The Top 100 First Basemen of All-Time
#1. Lou Gehrig
Years: 1923-1939 Primary Team: New York Yankees
He was good enough to be in the lineup when he was 20 years old, maybe even when he was 19, but Gehrig had to wait for Wally Pipp to "Wally Pipp" himself. Nearly 80 years after he played his last game, no first baseman has come close to Lou Gehrig's greatness. Year after year he piled up big numbers: Gehrig had nine seasons of 350+ total bases and nine straight years of at least 120 runs scored, 120 RBIs, and 70 extra-base hits. He drove in more than a run per game five times, the last time when he was 34 years old.
#2. Albert Pujols
Years: 2001-2017 Primary Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Pujols was even more consistent than Gehrig, but a notch below overall because of his descent back to the pack in his mid-30s. From age 22 to age 29, Pujols had a WAR between 8.4 and 9.7 every season. That's the foundation for his amazing run of success over his first ten years, when he won three MVPs and finished as runner-up four other times. Pujols actually outperformed Gehrig before the age of 30, leading in WAR, 74-66. But in their 30s, Gehrig stepped on the gas, producing 46 WAR, while as of age 37, Albert only has 26. A few of the first basemen who had a better career than Pujols after the age of 30: Bill Terry, Jeff Bagwell, Dolph Camilli, Norm Cash, and Mark Grace.
#3. Jimmie Foxx
Years: 1925-1945 Primary Team: Philadelphia Athletics
Among the famous position switches in history, Foxx's is the most important because of the magnitude of the two players involved. Years later the Brewers would convert Paul Molitor into a second baseman because they already had Robin Yount at short. The Yankees moved Alex Rodriguez to third to keep Derek Jeter in position. But when Connie Mack made teenage catcher Foxx into a first baseman because he already had Mickey Cochrane behind the plate, he launched a dynasty. The two future Hall of Famers helped the A's win three straight pennants and formed the heart of one of baseball's greatest teams. Foxx won two MVPs with Philadelphia and added one later with Boston. He retired having hit more home runs than any other right-handed batter, a record he held for 21 years until Willie Mays surpassed it.
#4. Johnny Mize
Years: 1936-1953 Primary Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Mize was ahead of his time in the science of bat speed. He kept a trunk filled with bats in his locker, each of them of varying weights. He used the lighter bats against hard throwers and the heavier ones against softer tossers. It worked: Big Jawn had the second-most homers in NL history when he played his last game in that league in 1949. Mize was 29 when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942. He missed three full seasons and part of another, but when he returned he was just as lethal with a bat. He won two home run titles in his mid-30s and probably missed 100 homers because of WWII. He and Greenberg both get a boost in our rankings for having missed prime years while in the military.
#5. Hank Greenberg
Years: 1930-1947 Primary Team: Detroit Tigers
Both Greenberg and Mize had a career OPS+ of 158, and both could hit for high average, draw walks, and hit for tremendous power. They were born almost exactly two years apart. The older Hank was righthanded and Mize was a lefty. Neither was a very good defensive player and both were huge specimens. But that's where the similarities stopped: Mize was a baptist country boy and Greenberg was a Jew born in New York City. Hank played with teammates who did not command headlines, so he became the star. Mize got somewhat lost among the personalities of Joe Medwick, the greatness of young Stan Musial, and later Mel Ott on the Giants. Both have lesser career numbers than they would if they hadn't missed their early 30s due to the war, but both rightly earned Hall of Fame induction.
#6. Jeff Bagwell
Years: 1991-2005 Primary Team: Houston Astros
The big difference between those Bagwell and his "twin" Frank Thomas, is Bagwell's baserunning, and The Big Hurt takes a small hit in career value for playing so many years as a DH... We did not adjust Bagwell for PEDs because we simply do not know if he used, which incidentally didn't seem to matter to the HOF voters... Only two pairs of teammates appeared in more than 2,000 games together: Ron Santo and Billy Williams, and Bagwell and Craig Biggio. All four are in the Hall of Fame. The next duo, coming in at just under 2,000 games, is Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker.
#7. Frank Thomas
Years: 1990-2008 Primary Team: Chicago White Sox
#8. Miguel Cabrera
Years: 2003-2017 Primary Team: Detroit Tigers
There's a big gap between Cabrera and those in front of him on the all-time list, but if Miggy can add three decent seasons (after his injury-marred '17 campaign) he can close that divide and inch his way up the rankings... Will likely end up spending his last few seasons as a DH because his lower back, hips, and legs are starting to betray him... Cabrera's OPS against RHP (.937) is the sixth-highest in baseball history by a righthanded batter. He trails Mike Trout, Manny Ramirez, Mark McGwire, Frank Thomas, and Albert Pujols. His career batting average against RHP (.317), is the second-highest by a RH hitter in history, trailing only Roberto Clemente.
#9. Jim Thome
Years: 1991-2012 Primary Team: Cleveland Indians
Four first basemen in this portion of the rankings match up well as "time twins." Sisler is a good match for Hernandez: both were excellent defensive players who made contact and won batting titles. Thome pairs well with Killebrew: both were tremendously powerful sluggers known for hitting high, towering home runs. Both Killer and Thome were also immensely likable lunch pail "Everyday Joe" type of guys. Thome will end up in the Hall of Fame once he's eligible, joining Sisler and Killebrew. But Hernandez has never received much support because his strengths were mismatched with his era when first basemen were mostly big home run hitters.
#10. Todd Helton
Years: 1997-2013 Primary Team: Colorado Rockies
We took three first basemen ranked ahead of Helton and three just below and normalized their road stats to a neutral ballpark. Here's their adjusted OPS in order: Allen (.915), Cabrera (.908), Bagwell, (.906), Thome (.902), McCovey (.892), Helton (.855), and Murray (.844). Sure, Coors Field helped Helton rack up gaudy offensive numbers, but he was a great hitter in road parks too. Helton is one of two players on this list who chose his uniform number as an homage to another player on this list. He wore #17 to honor Mark Grace.
#11. Eddie Murray
Years: 1977-1997 Primary Team: Baltimore Orioles
The highest-ranked switch-hitters at each position: Ted Simmons (C), Eddie Murray (1B), Frankie Frisch (2B), Chipper Jones (3B), Ozzie Smith (SS), Pete Rose (LF), Mickey Mantle (CF), Reggie Smith (RF), and Chili Davis (DH). Murray and Ozzie played on the same high school baseball team, and Davis and Reggie Smith also played high school ball in Los Angeles. Murray was the first rookie to play 100 games at designated hitter. Big Lee May was at first base for the Orioles in 1977, but in Murray's sophomore year the team shifted him to first base. "Steady Eddie" went on to play more games at first base than any player in history.
#12. Willie McCovey
Years: 1959-1980 Primary Team: San Francisco Giants
In his first four seasons McCovey was platooned and rarely faced left-handed pitchers because the Giants had another promising first baseman in Orlando Cepeda. McCovey had a .667 OPS from 1959-1962 against lefties, the Giants tried him in left field, tried Cepeda in left, and eventually traded Cepeda to the Cardinals, clearing the way for Big Mac. Cepeda ended up in the HOF too, but the Giants made the right decision. McCovey learned how to hit LHP: in the 10 years after he was made an everyday player, he had a .790 OPS and his 68 homers were the most against southpaws by a LH batter. Cepeda won the NL MVP in 1967, McCovey won it two years later and had a better career. He spent 19 seasons in a Giants uniform, and like Willie Stargell, McCovey became an elder statesman and mentor to younger players, including Jack Clark and Dave Winfield.
#13. Dick Allen
Years: 1963-1977 Primary Team: Philadelphia Phillies
In one of his books, Bill James did a hatchet job on Allen, and as a result one of the few images that remain of the former slugger is a reputation as a toxic team player. I'm not sure why James did that, but it was misguided. Allen was a tremendous player who had the misfortune of coming up in an organization (the Phillies) that was indelicate about the issue of race. He was asked to play third base in the major leagues after never having played it at any level. Still, he thrived as one of the best sluggers of his era. From his rookie season through 1974, a span of 11 seasons, Allen ranked second in baseball in slugging to Henry Aaron. He ranked fifth in on-base percentage and second in OPS. Only six players scored more runs or drove in more runs than Allen during that stretch, and all of them are in the Hall of Fame. He out-slugged 10 future Hall of Famers who who were his contemporaries, including Frank Robinson, Carl Yastrzemski, Willie McCovey, Harmon Killebrew, and Roberto Clemente. He was surly and he liked betting on the horses, but Dick Allen could hit the hell out of a baseball. Next to Bonds, he's the best hitter not in the Hall of Fame.
#14. Keith Hernandez
Years: 1974-1990 Primary Team: St. Louis Cardinals
To my knowledge, Bill James never wrote a bad word about Keith Hernandez, never called him a bad teammate or clubhouse lawyer. But he said all of that about Dick Allen. Oddly, those things were untrue about Allen but applied perfectly to Hernandez for at least the first half of his career. At the July trade deadline in 1983, the World Champion Cardinals shipped Hernandez to the Mets for middling starter Neil Allen and ho-hum pitching prospect Rick Ownbey. For St. Louis GM/manager Whitey Herzog it was a case of addition by subtraction. Hernandez was a one-man shit show in the clubhouse: doing drugs, fomenting dissension, splitting the team apart. The Cards got better after he left, and Hernandez went on partying in New York, while helping that hard-partying team to a title. He was implicated in the infamous Pittsburgh drug trials of the 1980s, though he escaped punishment because he turned in drug dealers and fellow ballplayers. He eventually gave up the cocaine and got clean, and he had a fine career, but for a long time, Hernandez wasted his gift.
#15. John Olerud
Years: 1989-2005 Primary Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Olerud, Will Clark, and Fred McGriff suffer from the Steroid Era even though they followed the rules. That's because their numbers look less impressive when you have Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, and Jason Giambi putting up cartoon numbers on drugs. The greatest players who never spent a day in the minor leagues are Bob Feller and Al Kaline because they were good players even as teenagers. Others, like Sandy Koufax and Harmon Killebrew, spent years in an apprenticeship as bonus babies. Olerud is the best player since 1980 to have bypassed the minors (Bryce Harper will have something to say about that). He went from Washington State University to the Blue Jays and was their starting first baseman at 21. Three years later he flirted with .400 and had one of the best seasons by a first baseman in the last 50 years.
#16. Joey Votto
Years: 2007-2017 Primary Team: Cincinnati Reds
The ability to get on base should be a very obvious skill, but it's amazing how long it takes for teams to realize when they have a player who can do it exceptionally well. When Votto was in rookie ball he had an on-base percentage above .450. He had two more seasons with an OBP above .420 before he was 22. The Reds finally handed Votto a regular job when he was 24 and he immediately paid dividends. But like Wade Boggs, Edgar Martinez, and others who have an incredible talent at getting on base via hit or walk, Votto was ready for the majors well before he was given a chance. Through 2017, Votto has six seasons with a .420 OBP. Only 19 others have exceeded that. Among the top 20 first basemen, only Dick Allen, George Sisler, and Votto never played in a World Series. There has only been one player born in Canada elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame: Fergie Jenkins.
#17. Harmon Killebrew
Years: 1954-1975 Primary Team: Minnesota Twins
Had they measured exit velocity, launch angle, and home run distance in his day, Killebrew would have been among the league leaders. He was famous for high, long home runs. He is one of only two righthanded batters to hit a ball out of Tiger Stadium in Detroit. Killebrew was a bonus baby and because of that his big league career was stalled for the first few seasons. The Senators had to keep him on their active roster, and as a result he couldn't get at-bats in the minors, which would have helped him mature quicker. More importantly it would have proven to Washington that he would hit more than enough homers to cancel out all those strikeouts. Back then, the worst thing a batter could do was strike out.
#18. Will Clark
Years: 1986-2000 Primary Team: San Francisco Giants
Let's play the comparison game, this time with Bill Terry and Will Clark. Both men were named William, and born in the south. Both players had lefthanded swings that were considered the prettiest in the game in their era. Both were very good defensive players who liked to range to the right to cut off ground balls. Both Terry and Clark were intense: so much so that they pissed off their competition on many occasions. Both played for the Giants for many years and developed a hatred for a team rival. For Terry it was the Cardinals, a team he battled for the pennant as a player and later as player/manager of the G-Men. For Clark it was the Dodgers, who had grown into the Giants most hated rival by that time. Both players hit third in the lineup and drove in runs: Terry averaged 101 per season while Clark averaged 99. Both players had celebrated performances in the postseason: in the 1933 World Series, Terry hit a game-tying homer and helped the Giants defeat the favored Senators; in the 1989 NLCS, Clark was unstoppable, hitting .650 with 13 hits and 8 RBIs in five games. Terry was called "Memphis Bill" and Clark was known as "Will The Thrill." The two first basemen ended their careers with almost exactly the same number of runs scored and hits. And finally, in an eerie coincidence, both men were famous for their characteristic facial expression: Terry was known as "Smiling Bill" because he rarely smiled on the field; Clark was famous for his pouty scowl.
#19. Tony Perez
Years: 1964-1986 Primary Team: Big Red Machine
Much has been written about The Big Red Machine, and rightfully so: the 1975-76 Reds are the best team since integration. The team's dominance ended abruptly when they traded Perez to the Expos at the winter meetings in 1976 for relievers Woodie Fryman and Dale Murray. Looking at it logically, the deal made sense: Perez was going to turn 35 in 1977 and was coming off his most disappointing season in several years. At that time, a 35-year old ballplayer was ancient, and the Reds had a young hard-hitting replacement in Dan Driessen, who was champing at the bit for a chance to prove himself. Cincinnati GM Bob Howsam was making an unpopular move in trading Perez, one of the team's famed "Big Four," but it wasn't a bad decision on paper. But Perez was more than a set of statistics. He was the glue that kept the Reds clubhouse together, the man who bridged the divide between Pete Rose and Joe Morgan and Johnny Bench. He was skilled at keeping Dave Concepcion, who desperately wanted to join his more famous teammates in the inner circle, happy. Perez was the man who went to manager Sparky Anderson and gave him a heads up when Bench or Rose had their nose out of joint about something. And Perez (or "Doggie" as his teammates affectionately called him), was a great player who had a knack for rising to the occasion. After he was exiled from the Reds, the Bench/Rose/Morgan team never won another pennant. Sparky was fired two years later. Meanwhile, Perez bounced back to form in Montreal and ended up playing until he was 44 years old. He completed the circle and came back to Cincinnati for his last three seasons, serving in a platoon with former teammate Rose, who was managing the team.
#20. George Sisler
Years: 1915-1930 Primary Team: St. Louis Browns
Branch Rickey used some underhanded tactics to get Sisler on the Browns, shenanigans that would look right at home in NCAA basketball recruiting. Sisler played under Rickey at the University of Michigan and later when Rickey was president of the Browns he used borderline legal wrangling to get Sisler out of a contract and promised Sisler a fast track to the big leagues if he came to the Gateway to the West. Initially, Sisler was a lefthanded pitcher, and he even defeated Walter Johnson once, but he soon proved more valuable as a first baseman. He was known for his glove work and line-drive hitting, he was a bit like Ichiro with the stick. Sisler hit over .400 twice, including a .420 mark in 1922 when he set a record for hits in a season, a mark later bested by Ichiro. Like Kirby Puckett, Sisler's career was ended early due to an eye injury.
#21. Mark Teixeira
Years: 2003-2016 Primary Team: Texas Rangers
When he came up with the Rangers, the big first baseman got off to a Hall of Fame type of start. He was the fifth batter to hit 100 homers in his first three seasons, joining Joe DiMaggio, Ralph Kiner, Eddie Mathews, and Albert Pujols. He became the sixth player to have four 30-homer, 100-RBI seasons in his first five years. The others were Chuck Klein, DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Kiner, and Pujols. "Tex" was the fifth switch-hitter to reach 400 homers, and he holds the record for most games with home runs from both sides of the plate. He did all of that, and also set the Rangers' franchise record for most consecutive games played (with 507) despite playing with pain for much of his career. His childhood hero was Don Mattingly, who also had his career curtailed bu injury. Teixeira wore #23 in his honor when he was with Texas (later when he was in a Yankee uniform he wore #25 because Mattingly's #23 was retired).
#22. Bill Terry
Years: 1923-1936 Primary Team: New York Giants
Terry's life is a story of desperation, perseverance, and redemption. He grew up extremely poor in a splintered family. He was only 15 when he left the house to take a job in the rail yards near Atlanta. He was a good athlete and eventually got a chance with the Atlanta Crackers. Initially he was a lefthanded pitcher, but he struggled to get batters out, and the gig didn't pay much, so when his wife was pregnant with their first child, he gave up baseball and moved to Tennessee to take a better paying job. He couldn't keep himself away from baseball and eventually started playing first base where he showed off a great stick in leagues around Memphis. The Giants had a scout traveling through the area to see a younger prospect when he caught a glimpse of 23-year old Terry. He had been out professional ball for five years when the Giants scout offered him a contract, which Terry only accepted after he secured a guarantee that it would pay him more than he made in the factory. Things happened fast, and a year later he was playing for legendary manager John McGraw in New York. Two years after that he replaced future Hall of Famer George Kelly as McGraw's first baseman. By his early 30s he had hit over .400 and set a league record for hits in a season. Terry was always mature for his age and serious-minded, he had to be considering his rough childhood and poor circumstances. Completing the Cinderella story, when McGraw retired, the ballplayer they called "Memphis Bill" was named his replacement as manager of the mighty Giants. Terry had a fierce competitive streak and he approached the pennant race as if it was life or death. He led the Giants to a championship in his first full season, hit .354 as a player/manager, and led the team to two more pennants. He could have continued to play, but retired at the age of 37 to concentrate on managing. He was a very important figure in the history of New York baseball, but few people remember his inspirational story or his accomplishments.
#23. Fred McGriff
Years: 1986-2004 Primary Team: Toronto Blue Jays
There's not much difference between Tony Perez and Fred McGriff as far as career value. Their peaks were nearly identical too. Both were key players on many successful teams: Perez's teams were in the playoffs six times and won five pennants; McGriff's teams were in the playoffs five times and won two pennants. Both were extremely popular and drove in lots of runs. They had similar nicknames: Big Dog (Perez) and Crime Dog (McGriff). Perez is in the Hall, though it took him nine years on the ballot. Through 2017, McGriff has been on the HOF ballot eight times and has yet to reach 24 percent. Perez benefitted from playing for one great team for (most) of his career. While McGriff played five seasons with the Braves, five with the Blue Jays, five with the Rays, and three with the Padres. His narrative is split between too many landscapes. Perez was the great RBI man of the Big Red Machine, while McGriff was a hired bat who bounced around the league a lot. That's the primary reason the Crime Dog is not seen as a Hall of Famer while Perez was.
#24. Orlando Cepeda
Years: 1958-1974 Primary Team: San Francisco Giants
Cepeda is the only member of the Hall of Fame whose father was a better player than he was. Pedro Cepeda was the greatest baseball player to ever swing a bat on the island of Puerto Rico, and he starred in professional leagues there for nearly a quarter of a century. The elder Cepeda played baseball year round for more than a decade after the creation of the Puerto Rico Winter League. He reportedly won six batting titles and hit over .400 on more than one occasion. He was called "The Babe Ruth of Puerto Rico" but most people called him "Bull." So naturally, Orlando was called "Baby Bull" when he started playing ball in Puerto Rico just as his father's career was coming to an end. Orlando was a taller version of his father - a strong right-handed hitter with quick wrists and the ability to hit the ball all over the field. There was one thing he didn't inherit from his father: a temper. "Baby Bull" (or Cha-Cha as his teammates called him) was much quieter than his volatile father. He won a battle for the first base job with Willie McCovey and was named Rookie of the Year with the Giants in 1958. Nine years later he won an MVP award while wearing the uniform of the Cardinals and finished out a great career that saw him earn induction to the Hall of Fame 25 years after his final game by the veterans committee.
#25. Norm Cash
Years: 1958-1974 Primary Team: Detroit Tigers
The most freakish seasons for top first basemen: Cash (3.9 WAR difference between best season and second best), Ted Kluszewski (2.7), Derrek Lee (2.3), and Will Clark (2.0). Other highly-ranked position players with freakishly good seasons: Sammy Sosa (4.9), Al Rosen (4.1), Darrell Porter (3.5), Robin Yount (3.3), Craig Biggio (2.9), Dave Winfield (2.7), and Harry Heilmann (2.6). Cash admitted he used a corked bat in 1961, but physicists will tell you the cork doesn't help a ball go farther, it only helps a batter swing faster. But the most likely reason for Cash's phenomenal season in '61 was expansion and the weak pitching across the league. Cash hit .390 with a .724 SLG against teams in the bottom half of the league that season. The same year, Roger Maris hit 61 homers and his teammate Mickey Mantle hit 54.
#26. Dolph Camilli
Years: 1933-1945 Primary Team: Brooklyn Dodgers
Camilli played eight years in the minor leagues, most of them in his native state of California. Few Phillies' fans remember him, and that's a good thing, because in 1938 the team traded him to the Dodgers for an outfield prospect who never played a game for Philadelphia. Meanwhile, Camilli blossomed in Brooklyn as the Dodgers' cleanup man. He put up a lot of black ink with the Dodgers, leading the league in walks twice, in games once, and in homers and RBIs in 1941 when he won the MVP award and helped Brooklyn to their first pennant in 21 years. He hated the Giants so much that when the Dodgers traded him to the G-Men after the 1943 season, Camilli retired and went back to California instead of wearing the New York uniform. Though his career only last a dozen seasons, Camilli averaged 102 runs, 26 homers, 103 RBIs, and 103 walks per season.
#27. Gil Hodges
Years: 1943-1963 Primary Team: Brooklyn Dodgers
The three first basemen who most often get compared to each other are Hodges, Orlando Cepeda, and Tony Perez. The last two are in the Hall of Fame, while Hodges is not. All three played for great NL teams and were run producers. They each hit between 370 and 380 home runs and were overshadowed by more famous teammates. Perez ranks highest in career WAR (54), with Cepeda next (50), and Hodges (45) third. Perez has a slight edge in peak value and was better in his late 30s than the other two guys. Ultimately the three are real close, and if one of them is in Cooperstown, all three should be. Perez and Cepeda had cute nicknames: Doggie and Cha Cha. No one ever said cute things about the serious Hodges.
#28. Rafael Palmeiro
Years: 1986-2005 Primary Team: Texas Rangers
Which is worse? Admitting that you used performance-enhancing drugs and acknowledging the mistake, or steadfastly refusing to admit that you cheated despite evidence to the contrary? The answer lies somewhere between Palmeiro and the next man on this list, Jason Giambi. Raffi told a congressional committee that he never took PEDs, and evidence emerged later that proved he clearly lied. Sources revealed Giambi's grand jury testimony where he admitted to getting steroids from the drug dealer linked to Barry Bonds. Giambi later publicly admitted his mistake and spoke at length about the dangers of PEDs. Palmeiro is a pariah. After his playing career, Giambi got a job as a hitting coach and saw his reputation somewhat restored. Once Barry Bonds is eventually elected to the Hall of Fame (and it appears he will be soon) Palmeiro is destined to be the asterisk on baseball lists for eternity. He'll be the 3,000-hit and 500-homer guy who isn't in the Hall, though ARod could join him in the doghouse. In some ways that singular exclusion makes Palmeiro more remembered than if he had a plaque in Cooperstown.
#29. Carlos Delgado
Years: 1993-2009 Primary Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Delgado is one of only six players to hit 30 homers in ten consecutive seasons, yet he fell off the Hall of Fame ballot his first year with less than four percent of the vote. He's emblematic of the sluggers from the steroid era: he put up excellent power numbers and drove in oodles of runs, but doesn't impress HOF voters because they view him as one dimensional. Delgado's career OPS+ was 138 in about 2,000 games, most of them at first base. David Ortiz played 2,029 games at DH and had a 141 OPS+. Ortiz averaged 95 runs scored, 36 homers, 119 RBIs, and 89 walks per season. Delgado averaged 99 runs, 38 homers, 120 RBIs, and 88 walks. Ortiz's career OPS was 931, Delgado's was 929, and they played at almost exactly the same time and mostly in the same league. Ortiz failed a drug test in 2003, while Delgado's name has never been linked to PEDs. Ortiz played about 370 more games, but Delgado was in the field for 13,000 more innings, while Big Papi was a specialist, albeit a very good one. Ortiz will get more than 90 percent of the vote when he's eligible for the Hall of Fame. Delgado was only given one chance with the voters. There isn't that big of a difference between the two, and an argument could be made that Delgado was a more valuable player to his teams over his career.
#30. Don Mattingly
Years: 1982-1995 Primary Team: New York Yankees
Like another legend from Indiana (Larry Bird), Mattingly suffered from degenerative discs in his lower back that caused him terrible pain and curtailed his career. Through the age of 28, Mattingly posted a 144 OPS+, a figure surpassed by only five first basemen in history (Gehrig, Foxx, Mize, Greenberg, and Sisler). The Yankee all-star had won an MVP, a batting title, five Gold Gloves, and was the highest-paid player in baseball. Then his back started to bark and his for-sure Hall of Fame career came off the rails. Where he had once spent three hours a day in the batting cage, Mattingly was barely able to swing the bat before games and his power virtually disappeared. He hit only 58 homers in his final five seasons but in 1995 he when he finally got to the playoffs for the first time, he mustered his old magic and banged out 10 hits and a homer in a five-game division series loss. The final play of his career was when he was at first base for New York when Ken Griffey Jr. slid across home plate with the winning run in Game Five for the Mariners to eliminate the Yankees.
#31. Adrian Gonzalez
Years: 2004-2017 Primary Team: San Diego Padres
#32. Frank Chance
Years: 1901-1914 Primary Team: Chicago Cubs
#33. Mark Grace
Years: 1988-2003 Primary Team: Chicago Cubs
#34. Boog Powell
Years: 1961-1977 Primary Team: Baltimore Orioles
#35. Bill White
Years: 1956-1969 Primary Team: St. Louis Cardinals
#36. Mark McGwire
Years: 1986-2001 Primary Team: Oakland A's
#37. Paul Goldschmidt
Years: 2011-2017 Primary Team: Arizona Diamondbacks
#38. Steve Garvey
Years: 1969-1987 Primary Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
#39. Pedro Guerrero
Years: 1978-1992 Primary Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
#40. Mickey Vernon
Years: 1939-1960 Primary Team: Washington Senators
#41. Jack Fournier
Years: 1912-1927 Primary Team: Brooklyn Dodgers
#42. George Scott
Years: 1966-1979 Primary Team: Boston Red Sox
#43. Cecil Cooper
Years: 1971-1987 Primary Team: The Brew Crew
#44. Ed Konetchy
Years: 1907-1921 Primary Team: St. Louis Cardinals
#45. Kent Hrbek
Years: 1981-1994 Primary Team: Twinkies
#46. Kevin Youkilis
Years: 2004-2013 Primary Team: Boston Red Sox
#47. Joe Judge
Years: 1915-1934 Primary Team: Washington Senators
#48. Frank McCormick
Years: 1934-1948 Primary Team: Cincinnati Reds
#49. Rudy York
Years: 1934-1948 Primary Team: Detroit Tigers
#50. Derrek Lee
Years: 1997-2011 Primary Team: Florida Marlins
#51. Jim Bottomley
Years: 1922-1937 Primary Team: St. Louis Cardinals
#52. Ted Kluszewski
Years: 1947-1961 Primary Team: Cincinnati Reds
#53. Jason Giambi
Years: 1995-2014 Primary Team: Oakland A's
#54. Ferris Fain
Years: 1947-1955 Primary Team: Philadelphia Athletics
#55. Ron Fairly
Years: 1958-1978 Primary Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
#56. Harry Davis
Years: 1901-1917 Primary Team: Philadelphia Athletics
#57. Phil Cavarretta
Years: 1934-1955 Primary Team: Chicago Cubs
#58. Lu Blue
Years: 1921-1933 Primary Team: Detroit Tigers
#59. Elbie Fletcher
Years: 1934-1949 Primary Team: Boston Braves
#60. Wally Joyner
Years: 1986-2001 Primary Team: California Angels
#61. Andres Galarraga
Years: 1985-2004 Primary Team: Colorado Rockies
#62. Jake Daubert
Years: 1910-1924 Primary Team: Brooklyn Dodgers
#63. Joe Adcock
Years: 1950-1966 Primary Team: Milwaukee Braves
#64. Earl Torgeson
Years: 1947-1961 Primary Team: Boston Braves
#65. Hal Trosky
Years: 1933-1946 Primary Team: Cleveland Indians
#66. Stuffy McInnis
Years: 1909-1927 Primary Team: Philadelphia Athletics
#67. Anthony Rizzo
Years: 2011-2017 Primary Team: Chicago Cubs
#68. Freddie Freeman
Years: 2010-2017 Primary Team: Atlanta Braves
#69. Mike Hargrove
Years: 1974-1985 Primary Team: Cleveland Indians
#70. George Burns
Years: 1914-1929 Primary Team: Cleveland Indians
#71. Tino Martinez
Years: 1990-2005 Primary Team: New York Yankees
#72. Bob Watson
Years: 1966-1984 Primary Team: Houston Astros
#73. Justin Morneau
Years: 2003-2016 Primary Team: Minnesota Twins
#74. Carlos Pena
Years: 2001-2014 Primary Team: Tampa Bay Rays
#75. Wally Pipp
Years: 1913-1928 Primary Team: New York Yankees
#76. Prince Fielder
Years: 2005-2016 Primary Team: Milwaukee Brewers
#77. John Mayberry
Years: 1968-1982 Primary Team: Kansas City Royals
#78. Bill Skowron
Years: 1954-1967 Primary Team: The Bombers
#79. Paul Konerko
Years: 1997-2014 Primary Team: White Sox
#80. Lee May
Years: 1965-1982 Primary Team: Cincinnati Reds
#81. John Kruk
Years: 1986-1995 Primary Team: Philadelphia Phillies
#82. Chris Chambliss
Years: 1971-1988 Primary Team: New York Yankees
#83. Carlos Santana
Years: 2010-2017 Primary Team: Cleveland Indians
#84. George Kelly
Years: 1915-1932 Primary Team: The Giants
#85. Jason Thompson
Years: 1976-1986 Primary Team: Detroit Tigers
#86. Roy Sievers
Years: 1949-1965 Primary Team: Washington Senators
#87. Andre Thornton
Years: 1973-1987 Primary Team: Cleveland Indians
#88. Joe Harris
Years: 1914-1928 Primary Team: Boston Red Sox
#89. Ripper Collins
Years: 1931-1941 Primary Team: Gas House Gang
#90. Joe Kuhel
Years: 1930-1947 Primary Team: Washington
#91. Wes Parker
Years: 1964-1972 Primary Team: LA Dodgers
#92. Aubrey Huff
Years: 2000-2012 Primary Team: Tampa Bay Rays
#93. Zeke Bonura
Years: 1934-1940 Primary Team: Chicago White Sox
#94. Dan McGann
Years: 1901-1908 Primary Team: New York Giants
#95. Mike Sweeney
Years: 1995-2010 Primary Team: Kansas City Royals
#96. Johnny Hopp
Years: 1939-1952 Primary Team: St. Louis Cardinals
#97. Norm Siebern
Years: 1956-1968 Primary Team: Kansas City A's
#98. Joe Cunningham
Years: 1954-1966 Primary Team: St. Louis Cardinals
#99. George McQuinn
Years: 1936-1948 Primary Team: St. Louis Browns
#100. Alvin Davis
Years: 1984-1992 Primary Team: Seattle Mariners