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Ranking the 10 Greatest First Baseman in MLB History

Greatest First Baseman in MLb

First base is one of the most important places in baseball where the power hitter plays. Seemingly, modern baseball doesn’t put much value on first base. Teams in the past would have to use the same first base for a long time, such as 5-10 years.

Nowadays, the first baseman plays in different places outfield or sometimes starts at third base and moves to first. Hence, it is tough to compare the modern first base with the past. So, we made a list of the 10 greatest first baseman in MLB history based on performance in only that position.

#10. Roger Connor

Roger Connor

Roger Connor was born July 1, 1857  (died January 4, 1931). He was a 19th-century Major League Baseball (MLB) player. The New York Gothams have renamed the Giants after he spent most of his time in the city playing for the Giants. After retiring, Connor held the career home run record for 23 years. He played 18 years and hit 138 home runs.

In 1885, he hit .371, the highest NL average at the time. In 1886, Connor hit a ball out of the Polo Grounds, a park in which it is very difficult to hit a home run. Old Hoss Radbourn pitched to him, and he hit the ball over the right-field fence and onto 112th Street.

Connor and many players on the National League team went to the new league’s Giants team. As a catcher, Connor recorded 169 hits, a .349 average, 14 home runs, 103 runs batted in (RBI), and 22 stolen bases over 123 games. Connor played one season with the National League Giants in 1891, hitting.294. He became a member of the Philadelphia Athletics before 1892. In that season, the team broke up, and Connor joined to the Philadelphia Phillies. By 1893, his average was .322, and he hit 11 home runs.

#9. Jeff Bagwell 

Jeff Bagwell

2004 Getty Images

He played 14 seasons in MLB as a first baseman and coach for the Houston Astros during his 15-year professional career. He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox as a third baseman in the 1989 amateur draft after playing at the University of Hartford. 

His power numbers continued to soar after winning the Rookie of the Year award in 1993, and he went on to set several records the following year. It was the only season of his career that he hit .368 with 39 home runs and 116 RBIs in only 110 games, winning him the NL Most Valuable Player Award. Throughout the next decade, Bagwell continued to put up remarkable numbers, scoring 100-or-more runs in eight of nine seasons from 1996 to 2004 and driving in 100-plus runs on seven occasions. During those seasons, he also averaged more than 113 walks a year.

#8. Jimmie Foxx 

Jimmie Foxx 

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In terms of RBI per at-bat, Jimmie Foxx ranks among the top five all-time. A minimum of 105 RBIs was recorded in 13 consecutive seasons. In the 1930s alone, he had over 1,400 RBI, the most of any player in baseball history. It still ranks fourth on the all-time list of single-season RBIs with 175 during the 1938 season.

The .609 SLG% he has achieved is among the top 10 all-time, and he has the 20th best HR per AB. A minimum of 30 home runs was scored in each of his 12 consecutive seasons. The 1933 season saw him hit 415 home runs, more than any other in the era.

With a good eye, he was a fearsome hitter. In his career, he hit .325 and had an OB% of .428 that ranked in the top 15 all-time. He has also scored over 105 runs in nine consecutive seasons, ranking in the top 20 all-time in R per AB. On top, Foxx is a very good defensive first baseman.

#7. Albert Pujols 

Albert Pujols 

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José Alberto’s career in professional baseball began in 1989 with the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB). The St. Louis Cardinals signed him as a free agent, and he played for them for 11 seasons before joining the Los Angeles Angels. He was a three-time National League (NL) MVP (2005, 2008, 2009) and nine-time All-Star (2001, 2003-2010). During his time with the Angels, he appeared in one All-Star game in 2015. 

During his 161 appearances, he batted .329 with 37 home runs and 130 runs batted in (RBIs), and he was unanimously chosen as the 2001 National League (NL) Rookie of the Year. Despite having a strong offensive season, Pujols finished as NL Most Valuable Player (MVP) runner-up to Barry Bonds twice (2002 and 2003). Additionally, Pujols garnered a number of other awards, including the MVP award for the 2004 NLCS and silver slugger award for 2001, 2003, and 2004. He was named the National League MVP in 2005 after hitting .330 with 41 home runs and 117 RBIs.

#6. Anthony Rizzo

Anthony Rizzo

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The Chicago Cubs’ first baseman is an American professional baseball player in Major League Baseball (MLB). The San Diego Padres were another team he played for in MLB. Several of his games have been All-Stars. In addition to being an avid philanthropist, he has been identified as one of the most respected players in Major League Baseball due to his philanthropic endeavors.

At first, he was picked up by the ‘Boston Red Sox,’ but was traded to the ‘San Diego Padres’ after the 2010 season. Another trade to the ‘Cubs’ was made in 2012. With three RBIs (runs batted in) in his first five games, Rizzo became the first Chicago Cubs player to do so. He signed a $7-year, $41 million deal with the “Cubs” in 2013. In 2014, he played his first ‘All-Star’ game. Numerous awards have been won by him over the years, including the ‘Silver Slugger,’ ‘Gold Glove,’ and ‘Platinum Glove Award.’ 2016 was his first year as a member of a World Series-winning team, a first for the ‘Cubs’ after 100 years.

#5. Luke Voit III

Luke Voit III

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Luke Voit III plays first base for the New York Yankees of MLB (Major League Baseball). During his college career, he played for the Missouri State Bears, made his MLB debut with the St. Louis Cardinals, and played for them again in 2018, before he was traded to the New York Yankees during this year. The Yankees made him their starting first baseman in 2019.

Despite his late bloom, Voit is an absolute bargain. Originally drafted by the Cardinals in 2013, he was not fully developed until the Yankees sent him to them in 2018. A brawler, he set a career-high in home runs in only 56 games last year.  

#4. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 

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First baseman and third baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays, Vladimir Guerrero Ramos Jr. (born March 16, 1999) is a Canadian-Dominican professional baseball player. Vladimir Guerrero Sr., a former MLB player and Hall of Famer, is his father. In April 2019, he debuted in the majors league. 

During his third season in the majors, Garcia Jr. is hitting .310 with seven home runs and 23 RBIs, along with a .447 on-base percentage and a .995 on-base percentage – all career highs. Additionally, he has the eighth-best raw value+ of 169.2 in the majors. As of April 15, he’s been among the best in the sport when it comes to distance, and his max exit velocity, 116.1, is something few athletes can match.

As a breakout candidate at the age of 22, Guerrero moves from third base to shortstop a year after being promoted. It is no surprise that he’s doing so well as he’ll benefit from the talented Blue Jays lineup.

#3. Pete Alonso

Pete Alonso

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Known as Polar Bear, Peter Morgan Alonso is an American first baseman for the New York Mets of Major League Baseball (MLB). He was born on December 7, 1994. A rookie in the MLB, he set a record for the most home runs by a rookie with 53 home runs in his debut in the 2019 season. Aside from his 50 home runs, he also set the Mets’ record for the most home runs in a season by a player. 

New York City demands a special personality, and the 2019 NL home run champ and Rookie of the Year is just that. Having smashed 53 home runs in his stunning debut, Alonso regressed a bit over the past year. However, the 26-year-old is beginning to hit his prime, so keep an eye on him.

#2. Freddie Freeman

Freddie Freeman

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Frederick Charles Freeman was born on September 12, 1989. He is a Canadian American. As a professional baseball player, he is the first baseman for the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball (MLB). A four-time All-Star, he made his MLB debut in 2010. In 2018, he won a Gold Glove Award. Later iIn 2019 and 2020, he was awarded the Silver Slugger Award, and in 2020 he was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player.

In his last season as National League MVP, he did it all. His walk-strike ratio increased for the first time last year, while he hit .341 with 13 home runs and 53 RBIs. In addition to being a Gold Glover, he also has 35 home runs. Because of his newfound discipline, he has become one of the most difficult outs in baseball.

#1. Lou Gehrig

Lou Gehrig

Image: LA Times

In Major League Baseball (MLB), Henry Louis Gehrig was the first baseman for the New York Yankees from 1923 to 1939. He was born on June 19, 1903, and he passed away on June 2, 1941. As a hitter, he was renowned for his skill and was called “The Iron Horse” because of his durability.

Although he lived in a bygone era, his achievements are undeniable today. He is the youngest player ever to have his number retired and had a 340 career batting average, 493 home runs, and 1,995 runs batted in, six-time world champion, two-time All-Star, and seven-time All-Star. The slugging percentage of his lifetime was .632, and his on-base percentage was .447. A triple crown award was also given to him in 1934.

In addition to his list of achievements, Gehrig held the consecutive game played streak of 2,130 for 56 years. He was put to the test in terms of commitment and endurance.


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