Who Are The Most Well-Liked MLB Baseball Players In History?
While almost all professional athletes are known to fans of the sport, the way the general public perceives them is variable. Some baseball players have transcended the sport, becoming beloved household names. This article will list five of the most popular MLB athletes loved by their fans, the media, their teammates, and others who knew them or spent time around them.
Top 5 Most Well-Liked MLB Players
- Babe Ruth
- Joe DiMaggio
- Jackie Robinson
- Derek Jeter
- Lou Gehrig
1. Babe Ruth
Nobody deserves the number one spot more than Babe Ruth. Although he had his problems with alcohol, promiscuity, tobacco, and parties, the public could not get enough of him. Sometimes, his crazy lifestyle only made others idolize him more.
Babe Ruth won seven World Series out of 22 seasons and had 714 home runs. He clobbered the ball 2,873 times for a hit, had 506 doubles, 2,174 runs, and 2,214 RBIs. He ended his career with a 0.342 batting average and a 0.474 on-base percentage. Ruth’s stats speak for themselves; he was a superstar.
Most importantly, Babe Ruth retired as a baseball legend. Children still point their bats toward the sky, mimicking Ruth’s famous Called Shot, more than 70 years after The Great Bambino’s death. Movies are still being made about him. As the movie The Sandlot puts it, “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.”
2. Joe DiMaggio
Joe DiMaggio captivated the hearts of America nearly as much as Babe Ruth did. In the 1941 season, DiMaggio went on a 56-game hitting streak. Nobody has ever come close to touching that record, solidifying DiMaggio as a man who could do the impossible.
DiMaggio only played 13 seasons, but he was named an All-Star in every single one of them. Additionally, he was an American League MVP three times. Unlike Ruth, DiMaggio was not all offense. He was known as one of the clutchest players of all time: at bat and with a glove in his hand.
Serving the United States Army in WWII only added more to DiMaggio’s charm in the eyes of the American public. It seemed like nobody could get enough of ole Joltin’ Joe.
3. Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson’s role in integrating baseball cannot be overstated, as he was the first Black man to take the field in an MLB jersey. Robinson endured foul language, death threats, and hatred. He was spit upon, mocked, taunted, and treated unfairly.
Despite it all, Robinson kept his cool and became the Rookie of the Year in 1947 and was an MVP in 1949. Known for his ability to run the bases like no other, Robinson made a fool out of pitchers. He loved leading off the base, stealing bases, and dancing around the diamond as if it were his home.
4. Derek Jeter
It is hard not to love Derek Jeter. Unlike most baseball stars, Jeter played the game with an air of confidence and unparalleled good character. He was a shining star example of who the athletes we look up to should be and how they should hold themselves.
To this date, Jeter is the only New York Yankee to make it past 3,000 total hits: he has 3,464. With his immense talent, impeccable stats, loving fan base, and mounds of money, you would think it would all go to his head. Instead, Jeter remains kind, dignified, and moral.
Yankie fans affectionately call him The Captain. A true leader, Derek Jeter instills hope in us all and helps us to have faith in the athletes our children look up to.
5. Lou Gehrig
Lou Gehrig played baseball on the same team as Babe Ruth. Their dominance on offense helped them get seven World Series Championships. They made a great team. Gehrig was the team’s first baseman for 17 years, and for 14 of those 17 years, Gehrig never missed a single game. At the time, Gehrig held the record for the most played consecutive games: 2,130.
Gehrig’s diligence made the American people love him all the more. Since he played through the Great Depression, Gehrig was a light in the darkness for America’s working class. The average person looked up to him and saw themselves in him.
After 17 years of playing baseball, Gehrig retired in 1939 due to a mysterious (or, at least, mysterious at the time) disease known as ALS. His retirement ended his consecutive games streak. ALS took over his body, and his body shut down as his mind remained alert. He succumbed to the newly-nicknamed “Lou Gehrig’s” disease in 1941.