VA
  • TGT on YouTube
  • About TGT
  • The TGT Team
  • How TGT rates
  • Responsible Gambling Advice
  • Contact Our Team
  • Writers Wanted
  • Content Disclaimer
  • Affiliate Disclosure
Contains commercial content
Billboard Left
Billboard Left
The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Top 20 Greatest Hitters in Major League Baseball History: Where do Rose and Bonds Rank?

Top 20 Greatest Hitters in Major League Baseball History: Where do Rose and Bonds Rank?

Top 20 Greatest Hitters of All-Time!
Publish Date: 05/27/2023
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

The Greatest Hitters of All Time

This is a debate that will be sure to rage on as long as baseball is played. That is the great thing about baseball; the game hasn’t changed as much as others have through the years. The Deadball Era, lack of African-American players, Steroid Era were factors that could either hurt or help you, but in the end, being a complete hitter was most important to me. You may be a great singles hitter, but I lean towards a high batting average that includes extra-base hits more than just a straight-up singles guy.

20) George Sisler

Sisler was a first baseman for the St. Louis Browns who hit.402 in 1920 and.420 in 1922, leading both leagues in batting each year.

He amassed 257 hits in 1920, setting a record that would stand until Ichiro Suzuki broke it in 2004.

Sisler boasted a lifetime batting average of.340.

Video: George Sisler Highlight video

George Sisler Highlight video

19) Nap Lajoie

When it comes to dominant hitters, many of them came from the hitting-starved times of the dead-ball era. Nap Lajoie, in particular, earned himself a team named in his honor.

Lajoie spent most of his career with the Cleveland Naps, leading the league five times in batting and dominating nearly every offensive category in 1901. He often led both hits and doubles as well.

Lajoie had a career average of.338, 3,242 hits, 163 triples and an infamous team name; the only question left to decide which was greater: his statline or having his own team?

Video: NAPOLÉON LAJOIE

NAPOLÉON LAJOIE

18) Pete Rose

Baseball’s all-time career hits leader also holds the record for the most plate appearances in MLB history. His 1,972 career wins as a player is also a record. Rose did not hit for power and his lifetime batting average was slightly above .300. He was a great hitter, but his records were more about longevity, but he was a great hitter.

Video: Pete Rose Top 14 Moments

Pete Rose Top 14 Moments

17) Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds has a lot of baggage, and some might criticize me for including someone who represents the face of the steroid era in my top five hitters list. Even before his surge in his 30s, though, he was an elite hitter and five-tool player, so I don’t see any issue here. He is dropped because of the steroid use later in his career.

In his 20s, Bonds was an all-around hitter who could hit 100 RBIs and 30 HRs while scoring triples and drawing walks. But then 2000 came around, and everything changed – instead of his numbers declining drastically, his numbers became truly remarkable.

He set a home run record of 73 in 2001, put up incredible on-base percentage numbers due to pitchers working around him, and continued hitting triple digit runs and RBIs en route to seven career MVP awards for his hitting prowess.

Video: Barry Bonds Before And After Steroids

Barry Bonds Before And After Steroids

16) Jimmie Foxx

Jimmie Foxx was one of the greatest players in 1930s baseball and deserves to be included among the hitters of all time, yet despite playing for much of his career with the Red Sox; he remains little remembered today.

Foxx was consistent.300 hitter, often leading the league in home runs and RBIs. His prowess earned him three MVP awards over his career.

People often overlook his running prowess, which included 125 triples in his career. He hit.325, had 534 home runs, over 2,600 hits, and even became a pitcher at the end of his tenure with the Philadelphia Phillies when everyone else was still active in the service.

Video: Jimmie Foxx - The Beast

Jimmie Foxx – The Beast

15) Frank Robinson

Frank Robinson had an impressive career to begin with, but his numbers look even better in retrospect since he played during such a dominant pitching era.

Robinson won the Triple Crown in 1966 and was twice MVP winner. He consistently hit home runs, doubles, and collected 100 RBIs with ease; furthermore, his ability to score runs allowed him to become a three-time Triple Crown champion.

At the conclusion of his career, Robinson had hit 586 home runs and amassed 2,943 hits to go with over 1,800 RBIs – making him an easy choice for a first-ballot Hall of Fame induction.

Video: Frank Robinson's groundbreaking baseball life!

Frank Robinson’s groundbreaking baseball life!

14) Lou Gehrig

Gehrig and Stan Musical are the only two players with at least 500 doubles, 150 triples, and 450 home runs for a career.

Video: Lou Gehrig Baseball Career Highlights

Lou Gehrig Baseball Career Highlights

13) Shoeless Joe Jackson

Jackson, one of the most famous players on this list, batted.375 in the 1919 World Series and had 12 hits. He knew that some of his teammates took bribes to throw this Series. Jackson was then banned from the game for the rest of his life. We all wonder what could have been. We know that Jackson was an all-time great hitter who was forced out of baseball with a lifetime .356 batting average.

Video: Shoeless Joe Jackson: Hall of Fame Worthy?

Shoeless Joe Jackson: Hall of Fame Worthy?

12)Harry Heilmann

Harry Heilmann of the Detroit Tigers was a career.342 hitter, hitting.394,.403,393 and.398 each other year since 1921 – an impressive streak!

But Heilmann was the most impressive in 1921. This year he engaged Cobb, then Detroit’s manager, in an epic AL batting title battle and eventually prevailed with a.394 average to Cobb’s.389.

Video: Harry Heilmann Gravesite

Harry Heilmann Gravesite

11) Wade Boggs

Wade Boggs, one of several left-handed batting champions to wear Red Sox uniforms, won five AL batting titles – four consecutively from 1985-88 – during which span he hit.368,.357.363 and.366, respectively.

Boggs, a third baseman, was later traded to the Yankees and hit.342 in 1994 – his final great season with them.

Boggs achieved his 3,000th hit–a home run–with his hometown Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1999.

Boggs boasts a.328 average and 3,010-lifetime hits, thanks to his superb bat control and keen eye. In seven consecutive seasons, he hit 200 or more balls en route to joining the 3,000-hit club.

Video: Wade Boggs - Baseball Hall of Fame Biographies

Wade Boggs – Baseball Hall of Fame Biographies

10) Honus Wagner

won eight NL batting titles, tied for the most in NL history with the legendary Tony Gwynn. Wagner hit a career-high .381 in 1900 and won four batting titles in a row, starting in 1906 and culminating with a World Championship Pittsburgh team in 1909. He also led the league in slugging six times and in stolen bases five times.

Video: Honus Wagner - Baseball Hall of Fame Biographies

Honus Wagner – Baseball Hall of Fame Biographies

12) Rod Carew 

Carew won seven American League batting titles, including four straight from 1972-75. Carew hit a career-high .388 in 1977 and wound up with a .328 lifetime average and 3,053 hits. He was selected to 18-straight all-star games.

Video: MIN@LAA: Carew collects his 3,000th career hit

MIN@LAA: Carew collects his 3,000th career hit

11) Joe Dimaggio

The Yankee Clipper’s numbers are impressive enough on their own, but when you consider that he missed three prime years and has only 13 seasons under his belt – lower than most this high – his achievements become even more remarkable.

His first season saw him emerge as an MVP contender, leading the league in triples and home runs during a remarkable 1937 campaign that should’ve earned him MVP honors. Ultimately, he won three MVP awards over his career and led the league twice in batting average.

DiMaggio batted.325 throughout his career and amassed 2,214 hits along with over 1,500 RBIs. He was the driving force of the Yankees during World War II, playing alongside Gehrig and Mantle for most of their success.

Video: Joe DiMaggio Baseball Career Highlights

Joe DiMaggio Baseball Career Highlights

10) Tony Gwynn 

Since the retirement of Ted Williams, Gwynn has been the best hitter in baseball. Gwynn owns a record-tying eight NL batting titles. He hit .394 in 1993, the highest average since Ted Williams batted .406  in 1941. That kicked off a string of four-straight batting titles, as Gwynn hit .368, .353 and .372 the next three years, respectively. Gwynn finished with 3,141 hits and a .338 lifetime batting average. Gwynn was selected to 15 All-Star Games and helped lead the Padres to the World Series in 1984 and 1998.

Video: The Legend of Tony Gwynn | Career Highlights

The Legend of Tony Gwynn | Career Highlights

9) Tris Speaker

Speaker’s career record of 792 doubles is still intact. He hit 50 doubles in 1920 and batting.388 to help Cleveland Indians win their first World Series. His career doubles record has stood for 100 years.

Video: Who is Tris Speaker? The Most Forgotten Legend in the History of Baseball (Baseball Storytime #4)

Who is Tris Speaker? The Most Forgotten Legend in the History of Baseball (Baseball Storytime #4)

8) Mickey Mantle

When Mickey Mantle became a Yankee, he was following in the footsteps of Joe DiMaggio, who was on his way out in 1951. Despite such big shoes to fill, Mantle not only did so but established himself as one of the best hitters in MLB history.

Mantle was the cornerstone of the Yankees in the 50s and 60s, winning baseball’s triple crown in 1956, the only year he led the league in batting average. He frequently led the league in runs and home runs and could still hit for power even in his final years.

Mantle finished his career nearly hitting .300 with 536 home runs and over 1500 RBIs. He also cemented his status as the greatest switch-hitter of all time, and his three MVP wins could have easily been five had it not been for Roger Maris’s short dominant streak.

Video: 1964 WS Gm3: Mantle hits a walk-off home run

1964 WS Gm3: Mantle hits a walk-off home run

7) Willie Mays

Perhaps the greatest five-tool player in baseball history batted in more than 100 RBIs in 10 of his 22 seasons. Mays could hit for power, as his 660 lifetime home runs can attest, and the lifetime batting average was brought down as Mays played much longer than he should have.

Video: Willie Mays Career Highlights

Willie Mays Career Highlights

6) Hank Aaron

With all the focus on his career home run record that Barry Bonds broke in 2007, it is easy to forget that Aaron is the all-time career leader in RBIs, extra-base hits (1,477) and total bases (6,856). Aaron was much like Ruth, who could beat you however he needed. He had a lifetime batting average of over .300, hitting 755 home runs for his career and over 3,700 hits.

Video: Remembering Hank Aaron, one of the greatest MLB players ever

Remembering Hank Aaron, one of the greatest MLB players ever

5) Stan Musial 

Musial was a great hitter, and I have him this high on the list because he also hit with great power, belting 475 Home Runs in his career. Musial stands fourth all-time with 3,630 hits. The most impressive statistic in all of those hits is that he had 1,815 at home and 1,815 on the road. Musial won seven batting titles and ended his career with a lifetime batting average of .331 and almost 2,000 RBI’s.

Video: Stan Musial Tribute- career highlights, greatest plays, games.

Stan Musial Tribute- career highlights, greatest plays, games.

4) Rogers Hornsby 

Hornsby is a man that is seemingly on every baseball historian’s top 5 hitters list, and yes, he is on mine also. Hornsby had the highest single-season batting average in baseball history, .424, in 1924. Between 1922 and 1925, Rogers batted .401, 384, .424 and .403. He won his final batting title with the Boston Braves in 1928 when he hit .387. Hornsby ranks second in history with a .358 lifetime average. Hornsby won a pair of triple crowns in 1922 and 1925. Hornsby was also the first National Leaguer to notch 300 career Home Runs.

Video: Rogers Hornsby - Baseball Hall of Fame Biographies

Rogers Hornsby – Baseball Hall of Fame Biographies

3) Babe Ruth

Ruth once said, “If I’d just tried for them dinky singles, I could’ve batted around .600.” He may have been right, but we’ll never know. Over 2,800 hits, a lifetime batting average of .342, and 714 home runs tell you all you need to know about the greatness of Ruth.

Video: Babe Ruth Highlights

Babe Ruth Highlights

2) Ty Cobb 

As he was known, the “Georgia Preach” was one of the greatest hitters ever to play the game. His reputation was unjustly soiled by a drunken sportswriter named Al Stump and later Ken Burns in his PBS Documentary Baseball. But the truth about Cobb was that he was as good a man as a baseball player. Beginning in 1907, Cobb won an unprecedented nine-consecutive AL batting titles. Then after losing the 1916 race, he won three more in a row, starting in 1917. He is second all-time in base hits at 4,191 and has the highest lifetime batting average in Major League Baseball history at .367. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that he batted over .400 three times, hit above .300 for 23 straight seasons, and won the 1909 triple crown.

Video: History in Five: The Real Ty Cobb

History in Five: The Real Ty Cobb

1) Ted Williams 

This is a no-brainer selection for me. The “Splendid Splinter” could do it all. The most fantastic stat may be that Williams lost five of his best years to military service and still put up odd numbers. Williams hit .344 lifetime, won six American League batting titles and was the last man to beat over 400 for an entire season. Williams won the triple crown not once but twice in 1942 and 1947. He won his final batting title at the age of 39 when he hit an astounding .388. To me, number one was undoubtedly the “Splendid Splinter”.

Video: Ted Williams Highlights

Ted Williams Highlights

Honorable mention

George Brett

Mike Schmidt

Cap Anson

Mel Ott

Roberto Clemente

Eddie Collins

Chipper Jones

Carl Yasztremski

Eddie Matthews

Ken Griffey Jr

Billboard Left
Billboard Left
Read Also
Top-14 Negro League Players of All Time
I wanted to write this article because the Negro leagues never get ...
Top 20 Center Fielders in Baseball History: Willie, Mickey or the Duke?
Centerfield is a glamorous position in Baseball, and today we will look ...
BetMGM Promo
Top 10 MLB Players of the 1990s
This top 10 does not include pitchers, only position players. "Juan Gone," ...
Should the Reds Remove Pete Rose’s Statue?
A few years ago the Philadelphia Phillies canceled their previously planned "Wall ...
Esteban de Jesus, Roberto Duran y AIDS (1972-89)
Many of us dream of celebrity sports fame, but only cruel individuals ...
What is the Best Decade of Basketball in NBA History?
15Every NBA player and fan thinks that their generation of basketball was ...
Elmer Ray: The Humble Man of Hastings
"Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, for ...
Top 50 NBA players under 25 years old in 2021: Doncic bests Young
This year’s playoffs confirmed that the NBA is in good hands. The ...
Ranking the top 200 players in the NFL ahead of the 2021 season
This list isn’t based solely on performances from the 2020 NFL season. ...
Social Casino of the month
Stake.us - Sign up now! Sign up now!
Top Brands
Top Bonuses
Stake.us
Stake.us
Stake.us Review
4.6/5
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Review
4.6/5
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Review
4.6/5
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots Review
4.5/5
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com Review
4.5/5
Stake.us
Stake.us Bonus
5% Rakeback
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Bonus
30 SCs on 1st Purchase + 4.5 SCs FREE
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Bonus
Get $5 extra in FREE play
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots Bonus
7,000 Gold Coins + 10 Sweeps Coins
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com Bonus
5,000 Gold Coins + 2.3 Sweepstakes Coins
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Latest News
Top 16 Green Bay Packers of All Time
Once again just like the Steelers list, more ...
Top 11 Living Boxers: Who sits at the top Duran or leonard?
   This list only includes retired boxers Who ...
Top 10 Teams to not win an NBA Championship
They had Dirk Nowitzki in his absolute prime, ...
Betting Tips
06/01/2023 - 8:30 pm
Ball Arena
Tip:
Nuggets to Cover
Nuggets -8
FanDuel
05/29/2023 - 8:30 pm
TD Garden
Tip:
Heat to Cover
Heat +8
FanDuel
05/27/2023 - 8:30 pm
Kaseya Arena
Tip:
Celtics to Cover
Celtics -3
FanDuel
Our Latest YouTube Videos
Video: Boxing History 101: Randall
Boxing History 101: Randall "Tex" Cobb the Man who shut up Howard Cosell
Video: 1919 Cincinnati Reds: True Champions
1919 Cincinnati Reds: True Champions
Video: Boxing History 101: Abe Attell A Complex Champion
Boxing History 101: Abe Attell A Complex Champion
Sportsbook of the month
PointsBet - Get your Bonus Bet now! Get your Bonus Bet now!
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....
Top Online Casinos
Top Casinos Bonuses
Stake.us
Stake.us
Stake.us Review
4.6/5
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Review
4.6/5
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Review
4.6/5
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots Review
4.5/5
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com Review
4.5/5
Stake.us
Stake.us Bonus
5% Rakeback
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Bonus
30 SCs on 1st Purchase + 4.5 SCs FREE
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Bonus
Get $5 extra in FREE play
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots Bonus
7,000 Gold Coins + 10 Sweeps Coins
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com Bonus
5,000 Gold Coins + 2.3 Sweepstakes Coins
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Top Betting Sites
Top Betting Bonuses
FanDuel
FanDuel
FanDuel Review
4.8/5
PointsBet
PointsBet
PointsBet Review
4.6/5
Bet365
Bet365
Bet365 Review
4.5/5
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com Review
4.5/5
Unibet
Unibet
Unibet Review
4.5/5
FanDuel
FanDuel Bonus
Get up to $1,000 back in bonus bets
T&Cs apply
4.8/5
PointsBet
PointsBet Bonus
5 x $50Bet Credits
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Bet365
Bet365 Bonus
Bet $1 & Get $200 in Bonus Bets
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Bet $1 and Get $200 in Bonus Bets at bet365. Deposit required. Bonus Bets winnings are added to Bonus Bets balance. Bonus Bet wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com Bonus
100% up to $500
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Unibet
Unibet Bonus
100% up to $100
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Our Team
Mike GoodpasterAuthor IconJosh SchwartzSamuel TeetsSimon Briffa
+8
Mike Goodpaster
Mike Goodpaster
Chief Editor
Author Icon
Christopher Carlson
Content Writer
Josh Schwartz
Josh Schwartz
Editor
Samuel Teets
Samuel Teets
US Sports Veteran
Simon Briffa
Simon Briffa
Sports Editor
Mark Lewis
Mark Lewis
Editor
Chris Benedict
Chris Benedict
Editor
Author Icon
Malik Zorrok
Author
Author Icon
Daniel Kornhauser
Author
John Raspanti
John Raspanti
Author
Author Icon
Buddy Gibbs
Author
Brian Coburn
Brian Coburn
Author
Peter Bonahoom
Peter Bonahoom
Author
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....

If you enjoy hearing from the legends of pro sports, then be sure to tune into “The Grueling Truth” sports shows, “Where the legends speak”

Contact us: contact@thegruelingtruth.com

Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.

21+NCPG
Move to Top
Close
Stake.us Exclusive Bonus
5% Rakeback
Promo Code
Copy
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
Payment Methods
Bitcoin
Litecoin
Ethereum
Dogecoin
Highlights
  • Exclusive promo code: TGTSOCIAL
  • Play Plinko, Hilo, Crash and more!
  • Get Stake Cash bonuses every day!
Stake Originals
Dice
Crash
Plinko
Mines
×
Your Promo Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Visit Site