Top 6 Hall of Fame Baseball Players of All Time
Some of the most widely debated topics in sports are the greatest players of all-time conversations, and no sport has more iconic figures than baseball. All of these listed players are legends of their time, cemented in history as some of the greatest Hall of Fame players in America’s pastime.
Who Are the Best Hall of Fame Baseball Players of All Time?
- Babe Ruth
- Willie Mays
- Ty Cobb
- Hank Aaron
- Ted Williams
- Lou Gehrig
1. Babe Ruth
- Career stats: .342 batting average (8th all-time), .474 on-base percentage (2nd all-time), 714 home runs (3rd all-time), 183.1 WAR (1st all-time)
- 2.28 career ERA
- 7-time World Series Champion
- AL MVP (1923)
- One of two players in history to be successful in both hitting and pitching
- Nicknames: “The Great Bambino” and “Sultan of Swat”
George Herman “Babe” Ruth is the greatest Hall of Fame baseball player of all time. He was successful in both hitting and pitching, making him a unicorn in the sport. Ruth was a larger-than-life symbol in the 1920s and 1930s within American society and is largely responsible for the transition from the dead-ball to the live-ball era in baseball. Ruth is a seven-time World Series champion and is in the top five in on-base percentage, home runs, and WAR, amongst many other batting statistics. While the all-star game was not created until 1933, two years before Ruth retired, he was an all-star in both seasons.
2. Hank Aaron
- Career stats: .305 batting average, .374 on-base percentage, 755 home runs (2nd most all-time), 2,297 RBI (most all-time), 143.1 WAR (7th all-time)
- 25-time All-Star (most all-time)
- World Series Champion (1957)
- NL MVP (1957)
- 3-time Gold Glove Winner
- 2-time NL batting champion
- 4-time NL home run leader
Hank Aaron is considered by many the greatest power hitter of all time. During his 23 year career, mostly with the Atlanta Braves, Aaron achieved 25 all-star appearances, three gold gloves, and two batting championships. However, Aaron is mostly known for his ability to slug the baseball, earning him the nickname “Hammer.” During his career, Hank Aaron hit 755 home runs (second all-time) and 2,297 RBIs (most all-time). While Barry Bonds is the only player to ever hit more home runs, many still believe Hank Aaron is the king of home runs due to Bonds’ steroid scandal.
3. Willie Mays
- Career Stats: .301 batting average, .384 on-base percentage, 660 home runs (6th all-time), 156.1 WAR (5th all-time)
- 2-time NL MVP
- 20-time All-Star
- World Series Champion (1954)
- 12-time Gold Glove winner
- 4-time NL home run leader
- Nicknamed “The Say Hey Kid”
Willie Mays was one of the best MLB players of the 1940s and 50s. Mays began his career in the Negro Leagues but joined the San Fransisco Giants in 1954, where he would spend the majority of his Major League career. Mays’ career offensive numbers are some of the highest of all time, and he is fifth all-time in WAR (wins above replacement). However, defensive achievements and flashy diving catches in center field brought him to stardom. By the end of his career, Mays achieved 12 gold gloves (most all-time from a centerfielder) to go along with 20 all-star game appearances.
4. Cy Young
- Career stats: 511 wins (all-time leader), 2.63 ERA, 2,803 strikeouts, 163.6 WAR (all-time leader)
- Triple Crown champion (1901)
- Five-time wins leader (1892, 1895, 1901-1903)
- Two-time ERA leader (1892, 1901)
- 1903 World Series champion
Denton True “Cy” Young was the best pitcher in the earliest years of Major League Baseball. He joined the major leagues in 1890 when he became the pitcher for the Cleveland Spiders and, with them, he repeatedly led the league in strikeouts, ERA, and wins. After a brief stint with the St. Louis Cardinals, Young joined Boston and reached his true prime. With the Americans / Red Sox, he was again the league’s ERA and wins leader, was awarded the Triple Crown in 1901 and led the team to a World Series Championship in 1903. After 21 rich seasons in the league, Young retired and the MLB not only entered him into the 1937 class of the Baseball Hall of Fame, but the league named the annual award for best pitcher after him.
5. Walter Johnson
- Career stats: 417 wins (2nd all-time), 2.17 ERA (7th all-time), 3,509 strikeouts (9th all-time, 152.3 WAR (2nd all-time)
- 3-time Triple Crown winner
- 2-time AL MVP
- 5-time AL ERA Title
- 1924 World Series Champion
Walter Johnson was a right-handed pitcher who played his entire 21-year career (1907-1927) with the Washington Senators. He amassed 417 wins, which is second all-time behind Cy Young. He also has the second-highest wins above replacement (WAR) with 152.3. A three-time Triple Crown winner, Johnson was one of the most dominant pitchers the league has ever seen. He won two American League MVP titles (1913, 1924) and a World Series (1924).
6. Ty Cobb
- Career stats: .366 batting average (all-time leader), .433 on-base percentage, 4,189 hits (2nd all-time), 897 stolen bases (4th all-time), 151.5 WAR (6th all-time)
- AL MVP (1911)
- Triple Crown champion (1909)
- 12-time AL batting champion (most all-time)
- 6-time AL stolen base leader
Ty Cobb is considered by many as the greatest overall MLB hitter of all time. Ty Cobb was known for his ability to get base hits, but even more so for his voracious attitude on the field. Cobb was a gritty hitter, finding any way to get on base. Once on base, he would then frequently steal bases to better position himself to score. During his 24 year career (mostly with the Detroit Tigers), Cobb broke numerous records. He currently holds the all-time record for highest batting average, the most all-time batting titles, and is second all-time in total base hits.
- Career stats: .344 batting average, .482 on-base percentage (all-time leader), 521 home runs, 122.1 WAR
- 19-time All-Star
- 2-time AL MVP
- 2-time Triple Crown champion
- 6-time AL batting champion
- 4-time AL home run leader
Ted Williams is known as one of the most prolific hall of fame hitters of all time and is arguably the single greatest overall hitter of all time. During his career, Ted Williams could not be stopped at the plate, reaching base almost 50% of the time, with the all-time record for on-base percentage (.482). Williams played his entire career for the Boston Red Sox with a three-year intermission to serve in World War II. Williams also earned two AL MVPs and two triple crowns during his highly accomplished career.
- Career Stats: .340 batting average, .447 on-base percentage, 493 home runs, 113 WAR
- 7-time All-Star
- 6-time World Series Champion
- 2-time AL MVP
- Triple Crown (1934)
- 3-time AL home run leader
Lou Gehrig’s all-time greatness as one of the most consistent hitters in the MLB is next to none. Gehrig played alongside Babe Ruth for most of his career and played a total of 17 seasons, all for the New York Yankees. During his highly accomplished career, Gehrig accomplished six World Series rings, two AL MVPs, and won the triple crown in 1934. Gehrig is also one of few players ever to hit four home runs in a single MLB game and has a total of 23 career grand slams, the most all-time by any player during their career.
Who is the best Hall of Fame baseball player of all time?
Babe Ruth is the best Hall of Fame baseball player of all time. He is first all-time in wins above replacement (WAR) and led the New York Yankees to seven World Series wins. Ruth also has the third-most home runs (714) of all time and the eighth-highest all-time batting average (.342).