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10 best leadoff hitters in baseball history

10 best leadoff hitters in baseball history

Ichiro Suzuki
“Ichiro イチロー” (CC BY-SA 2.) by Angel_Blue

In baseball, most fans shell out notice to the ability hitters who push in runs, but it is crucial not to neglect the greatest leadoff hitters of all time.

Just after all, the ideal leadoff hitters are the ones who are obtaining on base and scoring the operates when the electrical power hitters travel them dwelling. As well as, numerous of the greatest leadoff hitters of all time are also amongst the speediest baseball players in MLB background, which is an additional reason why the greatest leadoff hitters should have recognition.

Most effective leadoff hitters of all time

But who is the finest leadoff hitter in baseball record? As we’ll see, it’s a somewhat effortless dilemma, but there are also other leadoff hitters who have earned to be regarded.

That’s why we set together a listing of the 10 best leadoff hitters in baseball background. Although we be expecting some to disagree with the order, here is our top-10 countdown to the biggest leadoff hitter of all time.

10. Kenny Lofton

For a great deal of his occupation, Kenny Lofton’s recreation was all about speed, which in a natural way designed him a person of the wonderful leadoff hitters of his era. As an athlete, Lofton was on one more amount, actually likely to Arizona on a basketball scholarship.

When he bought to the huge leagues, Lofton led the American League in stolen bases for five straight a long time, amassing 622 stolen bases for the duration of his occupation. He was also a .299 vocation hitter, so he had no dilemma receiving on foundation, where by he could use his speed to torture opposing teams. 

9. Craig Biggio

Craig Biggio is a bit of an anomaly simply because he’s a previous catcher who became one of the top rated leadoff hitters of his generation. But the go to next base allowed him to showcase a small extra of his velocity. Biggio then blended that with his skill to strike for each normal and electrical power, not to point out his never ever-ending hustle.

Those people are all components that made him a good leadoff gentleman more than his 20 seasons in the majors. During that time, he racked up about 3,000 hits and 291 residence operates while also thieving 414 bases. Biggio could do it all, and he did it from the leadoff spot, which include 53 leadoff dwelling runs, which ranks in close proximity to the major of the all-time listing.


8. Wade Boggs

In spite of primary off in just under 50% of his video games, Wade Boggs continue to gets credit score for staying just one of the ideal leadoff hitters of all time. Following all, we’re chatting about a 5-time batting champion and a .328 career hitter.

Even if he did not consider as several walks as some of the other good leadoff hitters, Boggs could get himself on foundation, at just one level batting more than .350 in 4 straight seasons. When his ability and pace ended up a minimal missing, his ability to strike for a substantial regular aided to make him a excellent leadoff hitter.

7. Pete Rose

As the all-time MLB leader in hits, Pete Rose understood how to get on foundation, creating him the great leadoff hitter. He used approximately two-thirds of his distinguished career hitting out of the leadoff place and starting up rallies.

Rose did not have the variety of electric power or speed that groups often like in a leadoff hitter, but he batted .303 in his profession with 160 dwelling operates, so he confirmed a little electrical power. More than that, the 17-time all-star was generally receiving on foundation by walk or strike, earning him an ideal leadoff prospect.

6. Lou Brock

As just one of the most prolific foundation stealers in baseball heritage, Lou Brock was a all-natural in the leadoff location. When the Cardinals won the Earth Collection in 1964 and 1967, Brock was typically the catalyst at the prime of the buy.

For the duration of his vocation, he collected 928 stolen bases, major the Countrywide League in stolen bases eight situations. On prime of that, Brock was a .293 vocation hitter with above 3,000 hits. In other phrases, he was often obtaining on foundation and normally stealing bases, which is specifically what you want from a leadoff hitter.

5. Richie Ashburn

During the 1950s, there was no better leadoff hitter than Richie Ashburn. He was a terrific speak to hitter and had just adequate speed to make him the best leadoff male.

The Philadelphia legend only led the Nationwide League in stolen bases the moment, accomplishing so as a rookie. But he did earn two batting titles and was named an all-star six times. Ashburn was also recognized for his endurance and manage of the strike zone, as nicely as his hustle, which are also qualities that make him just one of the ideal leadoff hitters of all time.

4. Paul Molitor

When your nickname is The Ignitor, it is a safe and sound wager that you are a fantastic leadoff hitter. That was absolutely the situation with Paul Molitor, who racked up more than 3,300 hits and much more than 500 stolen bases in his job.

He is a person of 5 players in MLB history with at least 3,000 hits and 500 stolen bases who also hit above .300 with Ichiro currently being the only other player on that list who performed just after Planet War II.

Out of those people 5 players, Molitor is the only just one with additional than 200 vocation home runs, generating the seven-time all-star a person of the far better power hitters amongst the terrific leadoff hitters in MLB heritage.

3. Ichiro Suzuki

In baseball historical past, there are few players who have the sort of tactic that matches the leadoff spot better than Ichiro Suzuki. He was normally searching to strike for get in touch with and locate a way on base, describing his .311 job batting ordinary and his 3,089 job hits.

Right after all, he established the MLB history for singles in a year, aiding to elevate him above other leadoff hitters. Oddly more than enough, Ichiro also ranks ninth all-time in leadoff house runs, so he had a minor electrical power.

Likewise, Ichiro was a two-time batting champ and also led the American League in stolen bases the calendar year he won Rookie of the Calendar year and MVP honors in 2001. Of training course, Ichiro also created the All-Star Workforce in every of his to start with 10 huge league seasons, encouraging to make him a single of the most effective leadoff hitters of all time.

2. Tim Raines

With his unbelievable speed, there is no discussion about Tim Raines remaining 1 of the greatest leadoff hitters of all time. He was not just quickly, he was also an clever foundation runner. He led the National League on 3 situations in instances on base and two times in operates scored.

In 1986, Raines won the Nationwide League batting title and led the league in on-foundation share, which is what you want from a leadoff hitter. Raines also led the Nationwide League in stolen bases 4 instances, which is a different good trait for a leadoff hitter. On leading of that, Raines was an all-star in seven straight seasons in the course of the initially 50 percent of his occupation when he was an elite leadoff hitter.

1. Rickey Henderson

It’s virtually laughable how considerably ahead Rickey Henderson is of all people else for the title of the most effective leadoff hitter in baseball historical past. His mixture of velocity and ability was exclusive and has not often been matched in MLB heritage.

In addition to currently being the solitary-year stolen foundation king, Henderson also holds the all-time information for stolen bases and unintended walks drawn. Much more importantly, he’s perfectly ahead of the pack in conditions of leadoff house operates with 81 with Alfonso Soriano a distant second with 54.

Henderson finished this illustrious profession with 3,055 hits and an on-base percentage of .401, which is just what you want from a leadoff hitter. Of class, with a career that spanned from 1979 to 2003 and involved 10 all-star selections, a few Silver Slugger Awards, and MVP honors in 1990, nobody is touching Henderson when it comes to staying the perfect leadoff hitter.