It’s a debate that still fires up baseball fans to this day. Who was the greatest, and why? What are the variables that should be taken into account when considering who was truly the best? Well, in this case, you’re just getting the numbers. If, after that, you want to argue until you’re blue in the face, you’re more than welcome.
These are the top five lefty homerun hitters of all time.
5 Reggie Jackson
563 Home Runs
Mr. October was more than just a sweet pair of glasses and a stellar ‘fro – he was also one of the greatest home-run hitters of all time. His 21-year career saw him donning four different uniforms and blasting more than 30 home runs in a season seven times. Reggie hit more than 200 homers for the Athletics, and nailed more than 100 in stints with the Yankees and Angels. He also put 10 balls in the stands over his five World Series appearances, once hitting three straight on three straight pitches for the Yankees back in ’77.
4 Jim Thome
612 Home Runs
Yes, Jim Thome is still playing Major League Baseball. And yes, he can still turn on a 95 mph fastball and blast it into the seats. Having just completed his 22nd season in the Majors, Thome has played everywhere, including Cleveland, Philly, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minnesota, and Baltimore – and he’s hit more than 30 home runs in a season 12 times over the course of his seemingly endless career. Now relegated to the role of a journeyman pinch hitter, Thome is still considered a solid late-season addition for any contender, and still intimidates pitchers into making that one mistake, which he promptly deposits in the upper deck.
3 Ken Griffey, Jr.
630 Home Runs
The kid had the sweetest swing you’d ever want to see, and boy did he live up to the expectations. Debuting for the Mariners at the age of 19, Griffey was the fresh new face of the league and had an immediate impact. His backwards hat and super-smooth swing were staples of the early ‘90s, and the Mariners were suddenly perennial contenders. After 10 years in Seattle, he was traded to Cincinnati to be closer to his family, and issues with injury saw his numbers steadily decline. Had he just been able to stay healthy, it’s likely Junior would’ve had a shot at setting the all-time mark for career home runs.
2 Babe Ruth
714 Home Runs
The original home-run king, Babe Ruth earns the top spot thanks to the fact that he was completely clean. That is unless you count fried chicken, hot dogs, cigars, or beer as performance enhancers. The greatest lefty power hitter of all time revolutionized the game by becoming the first player to deposit baseballs into the bleachers with astounding regularity. He became a legend by belting balls into the stratosphere and even calling his own shot. There’s simply no doubt that the Babe was the greatest of all time.
1 Barry Bonds
762* Home Runs
Despite having the most home runs of any hitter in baseball history, Barry Bonds gets a massive asterisk next to his record due to his use of performance-enhancing drugs. Had he never touched any PEDs, it’s likely that Bonds would have hit only around 500+ home runs. He turned into a long-ball machine with a head the size of a Winnebago, and scrutiny came quickly when the news of rampant steroid use in baseball broke. Still an undeniably prolific hitter with a penchant for the big hit, though, Barry Bonds was an absolute offensive beast from the left side of the plate.