Most Famous Baseball Players of All Time

Oh, that satisfying bat crack. The fresh-cut grass aroma. You’re munching on Cracker Jack and attempting to avoid being sprayed by the enormous drink that the drunk fan seated behind you is barely holding onto. Nothing compares to the delight of seeing your favorite baseball player play.

The MLB championship is contested by over 30 American and Canadian clubs. It is not practical to choose the finest of the best and most famous among them.

Hence, who are the greatest and most famous baseball players of all time? We are discussing a national sport and one of the most-watched sporting events in the United States.

In this article, we are going to show you the top 10 most famous baseball players of all time who have already retired. The following lists could include some of your top choices. Getting excited yet?

So let’s start now!

Here Are The Top 10 Most Famous Baseball Players of All Time

Rank Name Primary Position
1 Babe Ruth Outfielder/Pitcher
2 Willie Mays Outfielder
3 Barry Bonds Outfielder
4 Ted Williams Outfielder
5 Hank Aaron Outfielder
6 Walter Johnson Pitcher
7 Ty Cobb Outfielder
8 Stan Musial Outfielder/First baseman
9 Honus Wagner Shortstop
10 Roger Clemens Pitcher

10. Roger Clemens

Roger Clemens

Statistic Number
Career Wins 354
Career ERA 3.12
Career Strikeouts 4,672
All-Star Selections 11
MVP Awards 1
World Series Titles 2
Cy Young Awards 7
Hall of Fame Induction Status Not yet inducted

Roger Clemens earned seven Cy Young Trophies as the best pitcher in either the National or American Leagues throughout the course of a roughly 24-year career. Also, he had 4672 strikeouts overall.

After having a 24-1 record in 1986, he joined a select group of pitchers who were the first to win the MVP award. He has been accused of taking steroids multiple times, which is why he doesn’t rank higher on our this list.

On May 6, 2007, during the seventh inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners, Clemens suddenly made an appearance in the owner’s box at Yankee Stadium and said: “Thank you. So, they came and grabbed me out of Texas, and I can honestly say that it’s an honor to be back. I’ll get in touch with you all shortly.”

At the same time, it was revealed that Clemens had returned to the Yankees, signing a prorated one-year contract totaling $28,000,022, or almost $4.7 million per month. He would be paid $18.7 million for the term of the deal. This came to a little bit more than $1 million per start that season.

For his whole career, Clemens was a model power pitcher with a competitive edge. It was particularly true when he was a young guy. Clemens reportedly throws, “A strong breaking ball and a 98 mph fastball are the two pitches.

Clemens, then 23, calmly retreated and fired the ball beyond the hitters.” Clemens, later on in his career, created a deadly split-finger fastball to utilize as an off-speed weapon in addition to his fastball. This pitch is affectionately known as “Mr. Splitty” by Clemens.

His four-seam fastball had gotten to where it was by the time Clemens announced his retirement from Major League Baseball in 2007. In addition, he had a two-seam fastball, a mid-80s slider, a strong splitter, and an errant curveball.

Clemens was a very resilient pitcher who twice and three times led the American League in innings, thrown, and full games played. No pitcher since has pitched more complete games than he did in 1987 (18). A pitcher notorious for striking out batters, Clemens five times led the AL in Ks and three times led the league in Ks per nine innings.

9. Honus Wagner

Honus Wagner

Statistic Number
Career Home Runs 101
All-Star Selections N/A
MVP Awards N/A
Career Batting Average .327
Career Hits 3,420
World Series Titles 1
Gold Glove Awards N/A
Hall of Fame Induction Year 1936

Honus Wagner is ranked ninth overall. Because of his outstanding batting average, he was known as the Flying Dutchman and often made the news. The second-most hits (3,420), doubles (643), triples (252), and runs batted (1,732) in major league history were all accomplishments of Honus at the time of his retirement in 1917. Also, in 1936, he was admitted to the Hall of Fame.

Albert “Butts” Wagner, Honus’s brother, was the family’s star ballplayer. In 1895, when Albert’s Inter-State League squad needed a new player, he proposed Honus. In his first season, Wagner appeared in 80 games between five clubs and three leagues.

In 1896, Wagner was traded to the Paterson Silk Sox by his former teammate, Edward Barrow of the Wheeling Nailers (Atlantic League). Barrow’s eye for talent was on point, as Wagner’s versatility allowed him to fill in at any position on the field, from first base to third to right field. In 1896, Wagner hit.313 for Paterson, and the next year, he hit.375 in 74 games.

Wagner’s 1910 batting average of.320 was his lowest since 1898. In spite of this, Wagner aged very well, as shown by the fact that he has three of the top ten OPS+ seasons for any shortstop in their 35s or 40s.

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Wagner squeaked by for the 1911 batting crown. On May 30, he went hitless in a 1-0 victory against the Cubs, but the win (and Wagner’s at-bats) were overturned after a successful league complaint by the Cubs.

Wagner beat out Doc Miller, a member of the Boston Rustlers, from .334 to.333. After a promising August, the Pirates fell out of contention when Wagner went down with an ankle ailment and missed 25 games.

8. Stan Musial

Stan Musial

Statistic Number
Career Home Runs 475
Career Batting Average .331
Career RBIs 1,951
All-Star Selections 24
MVP Awards 3
World Series Titles 3
Gold Glove Awards N/A
Hall of Fame Induction Year 1969

Here we have Stan Musial at number eight. It’s common knowledge that “Stan the Man” was a legendary performer. This legendary St. Louisan spent his entire 22-year baseball career with the Cardinals.

He was the driving force behind three championship runs and won many Most Valuable Player honors during his time with the organization. The other team usually gave up rather than face his incredible hitting.

Musial debuted in the Major Leagues on September 17, 1941, in the second match of a doubleheader at Sportsman’s Park. Musial had a.426 batting average on 20 hits in 12 games as the Cardinals were in a pennant fight with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Musial’s late-season heroics weren’t enough to save the Cardinals from finishing two and a half games behind the 100-win Dodgers.

Throughout the first part of 1942, Musial played left field for the Cardinals under manager Billy Southworth, who sometimes substituted him out for a pinch hitter while facing left-handed pitchers. Late in June, Musial was batting.315 when the Cardinals renewed their fight with the Dodgers for the National League lead (NL).

On September 13, the Cardinals took over first place by themselves, and on September 27, after winning game one of a doubleheader on a catch by Stan Musial, they officially secured the pennant with a 105-win season.

After playing in 140 games, he ended the year with a.315 batting average and 72 RBI. As J. Roy Stockton, sports editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, picked Musial as his Rookie of the Year pick in a Saturday Evening Post piece, Musial became well known throughout the country.

7. Ty Cobb

Ty Cobb

Statistic Number
Career Batting Average .366
Career Hits 4,191
Career RBIs 1,938
All-Star Selections N/A
MVP Awards N/A
World Series Titles 3
Gold Glove Awards N/A
Hall of Fame Induction Year 1936

Ty Cobb, who is ranked seventh on the list of “Most Famous Baseball Players of All Time,” makes the cut. Despite being a player of the highest potential, his actions and beliefs cast a cloud over his career. He was sometimes called a bully because he intentionally hurt other players with his pitches and even got into a physical altercation with a fan in the stands.

Nonetheless, Cobb’s batting average was among the best in the game’s history. It is for this reason that he is included in this list: his career lasted over 24 years, during which time he completed a number of first-ever exploits.

A lot of people say that Cobb established 90 MLB records throughout his career. When accounting for home runs, his 4,065 runs and RBI total is still the most of all time for a Major League Baseball player. As of the completion of the 2022 season, he still owns a number of records, including the greatest career hitting average (366) and most career batting championships (11).

Many of his other records stood for nearly half a century: most hits in a career until 1985 (4,189 or 4,191, depending on the source), most runs in a career until 2001, most games played in a career (3,035), and at-bats in a career until 1974, and the modern record with most career stolen bases (892) until 1977.

He was the youngest player to ever collect 4,000 hits and 2,000 runs, and he still maintains the records for most stolen bases (54), most consecutive stolen bases (two), and most consecutive steals of home (four). Cobb made 271 mistakes, the highest by any American League (AL) outfielder, and ranks sixth on the all-time list for games played (589).

6. Walter Johnson

Walter Johnson

Statistic Number
Career Wins 417
Career ERA 2.17
Career Strikeouts 3,509
All-Star Selections N/A
MVP Awards N/A
World Series Titles
Gold Glove Awards N/A
Hall of Fame Induction Year 1936

Walter, also known as the Big Train, had a 21-year professional baseball career and often led the American League in strikeouts. Two times throughout his career, Johnson, a player of exceptional skill and personality, was named the league’s Most Valuable Player. As one of baseball’s all-time greats, he was a phenomenon who influenced generations.

Johnson, widely regarded as one of baseball’s all-time best pitchers, set a number of milestones throughout his career that have yet to be topped nine decades after he left the game. With 110 career shutouts, 417 career wins, and 531 career complete games, he ranks as the all-time leader in all three categories.

Up until Bob Gibson collected his 3,000th strikeout on July 17, 1974, Johnson was the only player to join the 3,000 strikeout club (accomplished July 22, 1923). He has the fewest strikeouts per nine innings (5.34 K/9) and the most innings thrown (among the 18 members of the 3,000 strikeout club).

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Johnson was one of the “first five” inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936. His kindness was legendary, and he is still looked up to as a model of sportsmanship today. His very name has come to represent healthy rivalry.

5. Hank Aaron

Hank Aaron

Statistic Number
Career Home Runs 755
Career Batting Average .305
Career RBIs 2,297
All-Star Selections 25
MVP Awards 1
World Series Titles 1
Gold Glove Awards 3
Hall of Fame Induction Year 1982

Hank Aaron is at position number five. He earned the moniker “Home Run King” and made a name for himself as one of the best players in baseball history. 755 home runs were hit in his career by “Hammerin Hank” (which was a record for 33 years). With his performance in the outfield, Aaron also received three Golden Glove awards.

In terms of runs batted in (RBIs), extra-base hits (AB), and total bases, Aaron owns the MLB records for all three categories (6,856). The total base record is impressive in light of the fact that, at the time of his retirement, he had logged the longest base-running distance in MLB history—over 12 miles.

In addition, Aaron is seventh in runs scored and third overall in hits (3,771). (2,174). Just four players, including him, had at least 17 seasons with 150 or more hits. Aaron’s bat is so good that even without adding any of his home runs, he still has more than 3,000 hits.

In and around Mobile, Alabama, Aaron was both born and reared. Aaron has seven siblings, including Tommie Aaron, a big-league baseball player. Prior to beginning his big league career, he had a few short appearances in baseball’s minor leagues and the Negro American League.

Aaron was the last former baseball player from the Negro League to be listed on a big league roster by the start of his last MLB season. Aaron and his family faced many racial threats during his career in Major League Baseball, particularly during his quest to break the home run record. His life events motivated his engagement throughout the civil rights struggle.

4. Ted Williams

Ted Williams

Statistic Number
Career Home Runs 521
Career Batting Average .344
Career RBIs 1,839
All-Star Selections 17
MVP Awards 2
World Series Titles
Gold Glove Awards N/A
Hall of Fame Induction Year 1966

Ted Williams comes in at number four. The “best pure hitter that ever lived,” according to many. Although missing five seasons of baseball due to his military duty, Williams had a significant effect on the sport. He was known as “the Brilliant Splinter” because of his famed uncanny eye.

He was the finest fighter pilot ever and the greatest fisherman ever, in addition to dominating the field. He has also shown his skill in other arenas. Despite all of his achievements, he has had a rocky relationship with the general population.

Williams was an American League (AL) batting champion six times, a two-time Triple Crown winner, a 19-time All-Star, and a two-time winner of the AL’s Most Valuable Player Award.

He had the second-highest on-base plus slugging percentage of all time when he concluded his playing career with a.344 batting average, 521 home runs, and 1.116. He is tied for seventh place all-time in terms of lifetime batting average among MLB players whose careers were mostly spent playing live-ball baseball (with Billy Hamilton).

Williams participated in his lone World Series after rejoining the MLB in 1946 and took home his first AL MVP Award. A second Triple Crown was his in 1947. The Korean War required Williams to serve as a Marine combat aviator, thus, he was called back to active service for a part of the 1952 and 1953 seasons. He won the AL hitting championship five more times in 1957 and 1958, when he was 39 and 40, respectively.

3. Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds

Statistic Number
Career Home Runs 762
Career Batting Average .298
Career RBIs 1,996
All-Star Selections 14
MVP Awards 7
World Series Titles
Gold Glove Awards 8
Hall of Fame Induction Status Not yet inducted

Barry Bonds, perhaps the greatest and most famous baseball player ever, comes in at number three. The paradigm of the steroid era, Barry, has been the center of debate and validation. Nonetheless, baseball fans will always remember his feats and the bar he set.

Despite the charges, he had already shown himself to be an outstanding athlete (before he began juicing). In those days, his hand-eye coordination was unparalleled. He was named the league’s MVP seven times due to his stellar play.

Bonds broke the record with 14 selections to the All-Star team and seven league MVP honors. Twelve Silver Sluggers were added to his collection of honors. He holds multiple Major League Baseball records, including the all-time mark for home runs (762), the record for most home runs in a single season (73 in 2001), and the record for most walks in a career (2,050). (2,029). Throughout 12 of his 17 MLB seasons, Bonds finished in the top five in the league in on-base plus slugging percentage, and on six of those occasions, he led the league.

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He was a phenomenal outfield defender, and as a consequence, he was awarded eight Gold Gloves. As no other MLB player had ever stolen that many bases (514), he was the first to do it. In terms of career Wins Above Replacement, Bonds is ranked by both Fangraphs and as the second greatest position player in Major League history, behind only Babe Ruth.

2. Willie Mays

Willie Mays

Statistic Number
Career Home Runs 660
Career Batting Average .302
Career RBIs 1,903
All-Star Selections 24
MVP Awards 2
World Series Titles 1
Gold Glove Awards 12
Hall of Fame Induction Year 1979

Willie Mays, who comes in second, is considered by many to be the most famous baseball player. Mays amassed a staggering number of accomplishments throughout the course of his career, including 3,283 hits, 660 home runs, and 1,903 RBIs.

More than that, his outstanding outfield performance was recognized by the fact that he earned 12 Gold Gloves in a row. Furthermore, he was named the team’s MVP three times.

If a person were to strike me, I’d still look him in the eye and tell him that Willie was superior.

450 runs, 100 stolen bases, and daily flawless fielding. Observed Leo Durocher.

Willie Mays, when just 16, signed with the African American League’s Birmingham Barons. When the New York Giants purchased his contract for the 1950 season, he started the 1951 year in center field for the team at Polo Grounds. Despite the fact that Mays’ 1951 National League championship run got out to a rough start, they eventually finished tied with the Dodgers.

Although Mays was in the Army for most of 1952 and all of 1953, he led the league in hitting average (.345), triples (13), home runs (41), and RBI (101) in 1954.

Mays spent the first 21 years of his career with the Giants before finishing it with the Mets in 1972 and 1973. After his career, he had 3,283 hits and a batting average of.302.

In center field, he was a force, earning 12 Gold Gloves and being named National League MVP twice (1954 and 1965). Over his career, he made 24 appearances in the All-Star Game and was named the Most Valuable Player twice (1963 and 1968). In several offensive categories, he often led the league.

Mays was recognized by his peers when he was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1979.

1. Babe Ruth

Babe Ruth

Statistic Number
Career Home Runs 714
Career Batting Average .342
Career RBIs 2,213
All-Star Selections N/A
MVP Awards N/A
World Series Titles 7
Gold Glove Awards N/A
Hall of Fame Induction Year 1936

The great Babe Ruth tops the list. A legendary character in baseball, Ruth established a new standard for the sport. With his flare and aggressiveness, Ruth became one of the most talented players in baseball history, leading the American League in home runs 12 times.

Ruth was the first real sports celebrity in America. His accomplishments with the New York Yankees are still talked about and admired today. When it comes to baseball, Babe Ruth is not only the greatest of all time but also the most pivotal figure in the game’s history.

Ruth rapidly established himself as the best hitter to have ever played the game as a full-time outfielder with the Yankees. Sports reporters dubbed him the “Sultan of Swat” when he broke his own single-season home run record in 1920 by hitting 54 home runs, 25 more than he had in 1919.

Ruth performed even better the next year, slugging 59 home runs and scoring 170 runs. He received a pay raise to $52,000 in 1922, making him by far the highest-paid baseball player.

Ruth was one of the five founding members of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, chosen by sportswriters in 1936. Fortunately for Ruth, a reckless spendthrift, Christy Walsh, a sports cartoonist-turned-agent, was introduced to Ruth in 1921 and hired. Walsh managed his funds such that Ruth had a comfortable retirement while simultaneously securing sizable contracts for Ruth to promote things.

In his later years, Ruth routinely played golf and made countless public appearances in support of goods and causes, but he missed playing baseball regularly. When he died of throat cancer, at least 75,000 people came to see his corpse at Yankee Stadium, and around 75,000 people showed up for his burial (which was held both inside and outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral). This shows that he still had popularity among the general public in America.


So, these were the top 10 most famous baseball players of all time. We evaluated these athletes according to their statistics, awards, status, and, of course, their popularity. We hope that this article was able to give you all the information that you were looking for. And please let us know which player you believe to be the most famous. Cheers!

Kristina R. Bonham is a freelance writer who has been working with Surprise Sports from the beginning. He writes all the articles in the Baseball category, and he himself is a great baseball player too.


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