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The Top Four Most Famous Baseball Players In History

Written by Jimmy Rustling

Oh, the sound of the bat hitting the ball. The aroma of grass that has just been cut. You’re chewing on Cracker Jack while simultaneously attempting to avoid getting hit in the face by the big beer that the drunken fan sitting behind you is barely holding onto while also betting on some world series predictions. Baseball, the national sport of the United States, is the quintessential summer activity. Baseball’s place in the American zeitgeist is, at least in part, from its long history and the general consistency of the game over decades; it’s quite likely that your great-great-grandfather would be able to comfortably follow a modern game if he were magically plopped into the stands. Below are the most famous and legendary baseball players America has seen:

Ted Williams

Long regarded as “the best pure hitter who ever lived.” Despite missing almost five full seasons of his peak due to military duty, he is in the top 20 in total runs, home runs, runs batted in, and walks and has the greatest career on-base percentage of all time (.482). Williams has been hailed as the finest fighter pilot and fisherman in history, in addition to being the best batter of all time. He had a notably contentious connection with the public despite all the plaudits (or maybe because of them). However, as renowned author John Updike famously said after Williams declined to leave the game after hitting a home run in the last at-bat of his career: “Gods do not answer letters.”

Barry Bonds

He wasn’t exactly the kind of man who should be given the benefit of the doubt and land at number three on this list since he was cantankerous, pretentious, and probably certainly a steroid user. Many baseball fans see Barry Bonds as the embodiment of the drug era’s purported legitimacy. However, he was already a lock for the Hall of Fame before reportedly starting to juice, and steroids would not have had any impact on the unmatched eye-hand coordination that resulted in an all-time record of 2558 career walks and astounding.444-lifetime on-base percentage. The problem with steroids is that it’s impossible to determine for sure how they affect a baseball player’s performance. Let’s just take a moment to marvel at the incredible numbers Bonds amassed, including his unrivaled 762 home runs, record seven MVP awards, and 688 intentional walks—more than double the player with the second-most in history and a startling illustration of the unmatched fear Bonds instilled in opposing pitchers.

Toby Mays

Mays doesn’t need to do any mental gymnastics to earn his spot on this list, unlike his godson Bonds (whose father was Willie Mays’s teammate from 1968 to 1972). Not only did Mays amass incredible numbers at the plate, including 3,283 hits, 660 home runs, and 1,903 runs batted in, but he also excelled in the outfield, winning 12 straight Gold Glove Awards (1957–68) and earning the title of the best all-around player in the history of the game. The most famous play of Mays’s career, and maybe of all time in baseball, was a defensive play: an over-the-shoulder catch at the warning track in the eighth inning of a tied 1954 World Series game that gave the New York Giants the advantage and ultimately the victory. The 20-time All-Star and two-time MVP’s career only included one championship, but it doesn’t diminish his sterling legacy.

Babe Ruth

This is a no-brainer if there ever was one. Ruth had such a legendary talent that he transcended these qualifications, even though he competed in a talent pool that was artificially constrained before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947 and decades before modern training methods created athletes who looked like, well, athletes. When he entered the majors in 1914, the mark for seasons with the most home runs was 27. Within seven years, he had produced 59, more than doubling it. In 1927, he ultimately hit a personal-high 60 dingers. He topped the AL in home runs 12 times in total. His incredible career slugging percentage of.690 is still the finest of all time, and the distance between his record and second place is more than the distance between second place and ninth. He was such a prolific power hitter.

 

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.