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The right stuff
Right field? It’s the spot the worst player on the sandlot was placed in pickup games because the ball seldom was hit that way. Not so in the majors, not so with so many left-handed hitters. In fact, a right fielder is probably more important than a left fielder because a stronger arm is required to make the throw from right field to third base to cut off potential runs. So even more so than left, a guy with defensive skills is required in right field, even as necessary as a big bat, which all of our top 10 right fielders carried with them. — Hal McCoy
10. Dave Winfield
One of baseball’s tallest outfielders at 6-6, Winfield was an all-around athlete, playing basketball at the University of Minnesota. He had offers to play professional baseball, basketball and football. He played for six teams, but went into the Hall of Fame as a Padre. He was a defensive whiz as well as an all-around hitter. He won seven Gold Gloves, six Silver Sluggers and was a 12-time All-Star, hitting .283 for his career with 3,110 hits and 465 homers.
9. Tony Gwynn
In the era of the long ball, Gwynn was the epitome of a contact hitter. In 20 seasons, all with the Padres, he struck out 434 times in 9,288 at-bats. He put together a career .338 average, won eight batting titles and never hit below .300 (.309 was his lowest).
8. Reggie Jackson
Controversy was as prevalent as his massive home runs as he battled with teammates, A’s owner Charles O. Finley and Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. Known as “Mr. October” for his dramatic postseason homers and hits for the Yankees, he hit 563 home runs, leading the league four times. His career average was only .262 and he struck out an all-time record 2,597 times.
7. Al Kaline
Kaline never played a single game in the minors, going directly from high school to the Tigers outfield at age 18. At age 20 he became the youngest player in the AL to win a batting title when he hit .340. Brooks Robinson called Kaline one of the best defensive outfielders he ever saw and Kaline won 10 Gold Gloves during his 22-year career, all with the Tigers (He was known as Mr. Tiger) and he was on 15 All-Star teams.
6. Mel Ott
Ott was only 5-9, 170 pounds, but a feared power hitter who drew five walks in a game three times. He was the first National Leaguer to reach 500 home runs and finished with 511. He played his entire career with the New York Giants and led his team in home runs for 18 consecutive seasons, the all-time record for the same player to lead his team in home runs.
5. Ichiro Suzuki
Known by all as just Ichiro, he might have topped Pete Rose in all-time hits had he not started his career in Japan and not made it to the U.S. major leagues until he was 28. In 11 seasons, he has accumulated 2,428 hits and had 200 or more hits in his first 10 seasons, including an all-time record 262 in 2004. He has won two batting titles and was on the All-Star team all 10 of his first 10 seasons and won 10 Gold Gloves.
4. Frank Robinson
Robby was one of the most feared power hitters of his time. After winning rookie of the year, he was the NL MVP with the Reds in 1961, hitting 37 home runs with 124 RBI and a .323 batting average. After the 1965 season, Reds club president Bill DeWitt declared Robby, “an old 31,” and traded him to the Orioles. In 1966, he not only became the first player to win the MVP in both leagues, he won the Triple Crown that year with a .316 batting average, 49 home runs and 122 RBI. Robinson made 14 All-Star teams in his 21 years and hit 586 home runs.
3. Roberto Clemente
Some say he was the best all-around player in history because he hit for power, hit for average, had one of baseball’s best-ever arms and could run the bases. His career was cut short at 38 when he died in a plane crash while on a mercy mission for earthquake victims in Nicaragua on New Year's Eve, 1972. His career ended with exactly 3,000 hits. He was an All-Star 12 times, won 12 Gold Gloves, was MVP in 1966 and finished his 18-year career with a .317 career average.
2. Hank Aaron
Hammerin’ Hank is the man who finally obliterated Babe Ruth’s career home run record with 755 and sneaked up on it. He never hit more than 47 home runs in a season, but he hit 40 or more eight times. He made every All-Star team from 1955 through 1975. And his career 2,297 RBI remain No. 1 all-time. He started out his baseball career batting cross-handed and had to learn to hit the correct way. He was certainly not a slow learner.
1. Babe Ruth
The one name everybody in the world seems to recognize, baseball fan or not. Ruth began the home run era singlehandedly, hitting them before the home run became a weapon. The Bambino hit 714 of them for his career. He hit 60 home runs in 1927. Both were records for a long, long time. Ask any baseball fan who the greatest home run hitter was of all-time and some might say Hank Aaron and some might say Barry Bonds, but most will say George Herman "Babe" Ruth. And he was not just a power hitter. His career batting average was .342.