Today we continue our occasional series wherein we rank the greatest ballplayers of all time at each position using the seemingly ridiculous but surprisingly effective method of aggregating the first ten top-10 rankings at each position to turn up in a Google search, on the assumption that millions of clicks and links must contain some sort of collective wisdom.

Not surprisingly, the internets unanimously consider the Bambino to be the greatest RF of all time.

We’ve finally made it to the last position on the diamond – right field.

I saved this one for last because right field is the highest number when you score a ballgame (9), but also because in many ways it’s the least interesting list.

Naturally, Babe Ruth was unanimously chosen first place on every top-10 list, with Hank Aaron chosen in 2nd place on 9 out of 10 lists. There was also widespread agreement on the top 4 and strong agreement on the top 11.

11th-place finisher Dave Winfield appeared on 6 lists, but after that there was a huge dropoff and nobody else appeared on more than one list.

Here’s how the top 20 shook out (first place votes in parenthesis, *=HOF):

1. *Babe Ruth – 1000 (10)
2. *Hank Aaron – 989
3. *Frank Robinson – 973
4. *Mel Ott – 966
5. *Roberto Clemente – 853
6. *Reggie Jackson – 849
7. *Al Kaline – 840
8. *Sam Crawford – 750
9. *Paul Waner – 658
10. *Tony Gwynn – 560

11. *Dave Winfield – 548
12. Gary Sheffield – 96
13. Larry Walker – 95
14. Ichiro Suzuki – 94
15. *Harry Heilmann – 92
16. Sammy Sosa – 91
17. *Wee Willie Keeler – 90.55
18. *Enos Slaughter – 90.14
19. Roger Maris – 90.00
20. *King Kelly – 89

Overall, and as usual, a pretty reasonable top 10 (with the exact rankings becoming less reliable thereafter). Although I do have to imagine that Ichiro will be somewhere higher up this list, when all is said and done.

So what do you think? Agree with these rankings? Think they’re crazy? Let us know in the comments!

And finally, here are the ten top-10 lists I used to derive these rankings (again, these are the first 10 lists that came up in a Google search):

Top 50 Right Fielders of All-Time” (TheBaseballPage.com)
Baseball’s Greatest Volume VIII: Right Fielders” (Informative Sports)
The Top Ten List: Right Fielders” (Ottawa Hockey League)
The Best Players at Each Position: Outfielders” (The Baseball Guru)
ALL-TIME TOP 100s: Right Fielders” (Seth Speaks)
The 25 Right Fielders with the Best Careers” (Seamheads.com)
Pick Four: Right Field” (Baseball Fever)
Is Roberto Clemente Overrated?” (Baseball Fever)
Top 10 Right fielders of all time” (Here Come the Cubs)
Election Results: Starting in Right Field…Ruth, Aaron, Ott and Robinson!” (Baseball Think Factory)

7 Responses to “Crowdsourcing the Greats: The Top 10 Right Fielders of All Time”

  1. I think Ichiro belongs on this list now. He’s already had a better career than Gwynn. Ichiro has one MVP award. Gwynn has none. Ichiro has three more gold glove awards and will go down as one of the premier defenders of his era. You can’t say that about Gwynn.

    Ichiro is only a couple of points behind Gwynn in career AVG and OBP, despite spending several of his prime years in Japan. And BR’s WAR formula says Gwynn was only 13 wins better over his career, a gap Ichiro is likely to close in the next few seasons. And again, that’s despite joining MLB at age 27.

    • Nick Kapur says:

      Agreed. I might actually even put Ichiro as high as 5th on this list, just after Mel Ott.

      • Paul Moro says:

        Whoa. Ichiro over Clemente? Isn’t that a bit much?

      • Nick Kapur says:

        No. It’s definitely close, especially if you consider Ichiro’s time in Japan.

      • Ichiro and Clemente were comparable players in that they have somewhat similar skill sets. But even in his best MLB season, Ichiro had an OPS-plus of 130. Clemente averaged 130 in his career. Even being generous and assuming that had Ichiro started his career in MLB five years earlier, Clemente still would have ended up with a higher career WAR.

  2. No love for the Hawk ?

  3. shallow throat says:

    The whole truth and nothing but the truth. Google: Roberto Clemente-br bullpen or Yes, Roberto Clemente really did have excellent power. Mays/Clemente are the ONLY five tool players EVER. Clemente is universally regarded as the best defensive ever(mostly due to that game changin ARM)and GUESS WHAT…Clemente is the all time best hitter against hall of fame pitching.MLB and their gimmicky SABR propaganda arm are conspicuously absent minded about this…despite more coaches,mgrs,players,umps,scouts etc. etc. saying Mays/clemente are the best! Clemente had a world series like NO other and the stat guys refuse to acknowledge this…..again, google Roberto Clemente- br bullpen
    The ‘tools’ section should raise some hairs on the non-believers.

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