10 of the Most Popular Baseball Players

Baseball fans have been blessed with some of the most sensational games and players alike, and even among these great matches and players, some stand out from the rest. Thanks to these star players and Major League Baseball in general, online sports betting has also seen incredible action in this well-loved sport. 

Throughout the game’s history, there have been players who have caught our attention with their superb talent. Here, we take a look at 10 of the most popular baseball players (in no particular order) to have ever picked up a bat, stood on the pitcher’s mound, or both.

1. Babe Ruth

MLB debut: 11 July 1914

Last MLB appearance: 30 May 1935

World Series wins: 7

All-Star Game appearances: 2

Babe Ruth was an incredible hitter and pitcher, and most importantly, he was an awesome winner. There’s no doubt that Ruth has put up some monumental career statistics during his baseball career. His primary team was the New York Yankees and he’s been called the American original – the game’s first great slugger and the most celebrated athlete of his time.  

Ruth, from Baltimore in the US state of Maryland – was originally with the Red Sox, but the team’s owner, Harry Frazee, sold him to the Yankees, following the 1919 season. Nicknamed “The Bambino”, he undoubtedly proved that he was one of the premier left-handed pitchers of the game. During his time at the Yankees, he quickly became one of the most famous people in the US. Among his achievements are the 1923 American League Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award, 1931 Slocum Award (Jack Lang Award), 1936 National Baseball Hall of Fame, as well as the posthumously awarded 2018 Presidential Medal of Freedom.

2. Willie Mays

MLB debut: 25 May 1951

Last MLB appearance: 9 September 1973

World Series wins: 1

All-Star Game appearances: 24

Nicknamed the “Say-Hey Kid”, Willie Mays notched up 660 career home runs, the sixth-best tally in history. Westfield, Alabama-born Mays was extremely skilled on the field, hitting with power, running, fielding, and throwing at unmatched levels. He played 21 seasons with the San Francisco Giants and completed his incredible career run at the New York Mets. Mays’ incredible career included being a two-time National League MVP (1954 and 1965), a 24-time All-Star, and he won 12 Gold Glove Awards in centre field. 

3. Walter Johnson

MLB debut: 2 August 1907

Last MLB appearance: 30 September 1927

World Series wins: 1

2x AL MVP: (1913, 1924)

Coming from humble beginnings in Humboldt, Kansas before moving to California as a teenager, Walter Johnson went on to amass 10 full seasons with a sub 2.00 ERA (earned run average) and completed 531 of his 666 career starts. Johnson finished his career with an incredible record of 417-279 and a 2.17 ERA. Johnson’s 3,509 strikeouts were the big-league standard for more than 50 years. Nicknamed the “Big Train”, he was a right-handed thrower with a sidearm delivery and batted right as well. His peak years were 1912-13, when he went 33-12 and 36-7. During this time, Johnson won a Chalmers car as American League MVP. Americans admired him for his pitching exploits and his modesty, humility, dignity, and fierce competitiveness.

4. Joe DiMaggio

MLB debut: 3 May 1936

Last MLB appearance: 30 September 1951

World Series wins: 9

All-Star Game appearances: 13

Joe DiMaggio was a formidable American baseball player who excelled both as a hitter and fielder. Born in Martinez, California, DiMaggio began playing baseball at the age of 17 with the minor-league San Francisco Seals. His contract was bought by the Yankees and he began playing in the major leagues in 1936. In his rookie season with the Yankees, he batted .323 during the regular season and .346 against the Giants during the World Series. In 1954, DiMaggio married the film star Marilyn Monroe, which only added to his iconic status in American culture.

5. Randy Johnson

MLB debut: 15 September 1988

Last MLB appearance: 4 October 2009

World Series wins: 1 

World Series MVP (2001)

All-Star Game appearances: 10

Californian Randy Johnson was undoubtedly an elite athlete with a great height advantage in both baseball and basketball. In 1988, the Montreal Expos brought Johnson to the big leagues, which made him the tallest player in big-league history. Considered to be one of the best pitchers in baseball, Johnson built a reputation as the pitcher Major Leaguers most feared facing. He retired in 2010 and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015. 

6. Cy Young

MLB debut: 6 August 1890

Last MLB appearance: 11 October 1911

World Series wins: 1

2x Strikeout leader: (1896, 1901)

Many believe that Denton True “Cy” Young left a legacy in baseball that is unlikely to be matched. Born in 1867 in Gilmore, Ohio, Young won 511 games during his incredible tenure in baseball, which is almost 100 more than any other pitcher in history. Young delivered his best season in 1901 when he led in strikeouts (158), wins (33), and ERA (1.62). On 5 May 1904, a day he considered to be his greatest performance in baseball, he pitched the first perfect game of the 20th century. The great Cy Young was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1937.

7. Roberto Clemente

MLB debut: 17 April 1955

Last MLB appearance: 3 October 1972

World Series wins: 2

World Series MVP (1971)

All-Star Game appearances: 15

Puerto Rico-born Roberto Clemente, who naturally excelled in athletics as a youngster, was signed by the LA Dodgers from the Puerto Rican Baseball League. By 1954, Clemente was playing for their Triple-A team in Montreal. After that season, he was taken by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Rule 5 draft. Clement went on to lead the Pirates back to the World Series in 1971, where he hit .414 to take them to another world title, claiming the Series’ MVP Award in the process. Late in the 1972 season, Clemente achieved his 3,000th career hit, which made him the 11th player to reach this monumental milestone. He was selected for the Hall of Fame in 1973 in a special election that waived the five-year waiting period.

8. Alex Rodriguez

MLB debut: 8 July 1994

Last MLB appearance: 12 August 2016

World Series wins: 1

All-Star Game appearances: 14

The American baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez won three MVP Awards and hit nearly 700 home runs during his 22-year career. Unfortunately, his reputation was tainted through his association with performance-enhancing drugs. However, prior to that, Rodriguez was considered to have had an incredible track record. Born in Washington Heights, New York City, he made his debut with the Seattle Mariners at the age of 18 and became a home-run champion and a three-time MVP during his years with the Texas Rangers and the Yankees. Rodriquez is also the career record holder for grand slams with 25 But in 2014, he was suspended for the entire season for using performance-enhancing drugs. Rodriguez played his final game in August 2016 and finished among the all-time leaders in home runs before venturing into broadcasting.

9. Reggie Jackson

MLB debut: 9 June 1967

Last MLB appearance: 4 October 1987

World Series wins: 5

World Series MVP (1973, 1977)

All-Star Game Appearances: 14

Reggie Jackson was a charismatic man who was never afraid to speak his mind. He was also an extremely great player – and knew it. The Pennsylvanian dreamed of playing in New York, and in 1977 his dream became a reality. Jackson’s accolades are impressive: he played five World Series, during which he hit 10 home runs with 24 RBI (runs batted in) while batting .357. His most memorable moment was during the Fall Classic in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series: he hit three home runs on three pitches and earned the nickname, “Mr October.” 

In addition to Jackon’s performance on the field, he also appeared in films, including The Naked Gun, and television shows such as MacGyver, Malcolm in the Middle, and BASEketball. Jackson went on to become a 14-time American League All-Star, a member of five World Series championship teams and earned the American League MVP Award in 1973. He was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

10. Derek Jeter

MLB debut: 29 May 1995

Last MLB appearance: 28 September 2014

World Series wins: 5

World Series MVP (2000)

AL Rookie of the Year (1996)

All-Star Game appearances: 14

Inducted to the hall of fame in 2020, Derek Jeter’s accolades began at the very beginning of his big-league career. Jeter is a legendary shortstop who obtained five championship rings and a Yankees dynasty, which he captained. Born in New Jersey but having grown up in ​​Kalamazoo, Michigan, he played his first game in the big leagues on 29 May 1995. Thanks to the incredible Jeter’s contributions, the Yankees never missed the postseason, and they also won the World Series titles in 1998, 1999, and 2000. Jeter made the first of 14 All-Star Games in 1998, won the first of five Gold Glove Awards in 2004, and was annually among the league leaders in hits and runs scored. Many will remember his performance during the 2001 ALDS against the Athletics. The Yankees won the game 1-0 and the series 3-2 with some nail-biting action on the field.

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