Top Baseball Legends: Iconic Figures in History (2023)

Baseball has a rich history that dates back more than a century, making it one of the world’s oldest and most enduring sports. Baseball’s many followers may be traced to the sport’s famous players and teams. Who, then, do you think are baseball’s best players? What characteristics mark an exceptional baseball player? We’ll delve into the lives of some baseball legends to better understand their contributions to the game.

Did you know that Babe Ruth, one of baseball’s all-time greats, started as a pitcher before becoming a home run slugger par excellence? Or that Jackie Robinson was the first African-American to play in the Major Leagues of baseball by breaking the league’s colour barrier. These are just a few incredible tales and feats accomplished by baseball’s all-time greats. Relax with a drink in hand and prepare to dive deep into the lives of baseball’s all-time greats. Thanks to the players’ outstanding records and lasting legacies, this article will give you a whole new perspective on this sport game that can make you interested in a healthy lifestyle.

The Early Years of Baseball

Baseball was a relatively unknown sport that was only played in the northeastern United States in the middle of the 19th century. Yet the sport caught on swiftly and expanded throughout America, ultimately becoming a national treasure.

The sport of baseball has a rich and fascinating history that spans over 150 years. From its humble beginnings as a simple game played by children in the streets to the multi-billion dollar industry it is today, baseball has undergone significant changes and evolution. Many pivotal moments occurred throughout baseball’s formative years, including:

  • The first recorded baseball game was played in 1846 in Hoboken, New Jersey.
  • In 1858, the National Association of Baseball Players (NABBP) was formed, which standardised the game’s rules and created a system of organised competition.
  • The first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, was formed in 1869.
  • In 1876, the National League was established as the first professional baseball league, followed by the American League in 1901.

As the popularity of baseball grew, so did the fame of its players. Here are some of the most iconic figures of the early years of baseball:

Babe Ruth

Known as the “Sultan of Swat,” Babe Ruth was a legendary player who revolutionised the game with his powerful hitting.

  • He played for the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees and set numerous records during his career, including the single-season home run record of 60 in 1927.
  • Ruth’s charismatic personality and larger-than-life persona made him a beloved figure both on and off the field.

Lou Gehrig

Lou Gehrig, known as the “Iron Horse,” was one of baseball’s most consistent and reliable players.

  • He played for the New York Yankees and set the record for most consecutive games played, which stood for over 50 years.
  • Gehrig’s career was cut short by a devastating illness that would later be known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease,” but his legacy as one of the greatest players in baseball history lives on.

Ty Cobb

Ty Cobb was a fierce competitor and one of the most successful players of his time.

  • He played for the Detroit Tigers and set numerous records during his career, including the highest career batting average.
  • Cobb was also known for his aggressive and controversial playing style, often leading to conflicts with other players and fans.

These players helped shape the sport and set the stage for the modern era of baseball that we know and love today.

The Golden Era of Baseball

The era between the 1940s and 1960s is widely considered the Golden Age of Baseball. This period saw some of the most exciting and memorable moments in the sport’s history and the rise of some of the most iconic players of all time. Here are some key events that shaped this era:

  • World War II and the Korean War led to a shortage of players, which opened up opportunities for new talent.
  • The colour barrier was broken in 1947 when Jackie Robinson became the first African American player in the major leagues.
  • Television broadcasting baseball games became more widespread, bringing the sport to a wider audience.

During this period, some of baseball’s most famous and iconic players emerged. A lot of sports lovers like to relax after the game or after watching competitions at the stadium, so a lot of them like to gamble online on different UK online casino platforms like

Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson was a great player and a civil rights pioneer who broke down racial barriers in baseball.

  • He played for the Brooklyn Dodgers and was the first African American player to win the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.
  • Robinson’s contributions to baseball and society earned him into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

Mickey Mantle

Mickey Mantle was one of the most dominant players of his era, playing for the New York Yankees.

  • He won three MVP awards and led the league in home runs four times during his career.
  • Mantle’s combination of power and speed made him a fan favoгrite and a true legend of the sport.

Ted Williams

Ted Williams, also known as “The Splendid Splinter,” was one of the best hitters in baseball history.

  • He played for the Boston Red Sox and won two MVP awards during his career.
  • Williams was known for his precision hitting and ability to hit for both power and average.

Other notable players from this era include Willie Mays, Yogi Berra, Hank Aaron, and Sandy Koufax. The Golden Age of Baseball was a pivotal period in the game’s development when some legends first came to prominence. With Jackie Robinson’s historic breakthrough in racial boundaries and Mickey Mantle’s domination on the field, this period paved the way for the contemporary game and established baseball as America’s pastime.

Modern Baseball Legends

Some of baseball’s greatest legends and all-time greats are products of the contemporary age. These players have made indelible marks on the game, from Barry Bonds’ home run records to Derek Jeter’s clutch hits, and will be remembered for a long time. While they play the game in various ways, they all have a dedication to baseball, inspiring generations of followers.

Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds is one of the most controversial players in baseball history, but he is also one of the greatest. He played for the San Francisco Giants and held the record for the most home runs in a single season and the most career home runs. Despite allegations of steroid use, Bonds remains one of the most dominant players of his era.

Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter played his entire career with the New York Yankees and is regarded as one of the best shortstops in baseball history. He won five World Series championships with the Yankees and was known for his clutch hitting in big moments. Jeter was a 14-time All-Star and is now the CEO and part-owner of the Miami Marlins.

Ichiro Suzuki

Ichiro Suzuki played for the Seattle Mariners and was one of the most dominant hitters of his era. He was the first Japanese-born position player to play in the major leagues and won the Rookie of the Year and MVP awards in his first season. Ichiro is known for his unique hitting style and his ability to make contact with the ball in almost any situation.

Other notable players from the modern era include Mike Trout, Clayton Kershaw, and Albert Pujols.

Statistical Categories

When we go into the pantheon of baseball’s best players, it’s crucial to take stock of each player’s impressive list of accolades and impacts on the game. You can see this in concrete terms by contrasting their numbers in various statistical categories like batting average, home runs, and runs batted in.

From Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig to Jackie Robinson and Derek Jeter, these players have left a lasting impact on the game and continue to inspire new generations of baseball enthusiasts.

Baseball’s all-time greats have left an indelible mark on the game and the world. These athletes have motivated numerous others to chase their goals and never give up. The incredible players who have given their all on the baseball field since the game’s inception have allowed the sport to develop and thrive throughout the years.

Even as we follow baseball into the future and see new stars emerge, we must remember the contributions of those who came before them. We owe it to them to retain their legacy, which is reflected in the game’s development thanks to their expertise and commitment.


Top Baseball Legends: Iconic Figures in History? ›

Mickey Mantle, New York Yankees

He is arguably the most accomplished player in MLB history, a seven-time World Series champion and a 20-time All-Star selection. He could slug home runs with the best of them, serving as the AL leader in home runs four times (1955, '56, '58, 1960) and won the 1956 Triple Crown.

Who is the most famous person in baseball history? ›

Mickey Mantle, New York Yankees

He is arguably the most accomplished player in MLB history, a seven-time World Series champion and a 20-time All-Star selection. He could slug home runs with the best of them, serving as the AL leader in home runs four times (1955, '56, '58, 1960) and won the 1956 Triple Crown.

Who has the most all stars in MLB history? ›

All-Star Game appearance record
  • Hank Aaron 25.
  • Willie Mays 24.
  • Stan Musial 24.

What is the most iconic moment in baseball history? ›

Babe Ruth and the Called Shot

Babe Ruth's historic “called shot” into the stands is still debated today, earning its position among the most iconic moments in MLB History. In the 1932 World Series, the Chicago Cubs and the New York Yankees were battling it out for the title.

Who was one of the greatest baseball players in history and perhaps the most popular athlete of the 1920s? ›

Babe Ruth
Win–loss record94–46
Earned run average2.28
Boston Red Sox (1914–1919) New York Yankees (1920–1934) Boston Braves (1935)
22 more rows

Who is known as the king of baseball? ›

The outfielder started his career in 1878 with the Cincinnati Reds and was soon given the title of the King of Baseball. He led the league in batting for the first time in 1884, hitting . 354 for the season. Kelly won the batting crown once again in 1886, a year that could be considered his best.

Who is the legend in baseball? ›

1. Babe Ruth. It's hard to argue against Babe Ruth being named the most legendary baseball player of all time.

Who has 21 All-Star appearances? ›

The great Hank Aaron was selected as an All-Star in a record 21 of his 23 MLB seasons. Willie Mays and Stan Musial were right behind him, with All-Star appearances in 20 seasons apiece.

Who is a 10 time All-Star? ›

David Robinson*10
John Stockton*10
Stephen Curry^9Team captain in 2018 game and MVP of the 2022 game. Missed 2023 game
George Gervin*9Also a three-time ABA All-Star
116 more rows

Who has the most starts as a catcher in MLB history? ›

RankPlayer (2022 Gs)Games as catcher
1Iván Rodríguez *2,427
2Carlton Fisk *2,226
3Bob Boone2,225
82 more rows

What is the rarest play in baseball history? ›

Rarest of all is the unassisted triple play by an outfielder, performed only once in professional baseball history, by Walter Carlisle. It is possible for a team to score on a triple play, but that is also phenomenally rare.

Who has the most perfect games in baseball history? ›

The Yankees and White Sox are tied for the most perfect games with three apiece. Meanwhile, the Rays, who were founded in 1998, and Dodgers have each been on the wrong side of a perfect game three times, the most of any team.

What is the rarest accomplishment in baseball? ›

The rarest type of triple play, and one of the rarest events of any kind in baseball, is for a single fielder to complete all three outs. There have only been 15 unassisted triple plays in MLB history, making this feat rarer than a perfect game.

Who is considered the greatest male athlete of all time? ›

The Greatest Athlete of All Time title goes to Bo Jackson. This was based on the comparison of a range of sport science metrics. Even without the science, public vote had him well ahead - after 27,397 votes Jackson was well ahead with 79.5% of the votes.

Who is the greatest athlete in US history? ›

  1. Michael Jordan.
  2. Babe Ruth.
  3. Muhammad Ali.
  4. Jim Brown.
  5. Wayne Gretzky.
  6. Jesse Owens.
  7. Jim Thorpe.
  8. Willie Mays.

Who is the only athlete in history to be named an all star in both baseball and football? ›

On December 19, 1990, Los Angeles Raiders running back Bo Jackson is named to the AFC Pro Bowl team as a reserve, becoming the first athlete chosen for all-star games in Major League Baseball and the NFL.

Who is the godfather of baseball? ›

Bigger than the Astros: Dusty Baker, the Godfather of Baseball.

Who was the Einstein of baseball? ›

Answer and Explanation: Moe Berg was a catcher and coach. While he was never called the 'Einstein of baseball,' he was referred to in 1939 as 'Einstein in knickers.

Who is the golden boy in baseball? ›

Jackie Jensen simply was the Golden Boy. Keep in mind that one man accomplished all these things in a life cut short at the age of 55: Jensen became the first player in California Golden Bears history to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season (1,080 in 1948);

Who is the oldest MLB legend? ›

The oldest person ever to play MLB was Satchel Paige, who, at the age of 59, made one token major league appearance twelve years after his Major League career had ended.

What legend of baseball is known as the Babe? ›

The Babe Ruth Bat

Babe Ruth was larger than most baseball players at the time, and had a special bat to match his stature. Babe Ruth's favoured bats were Louisville Sluggers which, although their weights varied over the years, at their heaviest weighed between 38-54 ounces.

Who is the key players in baseball? ›

Play starts with the pitcher. Pitchers are the most important player on the defense. All play starts with how well the pitcher can get the batter to miss the baseball. Pitchers try to throw strikes, but also try to throw the baseball where the batter cannot hit it.

Who has 8 All-Star appearances? ›

Most Seasons on All-Star Roster
PlayerYears PlayedGames for AL
Roberto Alomar*1988-200411
Wade Boggs*1982-199912
Miguel Cabrera2003-20228
Barry Larkin*1986-20040
52 more rows

Who has 12 All-Star appearances? ›

NBA All Star Selections
Bill Russell121958–1969
Dolph Schayes121951–1962
Isiah Thomas121982–1993
Charles Barkley111987–1997
37 more rows
Mar 6, 2021

Who has been an All-Star 15 times? ›

Tim Duncan, 15:

Tim Duncan wins co-MVP with Shaquille O'Neal at the 2000 NBA All-Star game in Oakland. Duncan once said he'd “rather be laying on a beach somewhere” instead of attending the All-Star Game. It's not that he was being disrespectful or unappreciative — it was just Duncan being Duncan.

Which pitcher has started the most All-Star games? ›

Don Drysdale is the All-Star leader in games started (tied with five), innings pitched (all alone with 19.1), strikeouts (all alone with nineteen) and until 2005 games pitched when Roger Clemens passed his total of eight.

Who has the most All-Star games without being in the Hall of Fame? ›

Larry Foust made the most All-Star games of anyone in NBA history who has not made the Hall of Fame with eight appearances.

How many all stars are in MLB? ›

The All-Star Game roster size for each league was 18 starting in 1933, 20 in 1934, 25 in 1939, 30 in 1982, 32 in 2003, 33 in 2009, and 34 in 2010. Since 2018, there have been 34 players on each league's team roster.

Who has the most wins as a battery in MLB history? ›

Most wins. The most games by a starting battery that were won by its team was set at 203 by Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina on May 15, 2022, surpassing the previous record of 202 which had been set by Warren Spahn and Del Crandall. Currently, the record is 213 wins.

Which pitcher has the most hits? ›

This is a list of the top 100 Major League Baseball pitchers who have the most hit batsmen of all time. Gus Weyhing (277) holds the dubious record for most hit batsmen in a career. Chick Fraser (219), Pink Hawley (210), and Walter Johnson (205) are the only other pitchers to hit 200 or more batters in their careers.

Who has the most starts without loss in MLB? ›

After winning his final decision of 1911, Marquard made history of his own by going 19-0 to start the '12 campaign -- still a record for the most wins without a loss to begin a season.

What greatest baseball player was banned for life? ›

On August 23, 1989, as punishment for betting on baseball, Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose accepts a settlement that includes a lifetime ban from the game.

What is the tragic number in baseball? ›

Teams other than the front-running team have what is called an elimination number (or "tragic number") (often abbreviated E#). This number represents the number of wins by the leading team or losses by the trailing team which will eliminate the trailing team.

What is the longest no-hit baseball game? ›

After nearly 70 years, they still talk about that game in Winchester. It was no ordinary no-hitter. It went 17 innings, a feat still unchallenged as the longest no-hit game in professional baseball history. third.

Has there ever been a 27 pitch game? ›

On May 13, 1952 while pitching for the Class-D Bristol Twins, Ron Necciai tossed a no-hitter, striking out 27 in nine innings!

Who pitched the most no-hitters? ›

The pitcher who holds the record for the most no-hitters is Nolan Ryan, who threw seven in his 27-year career. His first two came exactly two months apart with the California Angels: the first on May 15, 1973, and the second on July 15. He had two more with the Angels on September 28, 1974, and June 1, 1975.

Has anyone ever pitched a perfect game and lost? ›

On May 26, 1959, Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitched a perfect game for 12 innings against the Milwaukee Braves, but lost the no-hitter and the game in the 13th inning. The game was played at Milwaukee County Stadium.

What was the biggest disgrace in baseball? ›

The Black Sox Scandal was a Major League Baseball game-fixing scandal in which eight members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of throwing the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for money from a gambling syndicate led by Arnold Rothstein.

What is the hardest award to win in baseball? ›

Winning a Triple Crown is one of the most difficult feats in baseball, as a player has to lead either the American League or National League in batting average, home runs and RBIs.

Who has the fewest wins in baseball history? ›

The 1899 Cleveland Spiders own the worst single-season record of all time (minimum 120 games) and for all eras, finishing at 20–134 (.

What is the greatest athletic achievement of all time? ›

Top 10 all-time individual achievements in sport
  • Eric Heiden: long track sweep. ...
  • Haile Gebreselassie: greatest distance runner ever. ...
  • Jesse Owens: four records, one hour. ...
  • Nadia Comaneci: perfect 10. ...
  • Roger Bannister: four-minute mile. ...
  • Michael Phelps: Beijing brilliance. ...
  • Usain Bolt: the triple-double.
Sep 2, 2014

Who is the most known athlete in history? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo is the most widely followed athlete in the world.

Who is the most famous athlete in world history? ›

Michael Jordan is the most popular athlete in the history of the world since Babe Ruth. He also might be one of the five most famous celebrities of the 20th century.

Who is the most talked about athlete? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo - 101,993,342 total engagements from articles. Taking the top spot again is Cristiano Ronaldo who has received over 100 million engagements from articles written about him. Ronaldo is top by a country mile, with almost 70 million more than second place.

What is the number 1 hardest sport? ›

According to Sports Virsa, the top 10 hardest sports in the world to play in 2022 are as follows: Boxing (hardest), American football, mixed martial arts, ice hockey, gymnastics, basketball, soccer, wrestling, rugby, and water polo.

Who is the greatest 2 sport athletes ever? ›

1. Jim Thorpe, Football-Track. Born in 1887, Thorpe is one of the iconic tall tales of sports history. He is a member of both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame and has been immortalized by the Jim Thorpe Award — given annually to the top defensive back in college football.

Who was a MLB All-Star most? ›

All-Star Game appearance record
  • Hank Aaron 25.
  • Willie Mays 24.
  • Stan Musial 24.

Who is the only athlete to be All-Star in 2 sports? ›

Bo Jackson

Playing for the Royals, White Sox and Angels from 1986-94, and the NFL's Raiders from 1987-90, Bo is the only athlete ever to be both an MLB All-Star and an NFL Pro Bowler.

Who was the first baseball celebrity? ›

'The Big Fella' Highlights Babe Ruth's Spot As First Celebrity Sports Star Jane Leavy tells the story of Ruth as the first baseball superstar — but also of his roles as movie star, vaudeville performer, barnstormer, pitchman for every conceivable product, and columnist.

Who is the most famous at bats in baseball history? ›

Pete Rose is the all-time leader in at bats with 14,053, and the only player in MLB history with more than 13,000 at bats.

Who is the most famous LA Dodger? ›

Sandy Koufax is the greatest Los Angeles Dodgers player of all time. The superstar pitcher played for the Dodgers from 1955 to 1966 and, in that time, racked up seven all-star selections, 4 World Series titles, and 3 Cy Young awards.

Who hit the most home runs? ›

Barry Bonds

What baseball player was a Hollywood star? ›

Known as Johnny Berardino during his baseball career, he was also credited during his acting career as John Baradino, John Barardino or John Barradino. He was born Giovanni Berardino in Los Angeles, California. He attended Belmont High School, located in Downtown, Los Angeles.

Who is the only athlete in history to be named an all-star in both baseball and football? ›

On December 19, 1990, Los Angeles Raiders running back Bo Jackson is named to the AFC Pro Bowl team as a reserve, becoming the first athlete chosen for all-star games in Major League Baseball and the NFL.

Who were the 1st baseball Hall of Famers? ›

In Baseball's first Hall of Fame class, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Honus Wagner, and Babe Ruth were inducted as five of the finest players of the era controlling the election ballots in 1936.

Who has the best batting ever? ›

First basemen Ty Cobb, whose career ended in 1928, has the highest batting average in Major League Baseball (MLB) history. He batted . 366 over 24 seasons, mostly with the Detroit Tigers.

Who is the greatest slugger of all-time? ›

The Greatest Sluggers of all-time:
  • Barry Bonds. OK, so there is some controversy over how he achieved it but he has the most home runs of any player who has ever played the game at 762 (so far). ...
  • Babe Ruth. ...
  • Hank Aaron. ...
  • Willie Mays. ...
  • Sammy Sosa. ...
  • Ken Griffey Jr. ...
  • Mark McGwire.

What was Babe Ruth's favorite bat? ›

"So many bats, so little time."

Look at the Louisville Slugger logo from The Bambino's bat, pictured above. See the notches along the top? Babe Ruth carved those: One notch for every home run. In 1927, Babe used – and notched – this Louisville Slugger bat for 21 of his record-setting 60 home runs that year.

Who is the winningest pitcher in Dodger history? ›

Koufax has the obvious edge in World Series championships, three to one, and his winning Game 7 start on two days' rest in the 1965 World Series will forever make him the Dodgers great big-game pitcher. Koufax also had four no-hitters, including one perfect game.

Who is the fastest Dodger player? ›

Trea Turner, SS, Dodgers

Turner has regularly been among the fastest players in his MLB career, and 2022 is no different.

Who is the oldest living Dodger? ›

Eddie Basinski is the oldest living Dodger and is a worthy representative of the group. He ranks tenth oldest among all living MLB players and at 96 is now the only living major leaguer mentioned in the Dave Frishberg song Van Lingle Mungo. Eddie Basinski was born on November 4, 1922 in Buffalo, NY.

Who has 70 home runs in a season? ›

70 Single Season Home Runs by Mark McGwire. 1.

Who has the most strikeouts in MLB history? ›

Nolan Ryan has the most career strikeouts in Major League Baseball. During a record 27-year career, he struck out 5,714 batters. The American League record is held by Roger Clemens (4,167 strikeouts), while in the National League, the record is 4,000 by Steve Carlton.

Who has the most career stolen bases? ›

Sliding Billy Hamilton held the stolen base record for 80 years. Arlie Latham was the stolen base record holder from 1887 to 1896. Juan Pierre won multiple stolen base titles and finished his career with 614 stolen bases.
1Rickey Henderson *1,406
2Lou Brock *938
3Billy Hamilton *914
4Ty Cobb *897
46 more rows


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