Considered by many to be the greatest right-
hander in baseball history, Johnson was the
hardest thrower of his time. He was a
phenomenally successful pitcher on often
terrible Washington Senators' teams. As a
veteran, he anchored the only Senators'
World Series winning club, in 1924.
Walter Johnson is the only pitcher to win 20
games and bat .400 in the same season. In
1925, he went 20-7 and hit .433 (42-for-97)
with two homers and 20 RBI.
Walter Johnson threw 38 1-0 shutouts in his
career, and lost by that score 24 times.
On February 22, 1936, Walter Johnson tossed
a silver dollar across the Rappahannock in
Virginia. More than fifty years later, the coin
sold for more than $25,000.
Lefty Grove starred for the great Orioles
teams of the 1920s, delaying his appearance
in the major leagues until he was 25. But he
made up for the lost time, winning 300 games
and posting an amazing .681 winning
"All things considered, Grove is the best
lefthander that ever walked on a pitcher's slab.
He surpasses everybody I have ever seen. He
has more speed than any other lefthander in
the game." — Connie Mack, 1931
From July 25, 1930, through September 24,
1931, Lefty Grove was an incredible 46-4.
According to researcher Jim Kaplan, this is the
best 50-game stretch by any pitcher in baseball
No pitcher/batter has ever struck out as many
times as Lefty Grove. Grove fanned 593 times in
1,369 official at-bats, or 43% of the time.
The 1967 National League Rookie of the Year,
Tom Seaver became the best player in New
York Mets' history, and he was the lone
superstar on the miracle 1969 World Series
championship team. Driving his arm forward
with his powerful leg thrust, Seaver led the
league in strikeouts five times and won three
Cy Young Awards on his way to more than
300 wins and 3,600 K's.
He had a lot of great seasons. In 1971 he had an
ERA of 1.76 (half the league average), struck
out 289 batters in 286 innings, won 20 games,
and threw four shutouts. He pitched 21
complete games and allowed just 210 hits.
In 1972, Tom Seaver (a career .154 hitter)
produced seven extra-base hits, including three
home runs, yet he had just four RBI.
A skinny kid from the Dominican Republic,
Pedro Martinez emerged from the shadow of
his big brother Ramon, also a pitcher in the
major leagues, to become the best pitcher in
baseball in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In
his fifth major league start, on April 13, 1994,
Martinez took a perfect game into the 8th
inning and lost a no-hitter in the 9th.
"There has never been a pitcher in baseball
history – not Walter Johnson, not Lefty Grove,
not Sandy Koufax, not Tom Seaver, not Roger
Clemens – who was more overwhelming than
the young Pedro.” - Joe Posnanski Sports
On June 30, 1997, Canada's two major league
teams met in the regular season for the first
time. Pedro Martinez grabbed the spotlight
for the Montreal Expos, firing a three-hit, 3-1
victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
The most colorful and charismatic player in the
history of black baseball, Leroy "Satchel" Paige
reached legendary status during his 22-year
playing career in the Negro Leagues. A
prognosticator, an entertainer, a philosopher,
and, most importantly, a phenomenal pitcher,
Paige mesmerized and frustrated opposing
batters for more than two decades with his
wide assortment of pitches that included his
Hesitation Pitch, Bat Dodger, Hurry-Up Ball,
Midnight Rider, Jump Ball, and Midnight
Creeper. Generally considered to be the
greatest pitcher in Negro League history, Paige
found himself unable to compete in the Major
Leagues until 1948, when he was already 42
years of age. Nevertheless, he previously made
enough of an impression on major league
hitters during barnstorming tours to gain
widespread recognition among them as one of
the toughest pitchers they ever faced. .
The pitcher with the school teacher
appearance, Greg Maddux won four straight
Cy Young Awards in the 1990s, leading the
Atlanta Braves to the post-season 11 straight
seasons from 1993-2003. Four times in his
career he posted an ERA two runs below his
league's average, and he won at least 15
games in 16 consecutive seasons, tying a
mark held by Cy Young.
"He was the smartest pitcher I've played with
or against." — Ozzie Guillen
"Maddux is so good, we should all be wearing
tuxedos when he pitches" — scout Phil Favia
From July 31, 1993, through August 4, 1995, a
two-year period, Greg Maddux started 57
games and posted a qulity start 56 times! In
36 of those qulity starts, Maddux pitched
eight innings or more.
A farmboy from Van Meter, Iowa, Bob Feller was
only 17 when he struck out eight members of
the St. Louis Cardinals in three innings of an
exhibition game. After this awesome display of
pitching, Feller was advised to seek voluntary
retirement from high school in order to sign a
pro-baseball contract. In his first major league
start, against the St. Louis Browns, Feller fanned
15 hitters and never looked back.
In December of 1956, Feller was elected the first
president of the Players Organization, a
precursor to the Players' Union.
In the first game that Bob Feller's mother
watched her son pitch in the big leagues, on
May 14, 1939, Chicago third baseman Marv
Owen lined a pitch into the stands that hit her
and knocked her unconscious. She recovered,
but had to have stitches.
The greatest pitcher in Giants' history, Christy
Mathewson was an idol to his fans. A clean-cut,
well spoken gentleman, Mathewson was a rare
breed in the early days of 20th century
baseball. The right-hander won more games
than any other pitcher in National League
history and was one of the first five players
elected to the Hall of Fame.
"He was an inspiration to everybody and may
we have more of his kind. His sense of justice,
his integrity, and sportsmanship made him far
greater than Christy Mathewson the pitcher." —
Kenesaw Mountain Landis speaking at the
memorial service for Christy Mathewson
Christy Mathewson threw three complete game
wins in one World Series.
Southpaw Sandy Koufax earned a place among
baseball's greatest pitchers with a dominating
performance between 1962 and 1966. During
that span, he won 111 games and lost 34, led
the league in ERA each season (averaging under
two earned runs per game), paced the NL in
strikeouts (1963, 1965, and 1966) and shutouts
(three times), and pitched four no-hitters,
including a perfect game in 1965.
Sandy Koufax posted records of 26-8 and 27-9
in his final two seasons. Therefore, he was 18
games over .500 each season. Since 1950, no
other pitcher has put together back-to-back
seasons of as many as 16 games over .500, let
alone their last two seasons in the game.
In 1965, Sandy Koufax pitched 323 innings and
did not hit one batter. That is a big league
The greatest big-game pitcher of his era, and
perhaps of all-time, Gibson almost single-
handedly won two World Series for the
Cardinals in the 1960s, and nearly won
another. He was the ultimate warrior on the
mound - mean and focused on one thing -
winning. In 1968, he enjoyed one of the most
dominating seasons in baseball history,
posting a 1.12 ERA and winning 22 games.
"A great play is like watching a girl go by. The last
one you saw is the prettiest.” – Bob Gibson
After scoring 15 points for Creighton University
against the Harlem Globetrotters in 1957, Bob
Gibson was signed by the Globetrotters and
played with the famous barnstorming basketball
team for one season.
Tom Glavine, Warren Spahn, and Early Wynn
are the only pitchers in history to win 300
games despite never striking out 200 batters
in any season.
Jim Palmer never surrendered a grand slam.
Walter Johnson and Luis Tiant are the only
pitchers with two shutout streaks of 40
innings or more in their career.
Lefty Eddie Plank made it to the Hall of Fame
using stall tactics, but he didn't have any
routine to go with it. With a batter waiting at
the plate, Plank would move an inch forward
on the mound, then half an inch back, as if
trying to perfect the relationship between
himself and the world.
11. Warren Spahn
12. Steve Carlton
13. Randy Johnson
14. Pete Alexander
15. Carl Hubbell
16 Roger Clemens
17. Cy Young
18. Mordecai Brown
19. Dizzy Dean
20. Nolan Ryan
21. Ed Walsh
22. Smokey Joe Williams
23. Juan Marichal
24. Jim Palmer
25. Eddie Plank
26. Kid Nichols
27. Robin Roberts
28. Whitey Ford
29. Phil Niekro
30. Addie Joss
31. Rube Waddell
32. Gaylord Perry
33. Fergie Jenkins
34. John Smoltz
35. Leon Day
36. Early Wynn
37. Wes Ferrell
38. Bert Blyleven
39. Don Sutton
40. Jim Bunning
41. Ted Lyons
42. Don Drysdale
43. Dazzy Vance
44. Curt Schilling
45. Jack Morris
46. Luis Tiant
47. Smoky Joe Wood
48. Carl Mays
49. Hal Newhouser
50. Bob Lemon