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Top 100 Baseball Players of All Time

Can you name the top MLB and Negro League players of all-time according to an ESPN poll of experts?
Color-coded by retirement date. Team is the team they are most associated with
Quiz by Quizmaster
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First submittedJuly 23, 2016
Last updatedJuly 23, 2016
Times taken21,368
Rating4.27
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#
Retired
Team
Player
1
1935
Yankees
Babe Ruth
2
1973
Giants
Willie Mays
3
1976
Braves
Hank Aaron
4
1960
Red Sox
Ted Williams
5
2007
Giants
Barry Bonds
6
1968
Yankees
Mickey Mantle
7
1939
Yankees
Lou Gehrig
8
1928
Tigers
Ty Cobb
9
1927
Senators
Walter Johnson
10
1963
Cardinals
Stan Musial
11
2009
Red Sox
Pedro Martinez
12
2008
Braves
Greg Maddux
13
1917
Pirates
Honus Wagner
14
2010
Mariners
Ken Griffey Jr.
15
1951
Yankees
Joe DiMaggio
16
1966
Dodgers
Sandy Koufax
17
1911
Spiders
Cy Young
18
1972
Pirates
Roberto Clemente
19
2007
Red Sox
Roger Clemens
20
1975
Cardinals
Bob Gibson
21
2016
Yankees
Alex Rodriguez
22
2003
A's
Rickey Henderson
23
2009
Mariners
Randy Johnson
24
1976
Reds
Frank Robinson
25
1937
Cardinals
Rogers Hornsby
26
active
Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw
27
1989
Phillies
Mike Schmidt
28
1916
Giants
Christy Mathewson
29
1983
Reds
Johnny Bench
30
1956
Dodgers
Jackie Robinson
31
active
Cardinals
Albert Pujols
32
1993
Royals
George Brett
33
1945
A's
Jimmie Foxx
34
1986
Mets
Tom Seaver
35
1946
Grays
Josh Gibson
36
1965
Braves
Warren Spahn
37
1986
Reds
Pete Rose
38
1984
Reds
Joe Morgan
39
active
Tigers
Miguel Cabrera
40
active
Angels
Mike Trout
41
1928
Indians
Tris Speaker
42
1965
Yankees
Yogi Berra
43
1988
Phillies
Steve Carlton
44
1965
Monarchs
Satchel Paige
45
1953
Indians
Bob Feller
46
1971
Cubs
Ernie Banks
47
2001
Orioles
Cal Ripken Jr.
48
1947
A's
Lefty Grove
49
2013
Yankees
Mariano Rivera
50
1993
Angels
Nolan Ryan
#
Retired
Team
Player
51
2014
Yankees
Derek Jeter
52
1947
Tigers
Hank Greenberg
53
1983
Red Sox
Carl Yastrzemski
54
1984
Orioles
Jim Palmer
55
1986
A's
Reggie Jackson
56
1968
Braves
Eddie Mathews
57
2001
Padres
Tony Gwynn
58
2011
Red Sox
Manny Ramirez
59
1947
Giants
Mel Ott
60
1980
Giants
Willie McCovey
61
2012
Braves
Chipper Jones
62
1977
Orioles
Brooks Robinson
63
1975
Twins
Harmon Killebrew
64
1974
Tigers
Al Kaline
65
active
Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki
66
2008
White Sox
Frank Thomas
67
1916
Indians
Nap Lajoie
68
1967
Yankees
Whitey Ford
69
1920
White Sox
Shoeless Joe Jackson
70
1993
White Sox
Carlton Fisk
71
1957
Dodgers
Roy Campanella
72
1995
Yankees
Dave Winfield
73
1999
Red Sox
Wade Boggs
74
1975
Giants
Juan Marichal
75
1985
Twins
Rod Carew
76
2011
Rangers
Ivan Rodriguez
77
1950
Stars
Cool Papa Bell
78
2016
Red Sox
David Ortiz
79
1997
Orioles
Eddie Murray
80
2004
Blue Jays
Roberto Alomar
81
1969
Dodgers
Don Drysdale
82
1930
A's
Eddie Collins
83
2011
Expos
Vladimir Guerrero
84
2002
Expos
Tim Raines
85
active
Nationals
Bryce Harper
86
2009
Braves
John Smoltz
87
1964
Dodgers
Duke Snider
88
1996
Cardinals
Ozzie Smith
89
1993
Brewers
Robin Yount
90
1998
Brewers
Paul Molitor
91
2007
Phillies
Curt Schilling
92
active
Rangers
Adrian Beltre
93
active
Mariners
Felix Hernandez
94
1943
Giants
Carl Hubbell
95
1997
Cubs
Ryne Sandberg
96
2005
Astros
Jeff Bagwell
97
1929
Phillies
Grover Alexander
98
1982
Pirates
Willie Stargell
99
2008
Mets
Mike Piazza
100
1944
A's
Al Simmons
+1
level 72
Jul 24, 2016
why is ichiro listed with mariners? other active players are listed with their current teams
+3
level ∞
Jul 24, 2016
It's the team he is most associated with
+1
level 54
Jul 25, 2016
Really disappointed that I missed so many big names (Jackson, Boggs, Hornsby, and Gwynn to name a few), but honestly...what a ridiculous list. Trout is in what, his fifth season? And he's already being ranked the 40th best of all-time? And the fact that he's that much higher than Harper is also a joke. Also, I'm pretty sure I typed "Smoltz" but it didn't get accepted...maybe I had a typo, 'cause it looks like others are getting him.
+2
level ∞
Jul 25, 2016
I would also say Trout is a little too high, but he definitely deserves a place on this list. The 6 seasons at the start of his career are one of the best stretches in baseball history. Sandy Koufax only had 6 good seasons in his entire career and is rated 16th.
+1
level 66
Jul 30, 2016
Koufax is the epitome of the argument for peak vs longevity
+2
level ∞
Aug 9, 2016
Of course, Koufax is the most over-rated player on this list, so it's cherry-picking. But, Trout has ALREADY matched Koufax's peak greatness (in terms of WAR).
+2
level 47
Sep 24, 2016
I can see Trout but Harper has no business on this list.
+1
level 49
Aug 1, 2017
That Koufax' greatness wasn't achieved until his eighth season seems to enhance his reputation. If you're great out of the chute and your prime years are your first ten years instead of reaching your prime a few years in and extending it in later years, commenters, writers, and such seem to be less impressed. Orlando Cepeda (properly not on this list) is another example. His first seven or eight years were his best. The shorter your prime, the better it must be.
+1
level 49
Sep 20, 2017
A good way to handle active players is to ask, "If he retired (or worse) today, where would he rank?"
+1
level 49
Sep 20, 2017
Koufax is the extreme example of this type. From 1962-1966 his ERA+ was 167. IMO, good enough to make the list, but not at 16.
+1
level 49
Feb 19, 2018
Yes, but Trout has played only a TOTAL of six years, Koufax played at least 11, maybe 12.
+1
level 23
Jan 11, 2017
I agree Mike Trout shouldn't be that far ahead of Bryce Harper and I don't think Trout should be that high neither should Clayton Kershaw.
+1
level 68
Feb 22, 2017
Bryce Harper's career WAR: 21.5 Mike Trout's career WAR: 48.5 Harper gets a lot of credit for how good he is for his age, but he's not on Trout's level.
+1
level 79
Aug 8, 2016
I am with the others that say that Trout is too high for so early in his career, but there also seems to be some others that are surprising to me: Winfield, Raines come to mind right off. Surprised not to find Three-finger Brown on here. Drysdale is overrated; Nolan Ryan is underrated. Boggs below Winfield is a travesty (as Winfield doesn't belong on this list). Piazza should be off the list--sure he was a fantastic hitter, but as a catcher he was poor, so how does he get listed here? King Felix should be higher as he is the best pitcher over the past decade. Where is Verlander? I am surprised that Pedro is that much higher than Randy Johnson.
+1
level 41
Sep 23, 2016
Tim Raines is far and above the best leadoff hitter in the history of baseball. His advanced stats are insane.
+1
level 44
Sep 23, 2016
Far and away the best leadoff batter ever??? Well, if I go to Baseball Reference, and look at "Career Offensive WAR" leaders, Raines comes in at #64 overall (which is fantastic). But still behind any number of leadoff type batters: ECollins is #11, plus Henderson, Jeter, Rose, Boggs, Carew, Biggio, Molitor, Vaughan, and Appling are all rated higher than Raines. Some may not be pure leadoff types, but you get the point. Raines' advanced stats are superb, but they simply do not support your claim ("far and away the best leadoff batter ever")
+1
level 60
Sep 27, 2016
I think that's probably Rickey Henderson.
+1
level 58
Jan 21, 2019
But many say Rickey Henderson.
+1
level 44
Aug 26, 2016
Absurd that McGwire didn't make the cut. Greatest home run hitter of all time, in my opinion. Just couldn't stay healthy.
+1
level 77
Sep 22, 2016
It's hard staying healthy with an IV drip of rabid bull semen plugged directly into your eyeball every night. A lot of people don't appreciate that.
+1
level 48
Sep 22, 2016
I agree. Same goes for Sosa. But if you're going to have Bonds on the list, then you have to include Big Mac and Sosa.
+1
level 80
Jun 7, 2018
Absolutely not.
+1
level 58
Sep 22, 2016
I got 2. never seen a game in my life. pleased with that!
+1
level 77
Sep 22, 2016
I named the handful of famous players I knew and then started in with random English, Irish, German and Spanish names.
+1
level 79
Sep 22, 2016
I'm not a baseball fan either, but I managed to get 23 based off on all the baseball names I remember hearing about.
+1
level 35
Sep 22, 2016
you need to explain yourself better in the description, active should be current team, or say what team they are most known for.
+1
level 70
Sep 22, 2016
86/100. Should've gotten 90 or more, but brain-freeze kicks in.
+1
level 60
Sep 22, 2016
Surprised not to see Roy Hallady here. Jim Thome and Rafael Palmeiro are surprising omissions too. Neither ever had the flash, but they were rock solid players for their whole careers. Palmeiro is one of only four players (along with Hank Aaron, Eddie Murray, and Willie Mays, I think) who have both 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. He also has three Gold Gloves. Thome very quietly worked his way into the record books: 7th all-time in home runs, 19th all-time in OPS, 26th all-time in RBI's. Pretty remarkable career.
+1
level 41
Sep 23, 2016
Shocked that Bryce Harper (a player who's played for 4 years) is ahead of a guy with 600 HRs and no PED allegations (Thome)
+1
level 44
Sep 22, 2016
Got 84. Should not have missed Simmons, Seaver, Boggs. KInda meh about Suzuki, Smoltz, Drysdale, Alomar, Schilling, Manny, and Vlad. And since I don't follow modern baseball anymore, I never even heard of Cabrera, Trout, Kershaw, Harper, FHernandez, and Beltre.
+1
level 47
Sep 22, 2016
Idk how you never would have heard those names even if you don't follow modern baseball.
+1
level 23
Jan 11, 2017
True That
+2
level 80
Jun 7, 2018
I don't know how you could be meh about Suzuki. 3000+ hits (4000+ if you include his playing time in Japan), career .311 batting average, 10x All Star, MVP, ROY. No doubt he will be a first ballot hall of famer.
+1
level 52
Sep 22, 2016
LOL. Nothing to add beyond that.
+1
level 76
Sep 22, 2016
Quizmaster, were the given teams your decision or ESPN's? If they represent the team the player is most associated with I must disagree with a few, the most egregious of which is Curt Schilling with the Philllies. He won two World Series with the Red Sox (remember the bloody sock?) He also won the Series with the Diamondbacks over the Yankees in 2001. I just can't believe that Boston would take a back seat to the Philadelphia Phillies. Also, he retired in March 2009, not 2007 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curt_Schilling).
+1
level 37
Sep 22, 2016
He played the most seasons with the Phillies.
+1
level 76
Sep 23, 2016
There is certainly a case to be made for any of the three teams Schilling played for. But looking at his entry on Wikipedia, his Phillies career (9 seasons) warrants 2 paragraphs, his 4 seasons with the Diamondbacks also receives 2 paragraphs, and his 5 seasons with the Red Sox gets a whopping 9 paragraphs! No disrespect to fans from Philadelphia and Arizona but I believe the "bloody sock" wins every time as far as name recognition goes, and that happened in Boston.
+1
level 45
Sep 22, 2016
Mike Trout is definitely a very good player, but the fact that he ranks above the likes of Ernie Banks, Cal Ripken Jr, Derek Jeter, Yaz, Tony Gwynn, Roy Campanella, Rod Carew, Pete Alexander, etc. is just plain obscene and ridiculous. People say "well Koufax had a short career", but Trout's current stretch as a position player is nothing compared to Koufax's four year stretch from 1962 to 1966 in which he pitched four no hitters (including a perfect game), posted a single season strikeout record that lasted just under a decade (and was only beaten by a single K), and won two world series rings.
+1
level 41
Sep 23, 2016
I would not associate Schilling with the Phillies. Red Sox, maybe D-Backs.
+1
level 79
Sep 25, 2016
Schilling asserted himself as an ace with the Phillies for many years, thus making his trade value high when they traded him to the Diamondbacks. Longest part of his career by far was with the Phillies.
+1
level 72
Nov 8, 2018
I always associate Schilling with the Orioles, but only as part of the worst trade ever.
+2
level 44
Sep 23, 2016
I would say the absence of Charleston is the biggest oversight from these ESPN "experts". In other lists like this, he is usually in the Top-10.
+1
level 49
Feb 19, 2018
Yes, Buck O'Neil said Willie Mays was the best Major Leaguer he ever saw, but Charleston was the best baseball player.
+1
level 27
Sep 24, 2016
Lefty Grove's last year was 1941, not 1947.
+1
level 46
Sep 24, 2016
what about Jackie Robinson where on the list should he be?
+1
level 46
Sep 24, 2016
I missed seeing found him on the list
+1
level 35
Oct 9, 2016
why the hell is Bryce Harper on this list? I can almost see Trout, but Harper, come on.
+1
level 46
Dec 2, 2016
Bryce Harper?? gotta be kidding.Guy has has 1 great season and 4 good ones. Number 85? Maybe 385. ESPN is a joke anyway
+1
level 41
Mar 16, 2017
Oh so apparently Bryce Harper is better than Jim Thome, Gary Sheffield, Trevor Hoffman, and others... OK. I mean like maybe at the end of his career yeah but now? He's had one (albeit extremely) good year.
+1
level 15
Mar 31, 2017
I got 61/100. I could have gotten 90.
+1
level 52
Jun 3, 2017
Underachiever.
+1
level 51
Jul 8, 2017
This needs updating, David Ortiz is retired and Albert Pujols plays for the Angels now.
+1
level 42
Aug 3, 2017
Tom Seaver was not on the 86' Mets
+1
level 84
Aug 28, 2017
The year and team columns/hints are not connected to each other. The year is the year the player retired and from a previous comment from quizmaster, the team is the team the player is "most associated with".
+1
level 60
Aug 28, 2017
Pedro #11 all time?
+2
level ∞
Aug 29, 2017
His stats are amazing considering the era he played in. Imagine how low his ERA would have been if he were throwing in the 1960s - from a higher mound, in a larger stadium, against 180 pound hitters.
+1
level 49
Sep 20, 2017
Regarding Black players, around 1907 Honus Wagner, the greatest shortstop ever, was told that John Henry Lloyd was being called "The Black Wagner." Honus said, "It's an honor to be mentioned with John Henry Lloyd/" Around 1935, Babe Ruth was asked who the best player he ever saw was. "The best player in the Majors, huh?" The writer said, "Not just the Majors, but anywhere. The Babe said, "Oh. In that case I'd have to say Pop Lloyd." His numbers cannot be documented, but maybe Lloyd should be listed here.
+1
level 23
Jan 25, 2018
Did MIke Trout's mother make this list?!? To have him (and Harper) on a list of ALL-TIME players is one thing but to have him AHEAD of names like Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray, Nolan Ryan, Carl Yastrzemski, Tony Gwynn, etc, etc, etc,..... is an absolute JOKE.
+1
level 10
Feb 11, 2018
Bartolo Colón should be up there. You gotta add big sexy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
+1
level 10
Feb 11, 2018
Babe Ruth cannot be ranked 1st on this list. Yes he hit 714 home runs, but he was terrible at fielding. I do agree with Willie Mays though, for he is the greatest defensive center fielder of all time and hit 660 home runs. In order to be in the top 20, you gotta make sure that player is a 5 tool player. You also can't put player like Barry Bonds so high up on this list because he took PED's. I see you know what you are doing, but there needs to be sources.
+1
level 58
Jul 13, 2018
Understand your point but you are forgetting(?) that before he went to the Yankees Ruth was one of the premier pitchers in major league baseball with Boston. Consider that the guy accomplished all those hitting feats and STILL had the time (and talent) to win 90 games! And a lifetime ERA of 2.28 in over 1200 innings ain't bad. There never has been such a player with such combined stats as this.
+1
level 49
Feb 19, 2018
Clemente is way too high. His off-field heroics have magnified his on-field accomplishments. He should be in the 70s or so.
+1
level 59
May 27, 2018
3000 hits. One of the best pure hitters in the history of the game. Sure, his off-field accomplishments increase his standing, but he was one of the greatest players and fielders ever
+1
level 51
May 23, 2018
Update needed, Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz are no longer active. Albert Pujols now plays for the Angels.
+1
level 47
Jun 8, 2018
Ichiro Suzuki is now retired.
+1
level 72
Jul 2, 2018
I lost a lot of faith quickly when Pete Rose didn't pop up. No Mark McGwire? Any baseball fan who's never seen the Big Red Machine, especially against the Red Sox, needs to hit Google.
+1
level 79
Aug 3, 2018
Rose is #37 on the list.
+2
level 58
Jul 13, 2018
I think the omission of Oscar Charleston from this list is a major "faux pas". There are many sources from his playing days---black AND white---who maintain he was the best player they ever saw.
+2
level 61
Jul 31, 2018
Al Kaline is one of the coolest names in baseball history.
+1
level 25
Dec 21, 2018
Why retirement date
+1
level 75
Mar 11, 2019
Piazza, but not Gary Carter? That's a miscarriage of justice!