There are few roles in the game of baseball more important than the leadoff hitter. The head of the snake, the table setter, however you want to frame it; the leadoff batter sets the tone for how your offense begins a game.
Work the count and get on base by any means is usually the name of the leadoff game. But players who are able to provide some pop out of that spot, blasting a leadoff home run strike a different type of fear into opposing pitchers.
With Toronto’s George Springer hitting his 50th leadoff homer on Monday (fourth all time), MLBbros are well represented on the Top 10 all-time list.
Rickey Henderson – 81 Leadoff Homers – 1st All-TIme
The greatest leadoff hitter of all time, naturally Rickey Henderson is number one on this list. The Hall of Famer hit 297 home runs in 25 seasons for nine teams, and went deep to lead off a game for every one of them.
Rickey hit a career high nine leadoff homers for the Yankees in 1986 and did it again in 1990 during his second stint with Oakland. Arguably the coolest player to ever touch a baseball field, Rickey Henderson was truly a one of one.
George Springer – 50 Leadoff Homers – 4th All-Time
George Springer is the only active MLBbro on this list, and with the way he’s raking this season he may end up second all time before 2022 ends. The blast Monday was number 50, and his seventh this year with over half a season to go. One more would give him the franchise record for the Blue Jays.
Now Springer is no stranger to setting franchise records out of the leadoff spot. In 2019, George set the single-season record for the Houston Astros when he put 12 leadoff homers into the seats.
Curtis Granderson – 47 Leadoff Homers – 6th All-Time
Curtis Granderson hit 344 home runs in his career, and was a valuable weapon for several teams over the course of his big league career. Unfortunately for Curtis, in two of the years he left the yard most, he was in the Bronx hitting behind The Captain.
But before he got to the Yankees, Curtis sent plenty of warning shots to start games for his teams. Granderson hit seven leadoff homers four different times; twice for Detroit in 2007 and 2009, and then went back-to-back for the Mets in 2015 and 2016.
Granderson retired in 2019, and is still the Tigers all-time leadoff homer leader with 24.
Jimmy Rollins – 46 Leadoff Homers – 7th All-Time
Jimmy Rollins did it all for Philadelphia during his 2007 MVP campaign, including hitting nine leadoff homers. Unlike every other MLBbro on this list, Rollins hit all of his leadoff homers with the same ball club.