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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Top 10 Left Fielders in MLB History: Who was the Greatest?

Top 10 Left Fielders in MLB History: Who was the Greatest?

Greatest left fielders of all-time!
Publish Date: 02/07/2024
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

Left Field is a mostly unheralded position, but it has featured some of the greatest players in baseball history. Today, we will give it our best shot to rate the Top 10 Left Fielders of all time. Check out our list of the Greatest Right fielders of all time.

Criteria

Traditional offensive stats such as hits, BA, OPS, HRs and RBI were combined with wOBA, wRC+ and OPS+ to produce an overall offensive rating. We also considered All-Star game appearances, MVP awards and finishing within the top ten of MVP voting – though less heavily, as these awards didn’t exist during the early years.

10) Jim Rice

Rice stands as one of the greatest Red Sox players ever. Over his 16-year career, he amassed an astounding.298 average with a.352 on-base percentage; 382 homers, 1451 RBI, 1249 runs scored, 2452 base hits and 373 doubles; eight All-Star team selections starting in left field in three of them and won back-to-back Silver Slugging Awards between 1983 and 1984.

Rice placed among the top five in MVP voting six times, including winning it during the 1978 season. That season he posted an astounding.315 average with 46 homers, 139 RBI, 121 runs scored and seven stolen bases; nearly winning Triple Crown as he finished third in both batting average and home runs/RBI totals! Rice played in one of the greatest Game 7’s in World Series History.

  • 8 Time All-Star
  • 1978 AL MVP
  • 2 Silver Slugger awards
  • 3 Time AL Home Run Leader
  • 2 Time AL RBI Leader
Video: Jim Rice Baseball Career Highlights

Jim Rice Baseball Career Highlights

9) Ralph Kiner

One of the most underrated players in MLB history. I know he is in the Hall of Fame, but it seems people have forgotten about Kiner. He had a lifetime .279 batting average with 369 home runs was a 6-time all-star, and led the league in home runs seven times.

Kiner was one of the greatest power hitters in baseball history, and that was at a time when not as many home runs were being hit.

  • 6 Time All-Star
  • 7 Time Home Run Leader
  • NL RBI Leader 1949
Video: Ralph Kiner - Baseball Hall of Fame Biographies

Ralph Kiner – Baseball Hall of Fame Biographies

8) Billy Williams

Billy Williams had a stellar career for 16 seasons in Chicago, with a .290 career average, 426 homers and a career slugging average of .492. He won a batting title in 1972 (.333), when he also hit 37 homers and drove in 122. But he finished a close second to Johnny Bench in MVP voting that year.

Williams was a Cub, which means we don’t know how good he was in big games because he did not play that many. Williams is an underrated all-time great player.

  • 6 Time All-Star
  • NL Rookie of the Year 1961
  • NL Batting Champion 1972
Video: Billy Williams - Baseball Hall of Fame Biographies

Billy Williams – Baseball Hall of Fame Biographies

7) “Shoeless” Joe Jackson

Jackson is one of the best, if not the best, hitters ever. In his 13-year career, he had a .356 average, 54 home runs, 785 RBI, 873 runs scored, 1772 base hits and 202 stolen bases. His .356 career average ranks third all-time, as he is only behind Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby.

He finished in the top five in the MVP voting three times, including a second-place vote in the 1913 season. Jackson easily would have had over 3,000 hits as he was only 30 years old when he was not allowed to play anymore.

  • World Series Champion
  • Lifetime .356 Batting Average
Video: Shoeless Joe Jackson

Shoeless Joe Jackson

6) Al Simmons

In his 20-year career, he had a .334 average, 307 home runs, 1827 RBI, 1507 runs scored, 2927 base hits, 539 doubles, 149 triples and 88 stolen bases. He was selected to the All-Star team three times, but it would’ve been more had there been an All-Star game in his entire career.

Simmons was an integral part to the A’s making it to three consecutive World Series.

  • 3 Time All-Star
  • 2 Time World Series Champion
  • 2 Time AL Batting Champion
  • 1979 RBI Leader

5) Willie Stargell

The all-time home run leader for the Pirates, “Pops” hit 475 homers in his 21 seasons and had a stellar career slugging percentage of .529. He led Pittsburgh to titles in the prime of his career (hitting 48 homers in 1971) and at the end (hitting 32 in 1979 and winning his only MVP at age 39). He moved to first base late in his career, but still played more games in left field.

Stargell was a fan favorite even if you were not a Pirates fan! Stargell was one of the greatest clutch hitters in Baseball history and that showed up as Stargell led his Family to the 1979 World Championship.

  • 7 Time All-Star
  • 2 Time World Series Champion
  • NL MVP 1979
  • World Series MVP 1979
  • Roberto Clemente Award 1974
  • 2 Time NL Home Run Leader
  • NL RBI Leader 1973
Video: Willie Stargell - Baseball Hall of Fame Biographies

Willie Stargell – Baseball Hall of Fame Biographies

4) Rickey Henderson

The greatest leadoff hitter of all time. He’s the all-time leader in stolen bases (1,406), runs scored (2,295), and hits 297 homers. He only hit .279, but his on-base average was a stellar .401, as he was the all-time leader in walks. He won two World Series titles.

Henderson made his MLB debut for Oakland midway through 1979 season and stole 33 bases in just 89 games. That same season, he became an All-Star for the first time (making nine total), earning three Silver Slugger awards and one Gold Glove trophy (in 1981). However, due to their team’s struggles, they traded him off following the 1984 season to the New York Yankees; after his performance there, however, they traded him back to the A’s, Henderson was dominant in the 1989 World Series when his production saw them win it all with Henderson leading them as MVP of American League Championship Series

  • 10 Time All-Star
  • 2 Time World Series Champion
  • AL MVP 1990
  • ALCS MVP 1989
  • Gold Glove 1981
  • 3 Time Silver Slugger Award
  • 12 Time Stolen Base Leader
  • All-Time Stolen Base Leader
Video: Rickey Henderson - Oakland Athletics Highlights

Rickey Henderson – Oakland Athletics Highlights

3) Carl Yastrzemski

In his long 23 year career, he had a .285 average, 452 home runs, 1844 RBI, 1816 runs scored, 3419 base hits, 646 doubles, 168 stolen bases and a .379 on base percentage. He was selected to an amazing 18 All-Star team’s, He won three batting titles and five on-base percentage titles.

He was also one of the best defensive outfielders ever as he won seven Gold Glove awards and is the last player to have won a Triple Crown, which he accomplished in 1967. In that season, he had a .326 average, 44 home runs, 121 RBI, 112 runs and ten stolen bases as he won his only MVP award.

  • 18 Time All-Star
  • AL MVP 1967
  • Triple Crown 1967
  • 7 Gold Glove awards
  • 3 Time AL Batting Champion
  • AL Home Run Leader 1967
  • AL RBI Leader 1967
Video: Yastrzemski makes amazing catch in left

Yastrzemski makes amazing catch in left

2) Stan Musial

In his 22-year career with the St. Louis Cardinals, he had a .331 average, a .417 on-base percentage, 475 home runs, 1951 RBI, 1949 runs scored, 3630 base hits, 725 doubles, 177 triples and 78 stolen bases. He was selected to a fantastic 24 All-Star teams. He won seven batting titles, six on-base percentage titles, six slugging percentage titles and seven OPS titles.

Musial was the greatest Cardinals player of all time and maybe the most beloved Cardinal ever.

  • 24 Time All-Star
  • 3 Time World Series Champion
  • 3 Time NL MVP
  • 7 Time NL Batting Champion
  • 2 Time NL RBI Leader
Video: Stan Musial Tribute- career highlights, greatest plays, games.

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

1) Ted Williams

What puts Williams over the top isn’t just that .344 lifetime average, the .482 on-base percentage, the .634 slugging percentage or those 521 homers. He missed all three seasons, parts of two others serving in the military as a fighter pilot, and all in the prime of his career (World War II and Korea).

If you give Williams 25 homers a year – a low total – for those five years, he’s approaching 700 homers, and with that career average, he rivals Babe Ruth as a hitter. The last player to hit .400 in a season (.406 in 1941).

  • 19 Time All-Star
  • 2 Time AL MVP
  • 2 Time Triple Crown Winner
  • 5 Time AL Batting Champion
  • 4 Time AL Home Run Leader
Video: Ted Williams Highlights

Ted Williams Highlights

Honorable mention

Lou Brock

Over 3,000 hits, a .293 lifetime batting average, and, of course, was one of the greatest players at stealing bases. He accounted for 938 stolen bases in his career and was a six-time all-star.

Tim Raines

The fact that he’s one of only four players with at least 2,500 hits, 1,500 runs and 800 stolen bases proves he was far more than Rickey Henderson Lite. Raines was one of, if not the greatest Montreal Expo of all time and one of the most underrated players in Baseball history!

Dishonorable Mention

Barry Bonds(Steroids are why he is not on the list)

Manny Ramirez (Steroids are why he is not on the list)

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