Top 10 Center Fielders in Baseball History

Top 10 Centerfielders of all-time!
UNDATED: Willie Mays of the New York Giants poses for a portrait before a season game. Willie Mays played for the New York Giants from 1951-1957. (Photo by Photo File/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

10) Oscar Charleston

He was not an MLB player, and this is an MLB list. Sure Negro league players didn’t play the best of competition, but neither did MLB players. MLB players didn’t have to play against the best African-American players, but for some reason, nobody holds it against them. Considered the Ty Cobb of the Negro Leagues, he hit .353 in his career according to Baseball Library and was the all-time Negro League leader in stolen bases. He also, like Cobb, was known for his competitiveness and his temper. He was the manager of the Negro League’s most outstanding team – the Pittsburgh Crawfords of the 1930s – and hit .446 in 1921. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1976.


9) Kirby Puckett

Puckett was the centrepiece of two World Series-winning teams in his short, 12-year career ended by glaucoma. He hit .318 in his career and had more hits in his first ten years (2,040) than any player in the 20th century. He also hit for power with 207 career homers and was a 10-time All-Star who won a batting title in 1989. He starred in the postseason, making a famous leaping catch and a game-winning home run in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series. The Twins won the World Series in seven games.


8) Andre Dawson

A fearsome player both at the plate (438 career home runs) and on the field (eight Gold Glove awards). Dawson’s lone MVP season, he hit 49 home runs. He tends to get overlooked, but as a player who could do it all.


7) Duke Snider

Snider was one of the greatest power hitters ever. In his 18 year career, he had a .295 average, a .380 on-base percentage, 407 home runs, 1333 RBI’s, 1259 runs scored, 2116 base hits and 99 stolen bases. He was selected to the All-Star game eight times.


6) Tris Speaker

In his long 22 year career, he had a .345 average, 117 home runs, 1529 RBI’s, 1882 runs scored, 3514 base hits, 792 doubles, 222 triples and 432 stolen bases. He had one batting title, four on base % titles, one slugging percentage title and one OPS title.

He ranks fifth all-time in total hits, sixth all-time in total triples and is the all-time leader in career doubles. His best season came in 1912, when he won his only MVP award. He had a .383 average in that season, ten home runs, 90 RBI’s, 136 runs scored, and 52 stolen bases. Finally, he won three championships, two with the Red Sox and one with the Indians.


5) Ty Cobb

In his 24 year career, he had a .366 career average, 117 home runs, 1937 RBI’s, 2246 runs scored, 4189 base hits, 724 doubles, 295 triples and 892 stolen bases.

He won eleven batting titles, seven on-base percentage titles, eight slugging percentage titles and ten OPS titles. He ranks second all-time in hits and runs, fourth in doubles, second in triples, seventh in RBI’s and fourth in stolen bases.

He won the MVP award in 1911 as he had a .420 average, eight home runs, 127 RBI’s, 147 runs scored and 83 stolen bases. However, he was an average defensive player at best.


4) Ken Griffey Jr.

He is a fantastic defensive player as he won ten consecutive Gold Glove awards from 1990 until 1999. He led the league in home runs four times, in runs once, and in RBI’s once. His best season was in 1997, as he won his only MVP award. He had a .304 average in that season, 56 home runs, 147 RBI’s, 125 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases. However, several injuries hurt his career ever since he signed with his hometown Reds. Griffey is one of the most prolific home run hitters in baseball history; his 630 home runs rank as the sixth-most in MLB history. Griffey was also an exceptional defender and won 10 Gold Glove Awards in center field. He is tied for most consecutive games with a home run (8 games, with Don Mattingly and Dale Long).


3) Mickey Mantle

In his 18 year career, he had a .298 average, a .421 on-base percentage, 536 home runs, 1509 RBI’s, 1677 runs scored, 2415 base hits and 153 stolen bases. He won four home run titles, six scored titles and one RBI title. He was selected to the All-Star team a fantastic twenty times, starting in center field in twelve of them.

He won three MVP awards and finished second in the voting three times. His best season came in 1956 as he won the Triple Crown and his first MVP award. He had a .353 average, a .464 on-base percentage, a .705 slugging percentage, 52 home runs, 130 home runs, 132 runs scored and ten stolen bases. Finally, he was a solid defensive player as he won a Gold Glove award in 1962, and he led the Yankees to the World Series a fantastic twelve times.

2) Joe Dimaggio

In his short 13 year career, he had a .325 average, 361 home runs, 1537 RBI’s, 1390 runs scored, 2214 base hits, 389 doubles and 131 triples. He had two batting titles, two home runs titles, and two RBI titles. He was selected to the All-Star team thirteen times, starting in center field in six.

He won three MVP awards, with his best season coming in 1939 as he had a .381 average, 30 home runs, 126 RBI’s and 108 runs scored in only 120 games played. He led his team to the World Series an amazing ten times, winning the championship nine times.


1). Willie Mays

In his 22 year career, he had a .302 average, a .384 on-base percentage, 660 home runs, 1903 RBI’s, 2062 runs scored, 3283 base hits, 523 doubles, 140 triples and 338 stolen bases. He won one batting title, two on-base percentage titles and four home run titles. He was selected to the All-Star team an unheard of 24 times, starting in center field 18 times.

On top of all that, he is arguably the most outstanding defensive player of all time. Even though the Gold Glove award started five to six years into his career, he still won twelve consecutive Gold Glove awards from the 1957 season until the 1968 season.



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