Baseball, since the late 19th Century, has been a quintessential American pastime and, today, the MLB serves as the second-most popular major North American sports league. Within such a long and storied history of outstanding individual performances, many baseball fans naturally gravitate toward this question. From the absolutely reality-defying sluggers, pitchers, outfielders, and catchers, who is the best baseball player of all time?
Babe Ruth is the greatest baseball player ever
Babe Ruth, the Great Bambino, the Sultan of Swat, the King of Crash, absolutely dominated the game of baseball since he was 23 years old and catapulted it into a new era of widespread popularity and Americana. His seemingly unbeatable performances still stand today as lore in the baseball community, and his name is one of the most recognizable in all of sports history.
Babe Ruth's records are unbeatable
Babe Ruth's incredible feats of athleticism and control over the game have not been surpassed in almost 90 years, and it doesn't seem like they will be anytime soon.
Babe Ruth is the most influential and widely known baseball player of all time
Ruth's impact on the game of baseball was undeniable since his beginning in 1914, and not only did he catapult baseball into the mainstream American consciousness, but he still stands today as the most recognizable baseball player ever.
Hank Aaron (AKA "Hammer") left his mark on the National League for 20 years, and his batting performance is still largely unmatched today. His story of overcoming many obstacles to pass Babe Ruth for the home run record and his historical base-hitting numbers help him achieve the title of GOAT.
Hank Aaron is an unparalleled statistical phenomenon
The numbers over Aaron's illustrious career in almost all essential slugging statistics are mind-boggling. His batting versatility in all categories reigns supreme to this day.
Hank Aaron is the most consistent player over a baseball career as long as his
In all team sports, especially baseball, consistency in individual player performance can be hard to come by, but when a player like Hank Aaron so profoundly impacts his league and his team each season in his 23-year career, he automatically joins the elite conversation.
Willie Mays (the "Say Hey Kid") redefined the meaning of versatility in baseball. Not only was Mays a phenomenal athlete and a historically elite hitter, his extraordinary defensive performance vaults him to the title of greatest center fielder, and overall baseball player, to ever live.
Both Willie Mays' hitting and center fielding performances are historically great
Willie Mays' timeless dominance over both the offensive and defensive side of the baseball make him the greatest ever.
Before his career with the New York Yankees was tragically cut short, Lou Gehrig's batting performance was already on an all-time level. His career slugging marks helped continue his organization's winning legacy for years to come.