The following is a list of the major league players with the highest career OPS averages in baseball history. OPS is a baseball statistic that is derived by adding together a player’s on-base percentage (OBP) plus slugging percentage (SLG).
OPS is far from a perfect stat to measure a baseball player’s offensive skills, but the stat does give an excellent idea of a player’s ability to get on-base and to hit with power. The best players in baseball have an OPS that is .900 or better.
To make this list, though, a player must have an OPS of 1.000 or better. Only the very best hitters in major league baseball history have accomplished a career OPS over 1.000.
Highest Career OPS Players in Major League Baseball History
1. Babe Ruth – 1.1636
Babe Ruth has the highest career OPS at 1.1636. Ruth had a .474 on-base percentage and a .690 slugging percentage. His OBP is the second best in baseball history, and his SLG is the highest ever.
When you look at baseball stats, Babe Ruth’s were just on another planet from almost everyone else. Ruth led the league 13 times in OPS, and 14 times in his career his OPS for a season was over 1.000. Babe Ruth’s highest OPS for a season was 1.379 in 1920, his first season with the New York Yankees.
2. Ted Williams – 1.1155
Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox has the second highest career OPS at 1.1155. Williams has the highest OBP in baseball history at .482, and his slugging percentage was .634.
Ted Williams led the league 10 times in OPS in his career, and he had an OPS over 1.000 an amazing 16 times. His highest OPS for a full season was 1.287 in 1941, the year he hit .406.
3. Lou Gehrig – 1.0798
With a career SLG of .632 and a career OBP of .447, Lou Gehrig has a career OPS of 1.0798, the third highest in major league baseball history. Gehrig’s career high was 1.240 in 1927.
Lou Gehrig led the league three times in OPS, and had 13 seasons with an OPS over 1.000. Lou Gehrig played his entire career for the New York Yankees.
4. Barry Bonds – 1.0512
Barry Bonds is the first steroid user to make this list. Bonds career OPS is 1.0512, fourth best in baseball history. His best for a season was 1.422 in 2004, which is the highest for a season in baseball history.
Barry Bonds did not have an OPS above 1.000 for the first six years he played, which might indicate he was not using steroids then. Bonds led the league nine times in OPS, and was over 1.000 an incredible 14 times in his career.
What would Babe Ruth’s OPS have been if he had used steroids?
5. Jimmie Foxx – 1.0376
Jimmie Foxx has the fifth highest OPS in baseball history at 1.0376. His career best was 1.218 in 1932, when he hit a career best 58 home runs. Jimmie Foxx has the highest career OPS of any right-handed batter in baseball history.
6. Hank Greenberg – 1.0169
Hank Greenberg only led the league once in OPS, but his career average of 1.0169 is sixth best in baseball history. Greenberg’s career best was 1.122 in 1938, the year he hit a career best 58 home runs.
7. Rogers Hornsby – 1.0103
Rogers Hornsby led the league 11 times in OPS, and his career average of 1.0103 is seventh best in major league baseball history. His career high for a season was 1.245 in 1925 with the St. Louis Cardinals.
8. Albert Pujols – 1.0085
Albert Pujols, the only active player on this list, has a career OPS of 1.0085. Pujols is very likely to drop off this list in the near future, as he has not been over 1.000 for a season since 2010, and his OPS was just .767 in 2013.
Are there any St. Louis Cardinals fans who regret losing Albert Pujols to the Los Angeles Angels?