2. Lou Gehrig
Lou Gehrig, “The Iron Horse,” played every game (a total of 2,130) until his retirement in 1939 and hit a then-record 23 grand slams. He retired with a remarkable slash line of .340/.447/.632. He was selected AL MVP twice, earned a Triple Crown, and is in the Hall of Fame.
People forget that he was an outstanding fielder, too. In addition to his impressive performance at the plate, the first baseman ended his career with a remarkable fielding record of .991. His total OPS+ was 179, and his total WAR was 114.1.
Tragically, his career was cut far too short by a degenerative condition that eventually would bear his name, leaving him just short of a milestone 500 home runs. For a man whose durability was his calling card, it remains a catastrophic twist of fate that he was felled by an unseen force that sapped him of his stamina.
Gehrig put every ounce of himself into the game of baseball, and though he worried about being pigeon-holed as Babe Ruth’s sidekick, history has proven him to be anything but. He more than earned his place here.