It’s time to continue our ongoing series wherein we derive rankings for the top players of all time at each position on the diamond by adding up each player’s rankings on the first ten top-10 lists to appear in a Google search, on the somewhat suspect assumption that millions of clicks and thousands of links cannot be too far wrong.

With 8 first-place finishes, the Splendid Splinter easily ranked as the greatest LF of all time.

In this edition we turn to the left fielders. As with previous posts, each player was ranked on a 1000-point scale by subtracting their ranking on each list from 101, such that a first place ranking would be worth 100 points and a 10th place ranking would be worth 91 points, and then adding the results for all the lists. As in the past, ties were broken by adding in points earned from lists ranking more than 10 players, after a decimal point.

So without further ado, here are the top 10 left fielders of all time, according to the collective wisdom of ye internets (first place votes in parentheses, *=HOF):

1. *Ted Williams – 997 (7)
2. *Stan Musial – 988 (2)
3. Barry Bonds – 981 (1)
4. *Rickey Henderson – 971
5. *Carl Yastrzemski – 953
6. “Shoeless” Joe Jackson – 850
7. *Al Simmons – 838
8. Manny Ramirez – 653
9. *Ed Delahanty – 464.6
10. Tim Raines – 464.3

Once again it is fair to say that this method has produced a surprisingly good top-10, given the seeming randomness of the method. Or perhaps I should stop being surprised at this point and just accept that this is actually about as reasonable a method to rank all time greats as any.

The one name I was surprised to see make the top 10 was Tim Raines. Raines actually tied Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty for 9th place, but was not ranked quite as high on the longer lists that left him out of the top 10, so he fell to 10th place on the tiebreaker points. But still, if Tim Raines is one of the top 10 players of all time at his position, then he unquestionably belongs in the Hall.

And it wasn’t as if he just squeaked into the top 10 either. The drop off between the top 10 and 11th place was quite large, with Raines appearing in the top 10 on 5 lists whereas 11th place Jim Rice made the top 10 on only 3 lists.

Speaking of which, a total of 20 players appeared on at least one top-10 list. Here are the next ten players:

11. *Jim Rice – 282
12. *Willie Stargell – 191
13. *Lou Brock – 185
14. *Joe Medwick – 182
15. *Ralph Kiner – 93
16. Albert Belle – 92
17. *Billy Williams – 91.86
18. *Jesse Burkett – 91.51
19. Minnie Minoso – 91.48
20. *Monte Irvin – 91.17

So what do you think? Was anyone left out? Does someone else belong in the top 10? Is Tim Raines really one of the 10 best left fielders of all time? Let us know in the comments.

And finally, here are the lists from which these rankings were derived (again, these were the first 10 lists that came up in a Google search):

Top 50 Left Fielders of All Time” (The Baseball Page)
MLB’s 10 Greatest Left Fielders of All Time” (Bleacher Report)
Top 10 Left Fielders in Major League Baseball History” (
20 Greatest Left Fielders in MLB History” (
Best Left Fielder in History” (Rate it all!)
ALL-TIME TOP 100s: Left Fielders” (Seth Speaks)
Left Field: The Top 10” (
Greatest Left-Fielders” (Baseball Fever)
Top 10 by position: round 6 ” (Baseball Fever)
Top 10 by position: final round ” (Baseball Fever)

4 Responses to “Crowdsourcing the Greats: The Greatest Left Fielders of All Time”

  1. Paul Moro says:

    What about Sherry Magee? Had a career line of .291/.364/.427 playing solely in the Deadball Era for a career Adjusted OPS of 136. Stole 441 bases to boot.

  2. Paul Moro says:

    I also don’t understand why Jim Rice is 11th. How is he ranked higher than Willie Stargell??? Stargell has Rice beat in pretty much every category.

    Wait, maybe that’s what I’m doing wrong. I’m only looking at career numbers. I am not factoring in the liters of urine emitted by the pitchers while these guys were at bat. Rice has Stargell beat on that one.

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