The best of all-time lists for baseball are hard to determine as players of today are compared to those of decades and even over a century ago. When it comes to the best outfielders of all-time, its gets even harder, since three positions come into play making the list of players to choose from much, much larger.
Here is our list of the 25 best outfielders of all time:
25. Ichiro Suzuki
Ichiro was the 2001 MVP, an All-Star 10 times, a Gold Glove winner 10 times, the winner of three Silver Slugger awards, and a batting title winner twice. Suzuki officially retired in 2019 with a .311 career batting average, 3,089 hits and 509 stolen bases all in Major League Baseball, as these stats do not include his playing time in Japan.
As a rookie, Ichiro had 242 hits, 56 stolen bases and batted .350. He won the MVP that season (2001) and things only got better and better. Combined with his time in Japan’s top flight professional league, Ichiro accumulated 4,367 hits to surpass Pete Rose in that category.
24. Duke Snider
Snider was a Hall of Fame inductee, won two World Series titles, and was named to eight All-Star teams. Snider finished his MLB career with a .295 batting average, 407 home runs, 1,333 RBIs and 2,116 hits. Most baseball pundits call Snider the best outfielder in Dodgers’ franchise history, where he played 16 seasons, but his best season was in Brooklyn where he hit 42 home runs and finished with a .628 slugging percentage and finished second only to Roy Campanella in MVP voting.
Snider hit 40 or more home runs in five straight seasons and was instrumental in the franchise winning two World Series titles.
23. Dave Winfield
Winfield is a member of baseball’s Hall of Fame, a World Series champion and winner of seven Gold Gloves and six Silver Slugger awards, while being named to 12 All-Star teams. Winfield finished his MLB career with a. 283 batting average, 465 home runs, 1,833 RBIs and 3,110 hits.
The 6-foot-6 Winfield was known for his superior hitting although he did not possess the power and home run hitting skills that one would think of someone of his stature. Nevertheless, he was highly skilled at making contact at the plate and was a great defensive player in the outfield. At the age of 40, in 1992, Winfield finished in the top-5 for MVP voting.
22. Tim Raines
Raines is a Hall of Fame member, a World Series champion, and was named to seven All-Star teams while winning one Silver Slugger award and one batting title. He finished his career with a .294 batting average, 2,605 hits and 808 stolen bases. Rock, as he was often called, was 5-foot-8 but his lack of size was compensated for by his explosive speed and smarts on the field.
He posted six straight seasons of 70 or more stolen bases and in 1981 managed that feat while playing in only 88 games due to injuries. In 1983, Raines set his career high for steals in one season with 90, which led the majors.
21. Manny Ramirez
A two-time World Series champion, nine time Silver Slugger award winner, 12-time All-Star and a batting title winner, Ramirez finished his career with a .312 batting average, 555 home runs, and 1,831 RBIs. Ramirez opened eyes as a rookie with Cleveland and quickly become one of baseball’s best hitters for his generation.
Ramirez is No. 8 all time for career OPS and career slugging percentage. He became a big hit at Fenway Park in 2001 after joining Boston and was instrumental in the Red Sox breaking the Curse of the Bambino in 2004 with a World Series title. Ramirez was named the MVP of the World Series that year.
20. Pete Rose
Before everyone stops reading this list, Rose was great but made personal mistakes. The former star with the Cincinnati Reds won three World Series titles, won three batting titles, two Gold Glove awards and a Silver Slugger award. Rose was named to 17 All Star teams and was named the MVP in 1973 and finished his career with a .303 batting average and 4,256 hits.
Rose was a hitting icon during the 1960s and 70s. He could hit equally well from both sides of the plate and could spray the ball to all fields. Rose was able to play various positions for the Reds and earned an All-Star trip while playing first base in 1965. However, he eventually settled in the outfield and played all three fields and earned a Gold Glove in 1969 and 1970 in right field.
19. Al Kaline
Kaline is a Hall of Fame member, a World Series champion, a winner of 10 Gold Glove awards, one batting title and was named to 18 All-Star teams. He completed his MLB career with a .297 batting average, 399 home runs and 3,007 hits.
He played over two decades for the Tigers and if the ball was anywhere near right field and still in the park, it was in play for Kaline. Mr. Tiger not only was deft at fielding, he could also hit for a living, hitting 20 or more home runs in nine seasons and won the 1955 batting title.
18. Stan Musial
The Hall of Fame member won three MVP awards, three World Series titles, seven batting titles and was named to 24 All-Star teams (there was two All-Star Games a season from 1959-1962). Musial finished his storied career with a .331 batting average, 475 home runs, 1,951 RBIs and 3,630 hits. While Musial was an above average outfielder the second half of his career he played first base.
In the first six complete seasons Musial played in the majors, he won the MVP award three times. Musial served in the military otherwise his stats would have been much higher. Musial was an extra-base machine ranking fourth on the all-time list for total bases at 6,143 and third all-time for extra base hits with 1,377.
17. Tris Speaker
Speaker was enshrined in the Hall of Fame, won three World Series titles, won the 1912 MVP award, won one batting title and finished his career with a batting average of .345, 792 doubles, 3,514 hits and 436 stolen bases. Speaker’s 792 doubles remain the most in baseball history. His best individual accomplishment might be his 1912 MVP as finished ahead of the likes of Ty Cobb, Ed Walsh and Walter Johnson.
16. Tony Gwynn
Gwynn was one of baseball best-ever hitters. The Hall of Fame inductee was named to 15 All-Star teams and won eight batting titles, five Gold Glove awards and seven Silver Slugger awards. Gwynn finished his career with a .339 batting average and 3,141 hits.
Gwynn played for 20 seasons and was considered the best pure hitter of his generation. In 1994, Gwynn finished the season with a .394 batting average just missing the illustrious .400 by .006. Gwynn started his career with the San Diego Padres and never left playing all 20 seasons in southern California. Never known for power, Gwynn had an uncanny ability to find the gaps in all fields which helped him to hit 543 doubles during his career.
15. Reggie Jackson
Mr. October is a member of the Hall of Fame, a 4-timeWorld Series champion, the MVP in 1973, an All Star 14 times and the winner of two Silver Slugger awards. Jackson finished his career with career stats that included a .262 batting average, 563 home runs, 1,702 RBIs and 2,584 hits.
The clutch hitting outfielder is best remembered for his clutch hitting during the postseason and most of all the World Series. He was named the MVP in two World Series. While Jackson may not have been the defensive stalwart in the outfield that others on this list were, his consistent power and run-producing capabilities make him a member of this elite group.
14. Carl Yastrzemski
The 1967 MVP was named to the Hall of Fame, won a Triple Crown, played on 18 All-Star teams, won the batting title three times, and won seven Gold Glove awards. Yaz finished his illustrious career with a .285 batting average, 452 home runs, 1,844 RBIs and 3,419 hits.
Yastrzemski played 23 seasons with the Boston Red Sox and was named an All-Star in 18 of them. Yaz still hold several of the offensive records for the Red Sox even though greats like Ted Williams amongst others have played for the Fenway Faithful.
13. Joe DiMaggio
Joltin Joe as he was affectionately called, DiMaggio was named to the Hall of Fame, was a 9-time World Series champion, 13-time All-Star, and 3-time MVP. The Yankees star finished his career with a .325 batting average, 361 home runs, 1,537 RBIs and 2,214 hits. His streak of 56 straight games with at least one base hit stands today.
12. Ken Griffey Jr.
The former star with the Seattle Mariners, Griffey Jr. is a member of the Hall of Fame, an MVP, 13-time All-Star and the winner of seven Silver Slugger and 10 Gold Glove awards. The Mariners slugging outfielder finished his career with a .284 batting average, 630 home runs, 1,836 RBIs and 2,781 hits.
Griffey Jr. put up huge numbers that could have been even loftier if not for the numerous injuries he suffered throughout his career. He easily could have been one of the top 5 outfielders of all-time if injuries would not have taken their toll on his playing time.
11. Mel Ott
Ott is an inductee to the Hall of Fame, a World Series champion, 12-time All-Star who finished his career with a.304 batting average, 511 home runs, 1,860 RBIs and 2,876 hits. Ott at 5-foot-9 played both the outfield and infield during a 22-year career. He led the NL six times in home runs. Considering Ott was small in stature his 511 homers and 1,860 RBIs are all the more impressive.
10. Frank Robinson
Robinson is a member of the Hall of Fame, a 2-time World Series champion, 2-time MVP, winner of the Triple Crown, was named to 14 All-Stars teams, a Gold Glove winner and Batting Title holder. Robinson’s career stats include a .294 batting average, 586 home runs, 1,182 RBIs and 2,943 hits.
Robinson is the only MLB player to win the MVP in both leagues. A star with the Reds in the National League and the Orioles in the American League, Robinson was an elite player both in the field and at the plate. Robinson managed following his playing career and was in the dugout for the Indians, Giants, Orioles and Nationals.
9. Rickey Henderson
Rickey terrorized both pitchers and catchers with his ability to hit and steal bases. The Hall of Fame member won 2 World Series titles, was the 1990 MVP, was named to 10 All Star teams, won 3 Silver Sluggers awards and one Gold Glove award. Henderson finished with a .279 batting average, 3,055 hits, 1,406 stolen bases and 2,295 runs scored.
Three times Henderson stole 100 or more bases in the same season. The speedster ended his career with a .401 on-base percentage. The All-Star was instrumental in Oakland winning a pair of World Series championships.
8. Hank Aaron
“Hammerin Hank” is a member of the Hall of Fame, a World Series champion, an MVP, named to 21 All-Star teams, winner of three Gold Gloves awards and two batting titles. Aaron’s career stats included a .305 batting average, 755 home runs, 2,297 RBIs and 3,771 hits.
Aaron was one of the game’s best power hitters with 755 home runs over 23 seasons, but Hank was an above average defender and in the prime of his career very few players were able to produce runs at the plate and defend in the field like Aaron did.
7. Roberto Clemente
The Hall of Fame member won two World Series titles, an MVP award, 12 Gold Glove awards, four batting titles and was named to 15 All-Star teams. Clemente finished with a career batting average of .317 with 240 home runs, 1,305 RBIs and 3,000 hits.
Clemente lost his life in 1972 in a plane crash but was nothing short of spectacular at the plate, on the base paths and roaming the outfield. He was the first player born in Latin America to be named to the Hall of Fame and is as much revered for his humanitarian way as for his playing skills.
6. Mickey Mantle
Mantle, a member of the Hall of Fame, won seven World Series titles, was named the MVP three times, won one Triple Crown and one Gold Glove award. For his career, Mantle batted .298 with 536 home runs, 1,509 RBIs and 2,415 hits.
In one of Mantle’s MVP seasons the outfielder batted .353, with 52 homers and 130 RBIs, with an on-base percentage of .464 and an OPS of 1.169. While has a long list of personal accomplishments, but he valued his 7 World Series title with the New York Yankees more than any individual feat.
5. Ted Williams
Williams is a member of the Hall of Fame, a 2-time MVP, was named to 19 All Star teams, hit for the Triple Crown twice, won six batting titles and finished his career with a .344 batting average, 521 home runs, 1,839 RBIs and 2,654 hits.
The Splendid Splinter is known for being one of the purest hitters in baseball history. His ability to spray the ball to all parts of the field made Williams one of the hardest batters to defend against.
4. Ty Cobb
Cobb was both a prolific hitter and base stealer. The member of the Baseball Hall of Fame finished his career with an MVP award, 12 batting titles and a Triple Crown. His career stats included a .366 batting average, 4,189 hits, and 897 stolen bases.
In 1915, Cobb lead baseball with 96 stolen bases, which was his career high. In his MVP season, Cobb finished with a .420 batting average and an on-base percentage of .467. Twelve times Cobb won the American League batting title and still holds the Major League Baseball all-time record for career batting average at .366.
3. Willie Mays
Mays will always be remembered for his over-the-shoulder catch with his back to home plate, but the Hall of Fame inductee was one of baseball’s best hitters as well. Mays was a 2-time MVP, selected to 24 All-Star teams, a winner of 12 Gold Glove awards and finished with a lifetime batting average of .302 with 660 home runs, 1,903 RBIs and 3,283 hits.
Affectionately known as the “The Say Hey Kid,” Mays patrolled center field like few other before or after him. His defensive ability and athleticism redefined the position. Mays at the plate was a combination of power hitting with base-stealing capabilities.
2. Barry Bonds
Barry Bonds will always be linked to the steroid scandal, but Bonds was simply one of the best and holds the all-time home run record with 762. Bonds was names to 14 All Star teams, was an MVP 7 times, won 12 silver slugger awards, 8 Gold Gloves and batted .298 with 762 home runs and 1,996 RBIs.
Bonds was an impressive outfielder and hitter with the Pittsburgh Pirates well before the steroid scandal ever came into play. His longevity was impressive. His best season was 2001 when the slugger batted .328 with 73 homers, 137 RBIs and an almost unbelievable 1.379 OPS.
1. Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth or the Sultan of Swat is the top choice of all outfielders. Ruth was the most feared hitter to stand at the plate that the sport has ever seen. What makes Ruth a standout amongst his peers is he pitched for 10 seasons as well as winning 20 games twice. His best season was 23-12 with an ERA of 1.75 and nine shutouts in 1916.
Ruth finished his career with a .342 batting average, 714 home runs and 2,214 RBIs. His RBI total is still the highest of all-time. Ruth drew 2,062 base on balls during this career.