Top starting pitchers of all time


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Top starting pitchers of all time

  1. 1. 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.
  2. 2. 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 percentage. "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 history. 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.
  3. 3. 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.
  4. 4. 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 Illustrated 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.
  5. 5. 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. .
  6. 6. 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.
  7. 7. 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.
  8. 8. 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.
  9. 9. 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 record.
  10. 10. 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.
  11. 11. 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.
  12. 12. 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
  13. 13. 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