#1 LouGehrig Quiet and reserved, Lou Gehrig rarely had the spotlight all to himself during his 14 full seasons with the New York Yankees. Gehrig remained in the background his first 10 years while the far more colorful and gregarious Babe Ruth consistently grabbed the headlines in the New York newspapers. He then spent his final few seasons taking a backseat to the more charismatic Joe DiMaggio The triple crown season was one of his finest, leading the league with 49 home runs, 165 runs batted in, a .363 batting average, a .465 on-base percentage, and a .706 slugging percentage. Gehrig also placed among the leaders with 128 runs scored and 210 hits
#2 Jimmie Foxx Playing first for the Philadelphia Athletics, and then for the Boston Red Sox, Foxx captured three Most Valuable Player Awards during the decade and became the first man ever to hit more than 50 home runs for two different teams. Born in Sudlersville, Maryland on October 22, 1907, James Emory Foxx developed his tremendous upper-body strength by doing chores on his father's farm. After excelling in both baseball and track and field in high school, Foxx joined Easton of the Eastern Shore League, where he became former major league third baseman Frank "Home Run" Baker's protege. "I've developed a deep-rooted hatred for Foxx. He hit two of the longest home runs I've ever seen – and they were both off me.” – Lefty Gomez
#3 Hank Greenberg Greenberg's legacy was diminished by the fact that he spent almost five full peak seasons serving his country during World War II. Nevertheless, despite playing the equivalent of only nine-and-a-half full seasons in the major leagues, the big first baseman hit 331 home runs, drove in 1,276 runs, won two American League Most Valuable Player Awards, and led the Detroit Tigers to four pennants and two world championships, en route to establishing himself as one of the premier sluggers the game has ever seen. "He was one of the truly great hitters, and when I first saw him bat, he made my eyes pop out.” - Joe DiMaggio
#4 Eddie Murray One of only four players in baseball history to surpass both 3,000 hits and 500 home runs (Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Rafael Palmeiro are the other three), Murray hit more home runs (504) over the course of his career than any other switch-hitter, except for Mickey Mantle (536). On May 9, 1987, Eddie Murray homered from each side of the plate for the second consecutive game, the first time that had ever happened in the major leagues. "He was the best clutch-hitter that I saw during the decade that we played together. Not only on our team, but in all of baseball.” - Mike Flanagan
#5 Mark McGwire As a rookie in 1987, Mark McGwire blasted 49 homers, setting a record for freshman. After battling injuries and struggling to find his swing, he burst onto the national stage when he broke Roger Maris's single-season mark for homers in 1998. In 1998 McGwire set an NL record with 32 homers on the road. He hit three homers in one game twice. Hit 21 homers in his first 41 games, 40 in 90 games, 50 in 125 games, and shattered the ML record with 70 for the season. In the process he set a Cardinal record with 145 RBI and a NL record for 162 walks. McGwire hit 33 solo homers, 28 two-run homers, seven three-run homers and two grand slams. Hit homers against 65 different pitchers. He led baseball in slugging, OBP, and total average. For some reason sportswriters selected Sammy Sosa as MVP.
#6 Dan Brouthers Referred to by some baseball historians as "the Babe Ruth of his era," Big Dan Brouthersis recognized as the first great slugger in baseball history. "Brouthers really was a great hitter, one of the most powerful batters of all time...I don't think I ever saw a stronger hitter." - John McGraw The premier power hitter of his era, Dan Brouthers led his league six times in batting, seven times in slugging average, four times in total bases, three times in doubles, twice in homers, and once in triples. His .519 lifetime slugging average surpassed that of the next best 19th century slugger by a substantial margin.
#7 Buck Leonard He began his Negro league career in 1933 with the Brooklyn Royal Giants, then moved to the legendary Homestead Grays in 1934, the team he played for until his retirement in 1950. The Grays of the late 1930s through the mid-1940s are considered one of the greatest teams of any race ever assembled. In 1999, he ranked Number 47 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, one of five players so honored who played all or most of their careers in the Negro leagues, and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. In 1952, Leonard was offered a major league contract, but he believed that at age 45 he was too old and might embarrass himself and hurt the cause of integration.
#8 Willie McCovey Erasing a fellow Giant sluggers name from the record books, Willie McCoveyhit his 513rd career homer, off the Cubs' Dennis Lamp, on June 14, 1979. Thus, McCovey became the all-time lefthanded HR hitter in National League history, surpassing Mel Ott. In 2001, another Giants slugger, Barry Bonds, eclipsed McCovey's mark. "McCovey didn't hit any cheap one[s]. When he belts a home run, he does it with such authority it seems like an act of God. You can't cry about it." — Walter Alston Two "Peanuts" cartoon strips mentioned McCovey's near-game-winning hit in the World Series that previous fall. In the first one, Charlie Brown asks, "Why couldn't McCovey have hit the ball just three feet higher?" and in the second he wonders, "Or why couldn't McCovey have hit the ball even two feet higher?"
#9 Jeff Bagwell Jeff Bagwell and Frank Thomas were born on the same day: May 27, 1968. Each of them won the Most Valuable Player Award in 1994, Bagwell in the NL, and Thomas in the AL. Through the 2005 season, Bagwell had hit 449 homers, and Thomas had 448. "He was a superstar-caliber player who really understood what every single player, regardless of their rung on the ladder, was going through. He could relate to everybody, regardless of their status in baseball and their position on the team. He was very understanding." — Brad Ausmus "I never saw a first baseman be that agile. Crashing in on bunts, whirling and throwing to second. He was a great defender." — Houston GM Tim Purpura
#10 Roger Connor The most prolific home run hitter of the nineteenth century, Roger Connor was one of baseball's first stars. "With his weight catapulting him, with speed and force, he slid feet first and, as he landed, could bob up, like a jack-in-the-box." — sportswriter Sam Crane On September 11, 1886, Roger Connor became the first man (and possibly only man) to hit a ball completely out of the original Polo Grounds. As a result, his adoring fans presented him with a gold watch valued at nearly $500. On September 10, 1881, Roger Connor hit the first grand slam in major league history. His homer ended the game in "walk-off" fashion.
First Base Factiods If you're looking for Frank Thomas, he's ranked at DH. Roger Connor hit the first grand slam in history, in 1881. Norm Cash's 118-point drop in batting average from 1961 to 1962 (.361 to .243) is the largest by a batting champ in history. After his career, Cash admitted he corked his bat in '61. Steve Garvey won a MVP Award, was elected to the All-Star Game by write-in vote, and helped the Dodgers to the World Series four times. But his squeeky-clean image was dirtied late in his career. A classic high average, low-OBP hitter, with no range at first, he ranks 24th on our all-time list at 1B.
First Base Men 11-30 21. Rod Carew 22. Don Mattingly 23. Todd Helton 24.Cap Anson 25. Orlando Cepeda 26.Steve Garvey 27.Fred McGriff 28.Will Clark 29.Carlos Delgado 30. George Scott 11.HarmonKillebrew 12. Albert Pujols 13.Jim Thome 14. Dick Allen 15.Rafael Palmeiro 16.George Sisler 17. Frank Chance 18. Johnny Mize 19.Tony Perez 20. Gil Hodges
First Base Men 31-50 41.Jake Daubert 42. Kent Hrbek 43. Ted Kluszewski 44.Joe Adcock 45.Hal Trosky 46. Mark Grace 47. Jason Giambi 48.Lee May 49.Rudy York 50. Joe Judge 31. Keith Hernandez 32. Norm Cash 33.Jim Bottomley 34.Boog Powell 35. Bill Terry 36.MickeyVernon 37.DolphCamilli 38. Tino Martinez 39.Cecil Cooper 40. Jack Fournier