After previously looking at the best home run hitter of all time from the Big leagues of each position, we will now focus on the RBI leader at every diamond position.
Note that RBI totals differ by source. The Elias Sports Bureau, Major League Baseball’s official record keeper, recognizes RBIs beginning in 1920, when the statistic was first made official. But Baseball-Reference retroactively compiled RBI numbers prior to 1920. The RBI figures below are from 1920 and later.
Catcher: Yogi Berra, 1,430
Berra, who won three MVP awards and enough World Series rings to fill all 10 fingers, is the leader among catchers with 1,430 RBIs, beating Ted Simmons (1,389), Johnny Bench (1,376), Mike Piazza (1,335) and Iván Rodríguez (1,332). Berra is fourth in home runs (358) and fifth in hits (2,150).
Active leader: Yadier Molina, 998
First base: Albert Pujols, 2,150
According to Elías, Pujols is one of three major leaguers with at least 2,000 RBIs, along with Hank Aaron and Alex Rodriguez. Pujols has scored 100 or more RBIs in a season 14 times, tying him with A-Rod for the most in his history. Pujols also has the home run advantage at first base with 679, the fifth-most in history, while his 3,301 hits also lead in the position in the Modern Era (since 1900).
Active leader: Pujols
Second base: Jeff Kent, 1,518
The all-time home run leader at second base is also the position’s driving king, as Kent drove in 1,518 runs to complete his 377 long balls. Kent had his personal best of 128 RBIs in 1998, and added another 125 RBIs in 2000, when he won the National League Most Valuable Player award. In all, Kent eclipsed the 100 RBI mark in eight seasons.
Active Leader: Robinson Cano, 1,302
Third base: Adrián Beltré, 1,707
Although Beltré only reached 100 RBIs in five of his 21 seasons, his longevity allowed him to accumulate 1,707 RBIs in his career, more than any other third baseman. Beltré is also the leader in hits from the hot corner (3,166), and ranks third in home runs (477). His best career in RBIs (121) came in 2004 with the Dodgers, a year in which he hit .334 with 48 home runs.
Active Leader: Evan Longoria, 1,089
Shortstop: Cal Ripken Jr., 1,695
While playing a record 2,632 consecutive games from May 30, 1982 to September 19, 1998, Ripken amassed 1,494 RBIs. That total alone would have been enough to lead all shortstops, but Ripken had an additional 201 RBIs for the remainder of his career, giving him a significant lead over Joe Cronin (1,424). Ripken also has the positional lead in home runs (431).
Active Leader: Elvis Andrus, 673
Left field: Barry Bonds, 1996
Bonds has a slight advantage over Stan Musial (1,951 RBIs) for left field advantage in RBIs. MLB’s all-time home run king was within four RBIs of 2,000, recording 1,996 RBIs along with his record of 762 home runs and 2,558 walks. The slugger had a career-high 137 RBIs in 2001, the same year he set the MLB single-season record with 73 home runs.
Active Leader: Justin Upton, 1,000
Center field: Willie Mays, 1,903
Possibly the greatest player of all time, Mays garnered numerous accolades during his career, including two MVP awards, 12 Golden Gloves and 24 All-Star selections. The Hall of Fame center fielder is also one of only six players to record 500 home runs and 3,000 hits, and he finished with 1,903 RBIs, beating Ken Griffey Jr. (1,836) for the lead at the position.
Active Leader: Andrew McCutchen, 933
Right field: Hank Aaron, 2,297
Bonds may have surpassed him in the all-time home run lead, but Aaron still has more RBIs than any other major league player. Aaron drove in 100 or more runs in 11 seasons and had an additional seven years with at least 86 RBIs. His 18 seasons with more than 80 RBIs are the highest in Major League Baseball history.
Active Leader: Giancarlo Stanton, 893
Designated hitter: David Ortiz, 1,768
Ortiz leads all designated hitters in home runs and hits, and no other designated hitter comes close to him in RBIs. After surpassing 75 RBIs in his first six years with the Twins, Big Papi signed with the Red Sox and posted more than 100 RBIs in 10 of his last 14 seasons. He came out on a high note, leading the American League with 127 RBIs while hitting .315 with 38 home runs in 2016.
Active Leader: Shohei Ohtani, 247
Pitcher: Red Ruffing, 273
While Wes Ferrell has the home run advantage (38) and Walter Johnson is the Modern Era hitter king (547) among pitchers, Ruffing has the positional RBI crown. A .269 career hitter, Ruffing hit 36 home runs and drove in 273 runs, while also winning 273 games with a 3.80 ERA on the mound. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1967, his last year on the ballot.
Active Leader: Adam Wainwright, 75
Thomas Harrigan / MLB.com
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MLB: All-Time RBI Leaders of Every Position