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
1,130 2,415
Pelé is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 78

2
815 2,257
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 59

3
832 489
Babe Ruth is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 53 (1895-1948)

4
2,081 383
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 58

5
535 322
Lou Gehrig is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 38 (1903-1941)

6
91 245
Rod Laver is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 80

7
717 750
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 84

8
601 200
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 62

9
599 504
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 57

10
83 191
Johan Cruijff is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 71

11
62 202
Marco van Basten is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 54

12
67 229
Nate Archibald is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 70

13
355 408
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

14
364 219
Ty Cobb is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 75 (1886-1961)

15
294 161
Stan Musial is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 93 (1920-2013)

16
48 144
Billy Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 75

17
468 260
Martina Navratilova is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

18
360 317
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 57

19
264 154
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
295 185
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 34

21
192 138
Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 66

22
196 106
Warren Spahn is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 82 (1921-2003)

23
268 295
Joe Frazier is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 67 (1944-2011)

24
326 304
Ken Griffey, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

25
502 283
Monica Seles is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 45

26
331 261
Sandy Koufax is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 83

27
311 276
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 51

28
26 139
Ferenc Puskás is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added Died at 79 (1927-2006)

29
159 90
Lefty Grove is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 75 (1900-1975)

30
46 135
Mark Spitz is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 68

31
123 221
Marvelous Marvin Hagler is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

32
235 256
Phil Mickelson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

33
344 406
Rafael Nadal is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 32

34
220 232
Randy Johnson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 55

35
196 203
Reggie Jackson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

36
142 90
Steve Carlton is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 74

37
184 129
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
114 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
29 56
Bob Lanier is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 70

40
171 177
Manu Ginóbili is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

41
168 207
Barry Bonds is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 54

42
114 93
Don Mattingly is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 57

43
133 151
Tony Gwynn is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
Died at 54 (1960-2014)

44
102 129
Phil Esposito is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 76

45
69 48
Gale Sayers is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
willyboymcoy added age 75

46
208 202
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
age 38

47
15 74
Ruud Gullit is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
BaruchLalaev added age 56

48
61 25
Bobby Orr is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 70

49
23 59
Lenny Wilkens is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time
slaft added age 81

50
93 122
Oscar de la Hoya is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time