar de la Hoya is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

40
19 22
Lenny Wilkens is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 81

41
203 155
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 38

42
115 104
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 24
Bob Lanier is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 70

44
141 120
Rickey Henderson is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

45
96 102
Phil Esposito is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 76

46
115 93
Ken Stabler is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 73

47
132 119
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 19
Gail Goodrich is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 75

49
90 88
Lefty Grove is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 75 (1900-1975)

50
19 19
Dave Cowens is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 70