#MLBRank: Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial make Kurkjian's top 10

ByTim Kurkjian ESPN logo
Sunday, July 24, 2016

When it comes to our personal top 10 lists for our All-Time #MLBRank 100 project, there have been some good ones. David Schoenfield, Buster Olney and Jerry Crasnick picked Willie Mays as No. 1 in their all-time top 10s. Jayson Stark went with the Bambino.

There are five names that have popped up on every top 10 list: Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams. And, no surprise, they're on mine. But I do have one name on my list that no one else has. Without further hesitation, here's my all-time Top 10 list.

10. Walter Johnson

The greatest pitcher ever: 417 wins, 110 shutouts, a 2.17 ERA. I am a little biased. I went to Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland.

9. Ty Cobb

The all-time leader in batting average, an extra-base hit machine and the greatest base stealer the game had seen for nearly 50 years.

8. Stan Musial

He won three MVPs, had four second-place MVP finishes and is the most underrated superstar in the game's history.

7. Mickey Mantle

In his prime years, he was as good, if not better, than Willie Mays. His career was shortened by injuries, but his career was highlighted mostly by winning championships -- seven.

6. Barry Bonds

Early in his career, Bonds was the game's best player with his speed, power and defense. Later, as sluggers go, he was third only to Ruth and Williams.

5. Hank Aaron

The all-time leader in total bases and RBIs, he also was a top five defensive right fielder.

4. Lou Gehrig

If he hadn't fallen sick, he might be the record holder in runs scored, RBIs and who knows what else.

3. Ted Williams

The second-greatest hitter ever. If it weren't for his military service, which was exceptional and heroic, he might have been the greatest.

2. Willie Mays

When he arrived in the big leagues in 1951, he was the greatest combination of power, speed and defense that the game had ever seen. And 65 years later, he still is.

1. Babe Ruth

He's the greatest hitter ever. He was also the first to hit 20, 40, 50 and 60 homers in a season, and still has as many career shutouts (17) as Pedro Martinez.