List of lifetime Major League Baseball hit leaders through history

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This list of lifetime MLB hit leaders displays a chronology of the annual top ten leaders in lifetime base hits in Major League Baseball from 1876 through 2011.

The table assists in identifying the most significant players in each era, and helps to understand the importance of many stars of the past. Before Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb's record for career hits, for example, Tris Speaker, Stan Musial and Hank Aaron had each reached the number two spot in succession.

It is also quite valuable to identify the leaders during the 19th century, when seasons were shorter (usually from 60 to 130 games); while nearly 250 players have now reached the 2,000-hit plateau, barely a dozen had done so by the end of the 19th century.

In the era before 1893, when the distance between the pitcher and home plate was extended from 45 feet to 60 feet, long-neglected stars Deacon White and Paul Hines were mainstays among the top five, along with Cap Anson and Jim O'Rourke.

This chart uses the hit totals which are officially recognized by Major League Baseball, as maintained and provided by the Elias Sports Bureau; they are derived from the annual official league statistics, even when those totals have been proven by later research to be in error. Particularly with regard to players from before 1920, these totals often differ from those used by ESPN, CNN/Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, the Baseball-Reference website, or by MLB's two longtime official encyclopedias, The Baseball Encyclopedia and Total Baseball. In fact, they are also not the same as the historical totals displayed on MLB's official website.

While the specific totals may vary between sources, and slight variations in the order may result, the leaders would overwhelmingly be the same regardless of which set of numbers is used; with the exception of 1904, in no year does more than one player drop out of the top 10 when a different version of the statistics is employed. Furthermore, this table accurately represents what observers of each era believed to be true.

1876-1900[edit]


Year 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 10th (tie)
1876 Barnes
138
Peters
111
Anson
110
McVey
107
D White
104
Higham
102 (tie)
O'Rourke
102 (tie)
Hines
101
G Wright
100
G Hall
98
1877 D White
186
Anson
177
O'Rourke
176
McVey
174
Peters
173
G Hall
167
G Wright
160
Barnes
157
Hines
152
Clapp
150
1878 D White
264
Anson
263
McVey
252
Peters
248
O'Rourke
246
Start
242
Hines
239
Clapp
224
Ferguson
220 (tie)
G Wright
220 (tie)
1879 Hines
384
D White
373
O'Rourke
372
McVey
357
Anson
353
Start
343
Peters
340
G Wright
328
T York
302
Clapp
300
1880 Hines
493
O'Rourke
472
Anson
470
Start
436
Peters
419
D White
412
Clapp
387
Burdock
376
Morrill
358
McVey
357
1881 Anson
607
Hines
594
O'Rourke
577
Start
550
D White
511
Peters
468
Clapp
452
Morrill
448
Burdock
443
T York
437
1882 Anson
733
Hines
711
O'Rourke
681
Start
667
D White
606
Peters
560
Dalrymple
547 (tie)
Morrill
547 (tie)
T York
523
Burdock
518
1883 Anson
860
Hines
843
O'Rourke
822
Start
772
D White
718
Morrill
676
Dalrymple
655
Burdock
650
Sutton
647
K Kelly
620
1884 Anson
1019
Hines
989
O'Rourke
979
Start
875
D White
860
Dalrymple
815
Sutton
803
Morrill
787
K Kelly
773
Burdock
744
1885 Anson
1163
O'Rourke
1122
Hines
1100
Start
978 (tie)
D White
978 (tie)
Dalrymple
950
Sutton
946
K Kelly
899
Morrill
876
Shafer
794
1886 Anson
1350
O'Rourke
1258
Hines
1252
D White
1120
Sutton
1084
K Kelly
1074
Dalrymple
1027
Start
1005
Morrill
982
Connor
960
1887 Anson
1574
Hines
1447
O'Rourke
1407
D White
1282
K Kelly
1281
Sutton
1192
Connor
1169
Morrill
1157
Richardson
1153
Dalrymple
1148 (tie)
Stovey
1148
1888 Anson
1751
Hines
1591
O'Rourke
1519
D White
1439
K Kelly
1421
Stovey
1319
Connor
1309
Brouthers
1269
Morrill
1253
Richardson
1230
1889 Anson
1928
Hines
1739
O'Rourke
1680
K Kelly
1570
Stovey
1499
D White
1496
Connor
1466
Brouthers
1450
Richardson
1393
Glasscock
1358
1890 Anson
2085
O'Rourke
1852
Hines
1832
K Kelly
1684
Stovey
1647
Connor
1646
D White
1612
Brouthers
1610
Richardson
1577
Glasscock
1530
1891 Anson
2243
O'Rourke
2019
Hines
1884
Stovey
1799
Connor
1786
K Kelly
1780
Brouthers
1770
Richardson
1646
J Ward
1645
Glasscock
1620
1892 Anson
2397
O'Rourke
2152
Brouthers
1967
Connor
1945
Hines
1884
Stovey
1876
K Kelly
1836
J Ward
1812
Glasscock
1774
Richardson
1705
1893 Anson
2520
O'Rourke
2313
Connor
2103
Brouthers
2060
J Ward
2006
Glasscock
1933
Stovey
1925
Hines
1884
K Kelly
1853
Browning
1716
1894 Anson
2657
O'Rourke
2313
Connor
2248
Brouthers
2242
J Ward
2151
Glasscock
2027
Stovey
1925
Hines
1884
K Kelly
1853
McPhee
1773
1895 Anson
2818
Connor
2379
O'Rourke
2313
Brouthers
2277
J Ward
2151
Glasscock
2079
Stovey
1925
McPhee
1902
Latham
1887
Hines
1884
1896 Anson
2953
Connor
2516
Brouthers
2349
O'Rourke
2313
J Ward
2151
Glasscock
2079
McPhee
2032
Thompson
1983
Stovey
1925
Latham
1894
1897 Anson
3081
Connor
2535
Brouthers
2349
O'Rourke
2313
J Ward
2151
McPhee
2117
Glasscock
2079
Thompson
1986
T Brown
1948
Stovey
1925
1898 Anson
3081
Connor
2535
Brouthers
2349
O'Rourke
2313
McPhee
2237
J Ward
2151
Glasscock
2079
McKean
2071
J Ryan
2044
Thompson
2009
1899 Anson
3081
Connor
2535
Brouthers
2349
McPhee
2342
O'Rourke
2313
J Ryan
2202
J Ward
2151
McKean
2147
Duffy
2140
Glasscock
2079
1900 Anson
3081
Connor
2535
Brouthers
2349
McPhee
2342
J Ryan
2317
O'Rourke
2313
Van Haltren
2245
Duffy
2194
Delahanty
2171
J Ward
2151

1901-1960[edit]

Year 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 10th (tie)
1901 Anson
3081
Connor
2535
Van Haltren
2431
Delahanty
2363
Brouthers
2349
McPhee
2342
J Ryan
2317
O'Rourke
2313
Duffy
2282
Burkett
2248
1902 Anson
3081
Delahanty
2541
Connor
2535
J Ryan
2470
Van Haltren
2455
Burkett
2416
Beckley
2351
Brouthers
2349
McPhee
2342
O'Rourke
2313
1903 Anson
3081
Delahanty
2593
J Ryan
2577
Burkett
2568
Connor
2535
Van Haltren
2527
Beckley
2501
Brouthers
2349
McPhee
2342
O'Rourke
2313
1904 Anson
3081
Burkett
2725
Beckley
2680
Delahanty
2593
J Ryan
2577
Connor
2535
Van Haltren
2527
Brouthers
2349
McPhee
2342
Cross
2337
1905 Anson
3081
Burkett
2872
Beckley
2827
Delahanty
2593
J Ryan
2577
Connor
2535
Van Haltren
2527
Keeler
2493
Cross
2492
Brouthers
2349
1906 Anson
3081
Beckley
2906
Burkett
2872
Keeler
2673
Cross
2622
Delahanty
2593
J Ryan
2577
Connor
2535
Van Haltren
2527
G Davis
2472
1907 Anson
3081
Beckley
2930
Burkett
2872
Keeler
2772
Cross
2654
Delahanty
2593
G Davis
2583
J Ryan
2577
Connor
2535
Van Haltren
2527
1908 Anson
3081
Beckley
2930
Burkett
2872
Keeler
2857
G Davis
2674
Cross
2654
Delahanty
2593
J Ryan
2577
Connor
2535
Van Haltren
2527
1909 Anson
3081
Keeler
2952
Beckley
2930
Burkett
2872
G Davis
2683
Cross
2654
Delahanty
2593
J Ryan
2577
Connor
2535
Van Haltren
2527
1910 Anson
3081
Keeler
2955
Beckley
2930
Burkett
2872
G Davis
2683
Cross
2654
Delahanty
2593
J Ryan
2577
Clarke
2574
Connor
2535
1911 Anson
3081
Keeler
2955
Beckley
2930
Burkett
2872
Clarke
2701
G Davis
2683
Cross
2654
Wagner
2646
Delahanty
2593
Lajoie
2581
1912 Anson
3081
Keeler
2955
Beckley
2930
Burkett
2872
Wagner
2827
Lajoie
2746
Clarke
2701
G Davis
2683
Cross
2654
Delahanty
2593
1913 Anson
3081
Keeler
2955
Wagner
2951
Beckley
2930
Lajoie
2902
Burkett
2872
Clarke
2702
G Davis
2683
Cross
2654
Delahanty
2593
1914 Wagner
3090
Anson
3081
Lajoie
3010
Keeler
2955
Beckley
2930
Burkett
2872
Clarke
2702
G Davis
2683
Crawford
2671
Cross
2654
1915 Wagner
3245
Lajoie
3147
Anson
3081
Keeler
2955
Beckley
2930
Burkett
2872
Crawford
2854
Clarke
2703
G Davis
2683
Cross
2654
1916 Wagner
3369
Lajoie
3252
Anson
3081
Keeler
2955
Crawford
2946
Beckley
2930
Burkett
2872
Clarke
2703
G Davis
2683
Cross
2654
1917–1918 Wagner
3430
Lajoie
3252
Anson
3081
Crawford
2964
Keeler
2955
Beckley
2930
Burkett
2872
Clarke
2703
G Davis
2683
Cross
2654
1919 Wagner
3430
Lajoie
3252
Anson
3081
Crawford
2964
Keeler
2955
Beckley
2930
Burkett
2872
Cobb
2715
Clarke
2703
G Davis
2683
1920 Wagner
3430
Lajoie
3252
Anson
3081
Crawford
2964
Keeler
2955
Beckley
2930
Burkett
2872
Cobb
2858
Clarke
2703
G Davis
2683
1921 Wagner
3430
Lajoie
3252
Anson
3081
Cobb
3055
Crawford
2964
Keeler
2955
Beckley
2930
Burkett
2872
Clarke
2703
G Davis
2683
1922 Wagner
3430
Cobb
3266
Lajoie
3252
Anson
3081
Crawford
2964
Keeler
2955
Beckley
2930
Burkett
2872
Clarke
2703
G Davis
2683
1923 Cobb
3455
Wagner
3430
Lajoie
3252
Anson
3081
Crawford
2964
Keeler
2955
Beckley
2930
Burkett
2872
Speaker
2795
Collins
2757
1924 Cobb
3666
Wagner
3430
Lajoie
3252
Anson
3081
Crawford
2964
Speaker
2962
Keeler
2955
Collins
2951
Beckley
2930
Burkett
2872
1925 Cobb
3823
Wagner
3430
Lajoie
3252
Speaker
3129
Collins
3098
Anson
3081
Crawford
2964
Keeler
2955
Beckley
2930
Burkett
2872
1926 Cobb
3902
Wagner
3430
Speaker
3293
Lajoie
3252
Collins
3227
Anson
3081
Crawford
2964
Keeler
2955
Beckley
2930
Burkett
2872
1927 Cobb
4077
Speaker
3464
Wagner
3430
Collins
3303
Lajoie
3252
Anson
3081
Crawford
2964
Keeler
2955
Beckley
2930
Wheat
2884
1928–1929 Cobb
4191
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Collins
3313
Lajoie
3252
Anson
3081
Crawford
2964
Keeler
2955
Beckley
2930
Wheat
2884
1930–1932 Cobb
4191
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Collins
3314
Lajoie
3252
Anson
3081
Crawford
2964
Keeler
2955
Beckley
2930
Wheat
2884
1933 Cobb
4191
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Collins
3314
Lajoie
3252
Anson
3081
Crawford
2964
Keeler
2955
Beckley
2930
Hornsby
2898
1934–1936 Cobb
4191
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Collins
3314
Lajoie
3252
Anson
3081
S Rice
2987
Crawford
2964
Keeler
2955
Beckley
2930
1937–1940 Cobb
4191
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Collins
3314
Lajoie
3252
Anson
3081
S Rice
2987
Crawford
2964
Keeler
2955
Beckley
2930 (tie)
Hornsby
2930
1941 Cobb
4191
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Collins
3314
Lajoie
3252
Anson
3081
S Rice
2987
Crawford
2964
P Waner
2956
Keeler
2955
1942 Cobb
4191
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Collins
3314
Lajoie
3252
Anson
3081
P Waner
3042
S Rice
2987
Crawford
2964
Keeler
2955
1943 Cobb
4191
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Collins
3314
Lajoie
3252
P Waner
3112
Anson
3081
S Rice
2987
Crawford
2964
Keeler
2955
1944–1956 Cobb
4191
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Collins
3314
Lajoie
3252
P Waner
3152
Anson
3081
S Rice
2987
Crawford
2964
Keeler
2955
1957 Cobb
4191
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Collins
3314
Lajoie
3252
P Waner
3152
Anson
3081
S Rice
2987
Crawford
2964
Musial
2957
1958 Cobb
4191
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Collins
3314
Lajoie
3252
P Waner
3152
Musial
3116
Anson
3081
S Rice
2987
Crawford
2964
1959 Cobb
4191
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Collins
3314
Lajoie
3252
Musial
3203
P Waner
3152
Anson
3081
S Rice
2987
Crawford
2964
1960 Cobb
4191
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Collins
3314
Musial
3294
Lajoie
3252
P Waner
3152
Anson
3081
S Rice
2987
Crawford
2964

1961–2014[edit]

Year 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
1961 Cobb
4191
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Musial
3401
Collins
3314
Lajoie
3252
P Waner
3152
Anson
3081
S Rice
2987
Crawford
2964
1962 Cobb
4191
Musial
3544
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Collins
3314
Lajoie
3252
P Waner
3152
Anson
3081
S Rice
2987
Crawford
2964
1963–1969 Cobb
4191
Musial
3630
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Collins
3314
Lajoie
3252
P Waner
3152
Anson
3081
S Rice
2987
Crawford
2964
1970 Cobb
4191
Musial
3630
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Collins
3314
Lajoie
3252
P Waner
3152
Aaron
3110
Anson
3081
Mays
3065
1971 Cobb
4191
Musial
3630
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Collins
3314
Aaron
3272
Lajoie
3252
Mays
3178
P Waner
3152
Anson
3081
1972 Cobb
4191
Musial
3630
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Aaron
3391
Collins
3314
Lajoie
3252
Mays
3239
P Waner
3152
Anson
3081
1973 Cobb
4191
Musial
3630
Speaker
3515
Aaron
3509
Wagner
3430
Collins
3314
Mays
3283
Lajoie
3252
P Waner
3152
Anson
3081
1974 Cobb
4191
Musial
3630
Aaron
3600
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Collins
3314
Mays
3283
Lajoie
3252
P Waner
3152
Anson
3081
1975 Cobb
4191
Aaron
3709
Musial
3630
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Collins
3314
Mays
3283
Lajoie
3252
P Waner
3152
Anson
3081
1976–1977 Cobb
4191
Aaron
3771
Musial
3630
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Collins
3314
Mays
3283
Lajoie
3252
P Waner
3152
Anson
3081
1978 Cobb
4191
Aaron
3771
Musial
3630
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Collins
3314
Mays
3283
Lajoie
3252
Rose
3164
P Waner
3152
1979 Cobb
4191
Aaron
3771
Musial
3630
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Rose
3372
Collins
3314
Mays
3283
Lajoie
3252
P Waner
3152
1980 Cobb
4191
Aaron
3771
Musial
3630
Rose
3557
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Collins
3314
Mays
3283
Lajoie
3252
P Waner
3152
1981 Cobb
4191
Aaron
3771
Rose
3697
Musial
3630
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Collins
3314
Mays
3283
Lajoie
3252
Yastrzemski
3192
1982 Cobb
4191
Rose
3869
Aaron
3771
Musial
3630
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Yastrzemski
3318
Collins
3314
Mays
3283
Lajoie
3252
1983 Cobb
4191
Rose
3990
Aaron
3771
Musial
3630
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Yastrzemski
3419
Collins
3314
Mays
3283
Lajoie
3252
1984 Cobb
4191
Rose
4097
Aaron
3771
Musial
3630
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Yastrzemski
3419
Collins
3314
Mays
3283
Lajoie
3252
1985 Rose
4204
Cobb
4191
Aaron
3771
Musial
3630
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Yastrzemski
3419
Collins
3314
Mays
3283
Lajoie
3252
1986–1996 Rose
4256
Cobb
4191
Aaron
3771
Musial
3630
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Yastrzemski
3419
Collins
3314
Mays
3283
Lajoie
3252
1997 Rose
4256
Cobb
4191
Aaron
3771
Musial
3630
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Yastrzemski
3419
Collins
3314
Mays
3283
Murray
3255
1998–2011 Rose
4256
Cobb
4191
Aaron
3771
Musial
3630
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Yastrzemski
3419
Molitor
3319
Collins
3314
Mays
3283
2012 Rose
4256
Cobb
4191
Aaron
3771
Musial
3630
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Yastrzemski
3419
Molitor
3319
Collins
3314
Jeter
3304
2013 Rose
4256
Cobb
4191
Aaron
3771
Musial
3630
Speaker
3515
Wagner
3430
Yastrzemski
3419
Molitor
3319
Jeter
3316
Collins
3314
2014 Rose
4256
Cobb
4191
Aaron
3771
Musial
3630
Speaker
3515
Jeter
3465
Wagner
3430
Yastrzemski
3419
Molitor
3319
Collins
3314

Active players are marked in bold italics.

Stats as of September 28, 2014.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]