Famous 20th Century Baseball Players

Find out more about the greatest 20th Century Baseball Players, including Yogi Berra, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Harden, Flip Saunders and Seth Curry.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson
4
Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: January 31, 1919
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cairo, Georgia, United States
Died: October 24, 1972
The first African-American to play in MLB in the modern era, Jackie Robinson helped herald the end of racial segregation in baseball. He broke the baseball color line and encouraged black players not to be confined to the Negro leagues alone. In 1962, he became a Baseball Hall of Fame inductee.

 2 Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter
6
Famous As: Baseball Player
Birthdate: June 26, 1974
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pequannock Township, New Jersey, United States

Derek Jeter is an American former baseball player whose popularity had made him one of the most marketed sportsmen of his generation during his playing career. Since 2017, he has been playing a key role as part owner and the chief executive officer of the Miami Marlins. Also a well-known philanthropist, Jeter created a charitable organization called Turn 2 Foundation.

 3 Joe DiMaggio

Joe DiMaggio
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Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: November 25, 1914
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Martinez, California, United States
Died: March 8, 1999
MLB center fielder Joe DiMaggio won nine World Series championships and bagged 13 All-Star games during his 13-year tenure with the New York Yankees. Nicknamed Joltin' Joe and The Yankee Clipper, the 3-time MVP is remembered for his unbeaten 56-game hitting streak record and his marriage to Marilyn Monroe.
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 4 Hank Aaron

Hank Aaron
7
Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: February 5, 1934
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mobile, Alabama, United States
Died: January 22, 2021

Baseball player Hank Aaron, also known as Hammer or Hammerin' Hank, is remembered for his stint with the MLB teams Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers. He also competed as part of the Negro League team Indianapolis Clowns. He was named to The Sporting News 100 Greatest Baseball Players.

 5 Lou Gehrig

Lou Gehrig
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Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: June 19, 1903
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Yorkville, New York, United States
Died: June 2, 1941

Lou Gehrig was an American baseball player. Nicknamed The Iron Horse for his durability and prowess as a hitter, Lou Gehrig played for the New York Yankees of the Major League Baseball (MLB). His life and career inspired the 1942 film The Pride of the Yankees in which he was portrayed by actor Gary Cooper.

 6 Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez
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Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: July 27, 1975
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Washington Heights, New York, United States

Former professional baseball player Alex Rodriguez is considered one of the best baseball players in American baseball history. In his 22 years career, he created numerous records and won both awards and appreciation; however he also attracted a lot of controversies. Primary amongst them were his use of performance enhancing drugs. 

 7 Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds
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Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: July 24, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Riverside, California, United States
Former baseball player Barry Bonds is known for his stints with the MLB teams Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants. The seven-time NL MVP-winning and eight-time Gold Glove-winning player once faced trial for use of anabolic steroids. He is a 14-time All Star, he is also a cycling lover.
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 8 Ichiro Suzuki

Ichiro Suzuki
5
Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: October 22, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Aichi, Japan

Ichiro Suzuki is a Japanese former baseball player who played as an outfielder in top-level professional leagues, including Major League Baseball (MLB). Also a popular player at the Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan, Suzuki became the first MLB player to be inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame

 9 Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan
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Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: January 31, 1947
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Refugio, Texas, United States

The celebrated former baseball player whose Major League career spanned 27 years, retired with record 5,714 strikeouts and seven no-hitters. Nicknamed Ryan Express, Nolan Ryan played as a pitcher and had long stints with Houston Astros and California Angels. A member of the American National Baseball Hall of Fame, he is the principal owner of Ryan Sanders Sports and Entertainment.

 10 Roberto Clemente

Roberto Clemente
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Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: August 18, 1934
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Carolina, Puerto Rico
Died: December 31, 1972

Roberto Clemente was a Puerto Rican baseball player who represented the Pittsburgh Pirates in Major League Baseball (MLB). Apart from being a popular player, Clemente was also a great humanitarian whose impact is still being felt in MLB. Since his untimely death at the age of 38, Clemente has been the subject of several documentaries, articles, and books.

 11 Mickey Mantle

Mickey Mantle
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Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: October 20, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Spavinaw, Oklahoma, United States
Died: August 13, 1995

Professional baseball player Mickey Mantle played his entire Major League Baseball (MLB) career with the New York Yankees. He played as a center fielder, right fielder, and first baseman. Regarded by many as the greatest switch hitter in baseball history, he won the Triple Crown in 1956 and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974. 

 12 Ken Griffey Jr.

Ken Griffey Jr.
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Famous As: Baseball Player
Birthdate: November 21, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Donora, Pennsylvania, United States

 13 Ted Williams

Ted Williams
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Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: August 30, 1918
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: San Diego, California, United States
Died: July 5, 2002

Ted Williams was an American baseball player who spent his entire 19-year MLB career with the Boston Red Sox. A nineteen-time All-Star and two-time Triple Crown winner, Ted Williams is widely considered one of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball. In 1991, he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 14 Pete Rose

Pete Rose
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Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: April 14, 1941
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cincinnati

 15 Yogi Berra

Yogi Berra
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Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: May 12, 1925
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: The Hill, St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: September 22, 2015
Baseball catcher Yogi Berra is remembered for his long-running association with the MLB team New York Yankees. The 18-time All Star had won 10 World Series championships, too. He also won the American League MVP thrice. He was famous for his malapropisms such as “It ain't over 'til it's over.”

 16 Randy Johnson

Randy Johnson
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Famous As: Baseball Player
Birthdate: September 10, 1963
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Walnut Creek, California, United States

 17 Willie Mays

Willie Mays
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Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: May 6, 1931
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Westfield, Alabama, United States

Willie Mays is considered one of the all-time greats of baseball. His breathtaking catch of Vic Wertz’s fly ball is etched as a great movement in the history of the sport. Associated with New York / San Francisco Giants for about two decades, the former center fielder with record Major League Football putouts, features in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

 18 Ty Cobb

Ty Cobb
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Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: December 18, 1886
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Narrows, Georgia, United States
Died: July 17, 1961
During his 22-season career in Major League Baseball, Tyrus Cobb was known for setting numerous records with his aggressive approach on the field. The outfielder with a record career batting average featured in the list of all-time great players and the Baseball Hall of Fame. Associated with Detroit Tigers for more than two decades, he was also involved in philanthropy.

 19 Sandy Koufax

Sandy Koufax
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Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: December 30, 1935
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Baseball left-handed pitcher Sanford Koufax played for the MLB team Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers for 12 seasons. He was the youngest Baseball Hall of Fame inductee and the first three-time Cy Young Award winner. He skipped pitching for a 1965 World Series game because it fell on Jewish festival Yom Kippur.

 20 Mariano Rivera

Mariano Rivera
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Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: November 29, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Panama City, Panama

Mariano Rivera is a Panamanian-American former baseball player who played for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). A five-time World Series champion and thirteen-time All-Star, Rivera was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019. He is also considered one of the most dominant relievers in the history of the major league.

 21 Sammy Sosa

Sammy Sosa
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Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: November 12, 1968
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Pedro De Macoris, Dominican Republic

 22 Reggie Jackson

Reggie Jackson
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Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: May 18, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Abington Township, Pennsylvania, United States

 23 Frank Thomas

Frank Thomas
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Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: May 27, 1968
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Columbus, Georgia, United States

 24 Tony Gwynn

Tony Gwynn
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Famous As: Baseball Player
Birthdate: May 9, 1960
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
Died: June 16, 2014

 25 Mike Piazza

Mike Piazza
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Famous As: Professional Baseball catcher
Birthdate: September 4, 1968
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Norristown, Pennsylvania, USA

Currently the manager of the Italian national baseball team, Mike Pizza played in the Major League Baseball (MLB) for sixteen seasons, winning a total of ten Silver Slugger Awards. Beginning his career with Los Angeles Dodgers, he exploded on the national season in the very next year, eventually joining New York Mets, recording 427 home runs during his spectacular MLB career.

 26 Roger Clemens

Roger Clemens
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Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: August 4, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, United States

 27 Wade Boggs

Wade Boggs
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Famous As: Baseball Player
Birthdate: June 15, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, USA

 28 Chipper Jones

Chipper Jones
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Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: April 24, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: DeLand, Florida, USA

 29 Cal Ripken Jr.

Cal Ripken Jr.
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Famous As: Baseball Shortstop
Birthdate: August 24, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Havre de Grace, Maryland

 30 Carl Yastrzemski

Carl Yastrzemski
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Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: August 22, 1939
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Southampton, New York, United States

 31 Pedro Martínez

Pedro Martínez
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Famous As: Baseball Player
Birthdate: October 25, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Manoguayabo, Dominican Republic

 32 Johnny Bench

Johnny Bench
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Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: December 7, 1947
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

 33 Rickey Henderson

Rickey Henderson
3
Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: December 25, 1958
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

 34 Greg Maddux

Greg Maddux
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Famous As: Baseball Player
Birthdate: April 14, 1966
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: San Angelo, Texas, USA

 35 Karl Malone

Karl Malone
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Famous As: Basketball player, Basketball coach, Actor
Birthdate: July 24, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Summerfield

 36 Bo Jackson

Bo Jackson
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Famous As: American Football Player, Baseball Player
Birthdate: November 30, 1962
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bessemer, Alabama, United States

Former professional baseball and football player Bo Jackson has the distinction of being the only professional athlete in history to be named an All-Star in both the sports. Considered one of the greatest athletes of all time, he pursued his other interests following his retirement from sports in the 1990s. He has acted in a few TV shows, playing minor characters.

 37 Tom Seaver

Tom Seaver
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Famous As: Baseball Pitcher
Birthdate: November 17, 1944
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Fresno, California, United States
Died: August 31, 2020

 38 Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer
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Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: July 10, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Toledo, Ohio, United States

Urban Meyer is an American football coach who is currently serving as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars which competes in the NFL. He has also coached college football teams like the Ohio State Buckeyes, helping the team win its maiden Big Ten Conference title. He has also worked as an analyst for popular TV networks like Fox Sports.

 39 Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders
3
Famous As: American Football player, Baseball Player
Birthdate: August 9, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Fort Myers, Florida, United States

American football player Deion Sanders is considered one of the strongest pass defenders of the game. He was an electrifying athlete and played in the National Football League for 14 seasons. He played for teams like Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens. He is now a coach and a sports analyst. He’s also a rapper.

 

 40 Isiah Thomas

Isiah Thomas
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Famous As: Basketball player, Basketball coach, Consultant
Birthdate: April 30, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago

 41 David Ortiz

David Ortiz
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Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: November 18, 1975
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

David Ortiz is a Dominican-American former baseball player who played primarily for the Boston Red Sox in Major League Baseball. Nicknamed Big Papi for his strength, Ortiz is considered one of the greatest clutch hitters ever. Also regarded as one of the greatest designated hitters for Boston Red Sox, Ortiz helped the team end its 86-year World Series championship drought.

 42 Patrick Ewing

Patrick Ewing
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Famous As: Basketball player, Basketball coach
Birthdate: August 5, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kingston

 43 Nate Robinson

Nate Robinson
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Famous As: Basketball player, American football player, Businessperson, Restaurateur
Birthdate: May 31, 1984
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Seattle

Nate Robinson is a former professional basketball player who has played in the NBA for the New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Boston Celtics,  Golden State Warriors, and Chicago Bulls. He went professional in 2005 and became the NBA's first three-time slam dunk champion in 2010. He retired in 2018. He now runs a restaurant in Rainier Beach.

 44 Chuck Connors

Chuck Connors
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 10, 1921
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: November 10, 1992

Chuck Connors was an American actor, professional baseball and basketball player. Connors is one of 13 athletes to have played in both National Basketball Association and the Major League Baseball. As an actor, he contributed to the success of the popular Western television program The Rifleman. Also known for his charity work, Connors helped found the Chuck Connors Charitable Foundation.

 45 Jason Kidd

Jason Kidd
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Famous As: Basketball player, Basketball coach
Birthdate: March 23, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: San Francisco

 46 Cy Young

Cy Young
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Famous As: Baseball player
Birthdate: March 29, 1867
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Gilmore, Ohio, United States
Died: November 4, 1955

 47 Tracy McGrady

Tracy McGrady
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Famous As: Basketball player, Baseball player
Birthdate: May 24, 1979
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Auburndale

 48 Bob Gibson

Bob Gibson
3
Famous As: Baseball Player
Birthdate: November 9, 1935
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, United States

 49 Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw
4
Famous As: Baseball Pitcher
Birthdate: March 19, 1988
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, United States

An eight-time MLB All-Star, Clayton Kershaw is an American professional baseball player, often described as the best pitcher in the history of baseball. Also known for his humanitarian work, Clayton Kershaw has been honored with the Branch Rickey Award and Roberto Clemente Award. A prolific donator, Kershaw donated $260,000 to build an orphanage called Hope's Home.

 50 Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe
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Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: May 28, 1887
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lincoln County, Oklahoma, United States
Died: March 28, 1953

Jim Thorpe was an American athlete who was counted among the most versatile athletes of the modern era. Jim Thorpe won two gold medals at the 1912 Olympics and became the first Native American to give the United States an Olympic gold. He also played American football, professional baseball, and basketball. He was memorialized in the 1951 film Jim Thorpe – All-American.