Ranking MLB's Top 50 Pitchers Who Never Won a Cy Young

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 26, 2012

Ranking MLB's Top 50 Pitchers Who Never Won a Cy Young

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    After ranking the 50 best players to never win an MVP award in an article last week, we now turn our attention to the pitching side of things and the Cy Young award.

    The league began giving out the Cy Young in 1956, and through the 1966 season they only gave out one award for both leagues. Starting in 1967, the award was given to the top pitcher in each league as we know it today.

    My only stipulations for this list were that the player has to have played after 1956 and that any active player on the list has to have been in the league for at least 10 years.

    With that in mind, here are the 50 best pitchers to never win a Cy Young award.

Brad Radke

1 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1997: (20-10, 3.87 ERA, 174 Ks, 239.2 IP, third in voting)
    Winner: Roger Clemens (21-7, 2.05 ERA, 292 Ks, 264 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    A workhorse who enjoyed a largely overlooked 12-year career with the Twins, Radke made at least 28 starts every year of his career and never won less than nine games in a season.

    He finished his career with a 148-139 record and a 4.22 ERA. While those numbers aren't overly impressive, his value is better shown in his 42.6 career WAR as he was by many accounts one of the best pitchers in the league during his somewhat brief career. 

Javier Vazquez

2 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    2009: (15-10, 2.87 ERA, 238 Ks, 219.1 IP, fourth in voting)
    Winner: Tim Lincecum (15-7, 2.48 ERA, 261 Ks, 225.1 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Vazquez enjoyed varying levels of success over the course of his 14-year career, which was spent playing for six different teams, but when he was pitching at the top of his game, he was among the best in all of baseball.

    He toiled with the Expos for six seasons to begin his career, and his 2001 season in which he went 16-11, 3.42 ERA, 208 Ks likely would have looked a lot better pitching for a better team. As it stands, he only received Cy Young votes once, in his lone season with the Braves.

Al Leiter

3 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1998: (17-6, 2.47 ERA, 174 Ks, 193 IP, sixth in voting)
    Winner: Tom Glavine (20-6, 2.47 ERA, 157 Ks, 229.1 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Leiter broke into the league as a 21-year-old back in 1987, but it was not until the 1995 season that he became a full-time starter. 

    The following year, he signed with the Marlins and helped them to the World Series in 1997 before signing with the Mets, where he would enjoy the best seasons of his career. In seven seasons with the team, he went 95-67 with a 3.42 ERA and he was the ace of the staff for the team that made it to the World Series in 2000.

Jose Rijo

4 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1991: (15-6, 2.51 ERA, 172 Ks, 204.1 IP, fourth in voting)
    Winner: Tom Glavine (20-11, 2.55 ERA, 192 Ks, 246.2 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Rijo broke into the league with the Yankees as a 19-year-old back in 1984, but it was not until he joined the Reds in 1988 that he first had measurable success at the big league level.

    In seven seasons from 1988-1994, he was without question among the best starters in baseball, going 87-53 with a 2.63 ERA and winning 13-plus games five times. An elbow injury essentially ended his career at the age of 30 so his prime was a short one, but he was among the best for a short time. 

Tim Wakefield

5 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1995: (16-8, 2.95 ERA, 119 Ks, 195.1 IP, third in voting)
    Winner: Randy Johnson (18-2, 2.48 ERA, 294 Ks, 214.1 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Wakefield came up in the Pirates organization, and despite a third-place finish in Rookie of the Year voting in 1992, he never found a steady place on the team and was released prior to the 1995 season.

    The Red Sox scooped him up off the scrap heap, and the knuckleballer rewarded them with what would be the best season of his career in 1995. A 200-game winner during his 19-year career, Wakefield recorded 186 of those over his 17 seasons in Boston, as he was still effectively baffling guys with the knuckler at the age of 44.

Kenny Rogers

6 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    2006: (17-8, 3.84 ERA, 99 Ks, 204 IP, fifth in voting)
    Winner: Johan Santana (19-6, 2.77 ERA, 245 Ks, 233.2 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Rogers spent 20 seasons in the big leagues, pitching for six different teams along the way and going 219-156 with a 4.27 ERA. He spent 12 of those seasons with the Rangers, and he got better as his career progressed.

    After winning 58 games over a four-year span from 2002-2005, Rogers joined the Tigers and in his first season with the team, he helped them to the World Series, earning the only Cy Young votes of his career in the process at the age of 41.

Andy Messersmith

7 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1974: (20-6, 2.59 ERA, 221 Ks, 292.1 IP, second in voting)
    Winner: Mike Marshall (106 G, 15-12, 21 SV, 2.42 ERA, 6.2 K/9)

     

    Career Overview

    Perhaps best known as being part of the court case that officially ended the reserve system and ushered in free agency, Messersmith was a solid frontline starter for the Angels and Dodgers during the 1970s.

    He finished in the top five in Cy Young voting three times, and was edged out for the award by his own teammate Mike Marshall in 1974 during what was undoubtedly the best season of his career.

Jamie Moyer

8 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    2001: (20-6, 3.43 ERA, 119 Ks, 209.2 IP, fourth in voting)
    Winner: Roger Clemens (20-3, 3.51 ERA, 213 Ks, 220.1 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Pitching 25 seasons to this point and last appearing at the age of 49, Moyer's career has become something of a novelty at this point, but there was a time when he was among the best starters in baseball.

    After playing for five different teams and enjoying little success over the first 10 seasons of his career, Moyer went to the Mariners at the deadline in 1996. Starting the following year, he rattled off a terrific seven-year stretch in which he went 113-53 with a 3.75 ERA. He capped it off by winning 20 games for the first time at the age of 40 in 2001. 

Josh Beckett

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    Best Cy Young Finish

    2007: 20-7, 3.27 ERA, 194 Ks, 200.2 IP, second in voting)
    Winner: CC Sabathia (19-7, 3.21 ERA, 209 Ks, 241 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    The second-overall pick in the 1999 draft by the Marlins, Beckett was the top prospect in baseball heading into the 2002 season. He showed flashes of brilliance during his five seasons with the Marlins, but never put together a complete season.

    He joined the Red Sox in the Hanley Ramirez trade prior to the 2006 season, and helped them to a World Series title the following year as he finally stayed healthy and made 30-plus starts in back-to-back seasons. The 2003 World Series MVP and 2007 ALCS MVP, Beckett has never earned any regular season hardware.  

Mark Langston

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    Best Cy Young Finish

    1987: (19-13, 3.84 ERA, 262 Ks, 272 IP, fifth in voting)
    Winner: Roger Clemens (20-9, 2.97 ERA, 256 Ks, 281.2 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Langston broke into the league with the Mariners in 1984, and was immediately among the best strikeout pitchers in all of baseball as he led the league in punch outs three of his first four seasons.

    He joined the Expos for half a season, coming over in the deal that sent Randy Johnson to Seattle before signing with the Angels and forming a potent one-two punch atop their rotation with Chuck Finley. He had a few big seasons, but for the most part Langston was a solid No. 2 starter who put up good, but not great, numbers.

Derek Lowe

11 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    2002: (21-8, 2.58 ERA, 127 Ks, 219.2 IP, third in voting)
    Winner: Barry Zito (23-5, 2.75 ERA, 182 Ks, 229.1 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    After coming to the Red Sox from the Mariners in 1997 in one of the more lopsided trades in baseball history, Lowe did not join the Boston rotation until 2002 where he served as the team's closer for two seasons prior to that and saved a league-high 42 games in 2000.

    Once he finally did join the rotation, he enjoyed immediate success as his sinker played well regardless of his role. From 2002-2010, he was among the most consistent starters in the league, going 137-97 with a 3.90 ERA and winning 15-plus games five times. However, his first season as a starter would be the only year he garnered Cy Young votes.

Dave McNally

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    Best Cy Young Finish

    1970: (24-9, 3.22 ERA, 185 Ks, 296 IP, second in voting)
    Winner: Jim Perry (24-12, 3.04 ERA, 168 Ks, 278.2 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    One of the Orioles three 20-game winners during the 1970 season and one of four 20-game winners during the 1971 season, McNally often took a back seat to Jim Palmer and Mike Cuellar when it came to accolades and attention.

    However, he was impressive in his own right with four straight 20-win seasons from 1968-1971 as he netted a pair of fourth-place finishes and a second place finish in Cy Young voting during that span. Oddly enough, in 1968 McNally finished fifth in MVP voting behind just Denny McLain among pitchers, but failed to receive any Cy Young votes.

Dave Stewart

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    Best Cy Young Finish

    1989: (21-9, 3.32 ERA, 155 Ks, 257.2 IP, second in voting)
    Winner: Bret Saberhagen (23-6, 2.16 ERA, 193 Ks, 262.1 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Stewart bounced around to three different teams and between the rotation and bullpen before landing in Oakland at the age of 29 following his release from the Phillies.

    In his first four full seasons in the A's rotation, he went 84-45 with a 3.20 ERA, winning 20-plus games each season and finishing third, fourth, second and third in Cy Young voting in the process. After that, he returned to mediocrity, but it stands as one of the better stretches in recent memory. The fact that he did not win a Cy Young during that span is surprising.

Wilbur Wood

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    Best Cy Young Finish

    1972: (24-17, 2.51 ERA, 193 Ks, 376.2 IP, second in voting)
    Winner: Gaylord Perry (24-16, 1.92 ERA, 234 Ks, 342.2 IP) 

     

    Career Overview

    After leading the AL in appearances out of the White Sox bullpen for three straight seasons from 1968-1970 and logging 52 saves over that span, Wood joined the rotation heading into the 1971 season.

    Over his five full seasons in the rotation, the knuckleballer went 106-89 with a 3.08 ERA and led the league in wins twice, innings twice and games started four times. That earned him three top-five finishes in Cy Young voting, but he was unable to capture the award during what was a brief peak.

Sam McDowell

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    Best Cy Young Finish

    1970: (20-12, 2.92 ERA, 304 Ks, 305 IP, third in voting)
    Winner: Jim Perry (24-12, 3.04 ERA, 168 Ks, 278.2 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    One of the best strikeout pitchers of the 1960s, McDowell is without question one of the most underrated pitchers of his time and perhaps of all-time.

    He led the league in punch outs five times in his career, and while his prime was a relatively short one, it was impressive nonetheless as he went 126-105 with a 2.92 ERA and averaged 238 strikeouts per season from 1964-1972. Despite those numbers, he received Cy Young votes just once in his career.

Kevin Appier

16 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1993: (18-8, 2.56 ERA, 186 Ks, 238.2 IP, third in voting)
    Winner: Jack McDowell (22-10, 3.37 ERA, 158 Ks, 256.2 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    An often overlooked starter due to the fact that he spent the bulk of his career pitching for some horrible Royals teams, Appier was quietly one of the best pitchers of the 1990s as he went 120-90 with a 3.47 ERA for the decade.

    He received Cy Young votes just once, when he led the AL in ERA in 1993. Had he pitched elsewhere during his prime, one has to imagine his career would have been far more appreciated.

Chuck Finley

17 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1990: (18-9, 2.40 ERA, 177 Ks, 236 IP, seventh in voting)
    Winner: Bob Welch (27-6, 2.95 ERA, 127 Ks, 238 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    One of the most underrated pitchers of the 1990s, Finley anchored the Angels staff for 14 seasons as he won over 15 games seven different times and consistently ranked among the best starters in the league.

    Despite his 200 career wins and status as one of the best left-handers in the past 30 years, Finley only received Cy Young votes once in his career, cementing his place as one of the most overlooked pitchers in recent memory.

Mark Buehrle

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    Best Cy Young Finish

    2005: (16-8, 3.12 ERA, 149 Ks, 236.2 IP, fifth in voting)
    Winner: Bartolo Colon (21-8, 3.48 ERA, 157 Ks, 222.2 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Buehrle was a rock at the top of the White Sox rotation for 11 seasons as he made at least 30 starts and won at 10 games every year. He tallied a total of 161 wins during his time on the South Side.

    He has never posted flashy strikeout numbers and he's topped 16 wins just once in his career, but I find it hard to believe that the four-time All-Star has only shown up on the Cy Young voting one time in his career. 

Joe Niekro

19 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1979: (21-11, 3.00 ERA, 119 Ks, 263.2 IP, second in voting)
    Winner: Bruce Sutter (62 G, 6-6, 37 SV, 2.22 ERA, 9.8 K/9)

     

    Career Overview

    While he was not quite the pitcher his Hall of Fame brother Phil was, Joe Niekro enjoyed a solid career nonetheless as he won 221 games with a 3.59 ERA over a 22-year career.

    He spent 11 of those seasons with the Astros where he was at his best, winning 20 games in back-to-back seasons in 1979 and 1980 and finishing second and fourth in Cy Young voting in the process.

Dennis Martinez

20 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1981: (14-5, 3.32 ERA, 88 Ks, 179 IP, fifth in voting)
    Winner: Rollie Finger (47 G, 6-3, 28 SV, 1.04 ERA, 7.0 K/9)

    1991: (14-11, 2.39 ERA, 123 Ks, 222 IP, fifth in voting)
    Winner: Tom Glavine (20-11, 2.55 ERA, 192 Ks, 246.2 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Martinez spent 23 seasons in the big leagues, and he was still going strong at the age of 40 when he fronted the rotation on a good Indians team and was named an All-Star.

    He had 15 seasons of double-digit wins and won a wins title. He had his best season in 1991 when he won the ERA title and led the league with nine complete games and five shutouts.  

Steve Rogers

21 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1982: (19-8, 2.40 ERA, 179 Ks, 277 IP, second in voting)
    Winner: Steve Carlton (23-11, 3.10 ERA, 286 Ks, 295.2 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Arguably the best pitcher in Expos history, Rogers posted a 158-152 career record despite a 3.17 ERA (116 ERA+), and he was the unquestioned ace of some poor Montreal teams.

    The 1982 season was his best, and with an ERA 70 points lower than that of winner Steve Carlton, he probably deserved to take home Cy Young honors. Instead, he went without winning one during his 13-year career, and his career goes largely unnoticed.

Frank Tanana

22 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1976: (19-10, 2.43 ERA, 261 Ks, 288.1 IP, third in voting)
    Winner: Jim Palmer (22-13, 2.51 ERA, 159 Ks, 315 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Longevity played a big part in Tanana tallying 240 wins for his career, as he played 21 seasons and won double-digit games an impressive 14 times. 

    In the big leagues by the age of 19 in 1973, Tanana enjoyed the best three years of his career from 1975-1977 when he went 50-28 with a 2.53 ERA and finished fourth, third and ninth in Cy Young voting. He led the league in strikeouts, WHIP and ERA once each during that span, presenting his best chance to win the award.

David Wells

23 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1998: (18-4, 3.49 ERA, 163 Ks, 214.1 IP, third in voting)
    Winner: Roger Clemens (20-6, 2.65 ERA, 271 Ks, 234.2 IP

    2000: (20-8, 4.11 ERA, 166 Ks, 229.2 IP, third in voting)
    Winner: Pedro Martinez (18-6, 1.74 ERA, 284 Ks, 217 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Wells began his career as a swingman for some very good Blue Jays teams, but it was not until he was 30 years old that he made 30 starts in a season for the first time.

    He joined the Yankees in 1997 at the age of 34, and his career took off as he'd go 137-67 with a 4.12 ERA over his next nine seasons in the league. He led the AL in wins with 20 in 2000, and would top the 15-win mark seven times during that span. He's best known for throwing a perfect game while pitching for the Yankees in 1998. 

Tim Hudson

24 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    2000: (20-6, 4.14 ERA, 169 Ks, 202.1 IP, second in voting)
    Winner: Pedro Martinez (18-6, 1.74 ERA, 284 Ks, 217 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Hudson generally fell in as the third-best pitcher among Oakland's big three when he was joined in their rotation by Barry Zito and Mark Mulder, but now roughly a decade later, he's certainly gotten the last laugh with a far superior career to the other two.

    He has eight seasons with at least 15 wins to his credit, and has finished in the top five in Cy Young voting three different times. At 36 and showing no signs of slowing down, it will be interesting to see what kind of Hall of Fame support he gets once he hangs it up, as he currently has 197 wins and should have at least a few more solid seasons in him.

Jimmy Key

25 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1987: (17-8, 2.76 ERA, 161 Ks, 261 IP, second in voting)
    Winner: Rogers Clemens (20-9, 2.97 ERA, 256 Ks, 281.2 IP)

    1994: (17-4, 3.27 ERA, 97 Ks, 168 IP, second in voting)
    Winner: David Cone (16-5, 2.94 ERA, 132 Ks, 171.2 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    One of the most overlooked pitchers of the last 30 years, Key had at least 12 wins every year from 1985-1994 as he fronted the Blue Jays staff throughout the 1980s and won 116 games in nine seasons with the team.

    When he hit the open market prior to the 1993 season, the Yankees gave Key a four-year, $17 million contract that was sizable for that time. He won 35 games in his first two seasons with the team, and he picked up the win in the deciding game of the 1996 World Series.

Dan Quisenberry

26 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1983: (69 G, 5-3, 45 SV, 1.94 ERA, 3.1 K/9, second in voting)
    Winner: LaMarr Hoyt (24-10, 3.66 ERA, 148 Ks, 260.2 IP)

    1984: (72 G, 6-3, 44 SV, 2.64 ERA, 2.9 K/9, second in voting)
    Winner: Willie Hernandez (80 G, 9-3, 32 SV, 1.92 ERA, 7.2 K/9)

     

    Career Overview

    Quisenberry used a deceptive submarine delivery rather than overpowering stuff to rank as one of the best closers of the 1980s. He racked up 244 career saves and led the league in that category five times.

    He was at his best with the Royals from 1982-1985 when he saved 161 games and posted a 2.38 ERA during that span. He finished third, second, second and third in Cy Young voting, but was never able to take home the award.

Rick Reuschel

27 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1977: (20-10, 2.79 ERA, 166 Ks, 252 IP, third in voting)
    Winner: Steve Carlton (23-10, 2.64 ERA, 198 Ks, 283 IP)

    1987: (13-9, 3.09 ERA, 107 Ks, 227 IP, third in voting)
    Winner: Steve Bedrosian (65 G, 5-3, 40 SV, 2.83 ERA, 7.5 K/9)

     

    Career Overview

    Reuschel began his career with the Cubs, going 125-114 with a 3.43 ERA over his first nine seasons while pitching for some poor teams. He went 20-10 and finished third in Cy Young voting in 1977 for an 81-81 Cubs team.

    It was ten years later that he again finished third in voting, splitting the 1987 season between the Pirates and Giants. However, his most impressive Cy Young finish may have been in 1989 when he went 17-8 with a 2.94 ERA to finish eighth in voting at the age of 40.


Mickey Lolich

28 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1971: (25-14, 2.92 ERA, 308 Ks, 376 IP, second in voting)
    Winner: Vida Blue (24-8, 1.82 ERA, 301 Ks, 312 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    While Denny McLain and his 30-win season gets the bulk of the attention during the era for the Tigers, Lolich was the better pitcher overall as he racked up 207 wins in his 13 seasons in Detroit.

    His two best seasons came back-to-back as he led the AL in wins and strikeouts in 1971, and then followed that up with a 22-14 season and career-best 2.50 ERA to finish third in voting. He'll always be remembered for the 1968 World Series when he went 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA in three starts and out-dueled Bob Gibson. 

Rich Gossage

29 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1980: (64 G, 6-2, 33 SV, 2.27 ERA, 9.4 K/9, third in voting)
    Winner: Steve Stone (25-7, 3.23 ERA, 149 Ks, 250.2 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    With 13 seasons of double-digit saves, Gossage was among the first true closers in the sense that he entered games in the eighth and ninth inning as opposed to whenever the team happened to need a reliever to put out the fire.

    He finished in the top five in Cy Young voting four times, and garnered MVP consideration five different times as he was a true asset to whoever he played for. Pitching during a time when relievers won the Cy Young far more frequently than they do today, it is somewhat surprising he never took home the honor.

Jerry Koosman

30 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1976: (21-10, 2.69 ERA, 200 Ks, 247.1 IP, second in voting)
    Winner: Randy Jones (22-14, 2.74 ERA, 93 Ks, 315.1 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    It was Tom Seaver who got the attention for the Mets during the 1970s, and rightfully so, but Koosman was as good a No. 2 starter as there was in the league at that time.

    He was twice a 20-game winner and in his 12 seasons with the Mets to begin his career, he won 140 games and posted a 3.09 ERA. He made eight fewer starts than Randy Jones in 1976, or he likely would have won his Cy Young award that season.

Trevor Hoffman

31 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1998: (66 G, 4-2, 53 SV, 1.48 ERA, 10.6 K/9, second in voting)
    Winner: Tom Glavine (20-6, 2.47 ERA, 157 Ks, 229.1 IP)

    2006: (65 G, 0-2, 46 SV, 2.14 ERA, 7.1 K/9, second in voting)
    Winner: Brandon Webb (16-8, 3.10 ERA, 178 Ks, 235 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Hoffman retired as the all-time saves leader in 2009 with 601, and while his record was quickly broken by Mariano Rivera, he nonetheless ranks as one of the best relievers to ever play the game and should be a no-brainer for the Hall of Fame.

    With 14 seasons of at least 30 saves, the converted shortstop was among the league's premier stoppers throughout his 18-year career. He twice led the league in saves, and both of those years earned him a second-place finish in Cy Young voting. 

Jim Kaat

32 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1975: (20-14, 3.11 ERA, 142 Ks, 303.2 IP, third in voting)
    Winner: Jim Palmer (23-11, 2.09 ERA, 193 Ks, 323 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Kaat ended his career with 283 wins and was a model of consistency over his 25-year career, reaching double digits in wins 15 straight seasons from 1962-1976.

    He topped 20 wins three times, including a league-high 25 in 1966 while pitching with the Twins. However, he pitched in an era stacked with top-tier starting pitching and as a result, the 1975 season was the only year he received Cy Young votes.

Billy Pierce

33 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1962: (16-6, 3.49 ERA, 76 Ks, 162.1 IP, third in voting)
    Winner: Don Drysdale (25-9, 2.83 ERA, 232 Ks, 314.1 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Acquired from the Tigers along with $10,000 for an aging catcher, Pierce was among the best pitchers of the 1950s, and is perhaps best known for his head-to-head battles with Yankees ace Whitey Ford.

    He pitched his entire career during the span of time when the league only awarded one Cy Young, and as a result, he was unable to take home the hardware. He had 10 seasons with more than 14 wins and led the AL with a 1.97 ERA in 1955. He still stands as one of the best pitchers not in the Hall of Fame.

J.R. Richard

34 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1979: (18-13, 2.71 ERA, 313 Ks, 292.1 IP, third in voting)
    Winner: Bruce Sutter (62 G, 6-6, 37 SV, 2.22 ERA, 9.8 K/9)

     

    Career Overview

    Had it not been for health problems and incredibly poor player management of those health problems, Richard may have gone on to be a Hall of Famer. He goes down as one of the hardest throwers in the history of baseball.

    From 1976-1979, he won 74 games, had a pair of 300-strikeout seasons and won an ERA title, as he was possibly the most overpowering pitcher in all of baseball. That earned him a seventh, fourth and third place finish in Cy Young voting, but was not enough to earn him the hardware.

Dave Stieb

35 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1982: (17-14, 3.25 ERA, 141 Ks, 288.1 IP, fourth in voting)
    Winner: Pete Vuckovich (18-6, 3.34 ERA, 105 Ks, 223.2 IP

     

    Career Overview

    Arguably the best pitcher of the 1980s, Stieb averaged a line of 14-11 with a 3.32 ERA during the decade. He made six All-Star teams and finished in the top ten in Cy Young voting three times.

    He led the AL with a 2.48 ERA in 1985, but went just 14-13 and wound up finishing seventh in voting. He also had a solid chance to win the award in 1990 with an 18-6 record and a 2.93 ERA, but he wound up fifth in the voting.

Roy Oswalt

36 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    2004: (20-10, 3.49 ERA, 206 Ks, 237 IP, third in voting)
    Winner: Roger Clemens (18-4, 2.98 ERA, 218 Ks, 214.1 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Oswalt started his career with a bang, going 14-3 with a 2.73 ERA to finish fifth in Cy Young voting as a 23-year-old rookie back in 2001.

    Over his first eight seasons in the league, he went 129-64 with a 3.13 ERA and finished in the top five in voting five different times. His career seems to be wrapping up, but when he was at his best, it's hard to believe he never took home a Cy Young award. 

Jack Morris

37 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1981: (14-7, 3.05 ERA, 97 Ks, 198 IP, third in voting)
    Winner: Rollie Finger (47 G, 6-3, 28 SV, 1.04 ERA, 7.0 K/9)

    1983: (20-13, 3.34 ERA, 232 Ks, 293.2 IP, third in voting)
    Winner: LaMarr Hoyt (24-10, 3.66 ERA, 148 Ks, 260.2 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    The winningest pitcher of the 1980s with 162 victories, Morris is one of the most debated Hall of Fame cases today. He earned a new high with 66.7 percent of the vote last season and could be heading for enshrinement.

    His career record of 254-186 and his 3.90 ERA leave him short of most Hall of Fame standards, but his reputation as a big-game pitcher and place as one of the marquee arms of his era could be enough to get him to Cooperstown. As far as enjoying a single dominant season though, he never posted the numbers to win a Cy Young.

Andy Pettitte

38 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1996: (21-8, 3.87 ERA, 177 Ks, 221 IP, second in voting)
    Winner: Pat Hentgen (20-10, 3.22 ERA, 177 Ks, 265.2 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Pettitte broke into the league as a 23-year-old back in 1995, and aside from an injury-shortened 2004 season and 2011 retirement, he has won double-digit games every season of his career leading up to this year.

    His 3.85 career ERA gives a good idea of why he hasn't won a Cy Young to this point, as he has only posted four seasons with an ERA+ north of 120. Still, pitching for the Yankees and with a pair of 21-8 seasons to his credit, it is a bit of a surprise that Pettitte has never taken home a Cy Young.

Tommy John

39 of 50

    Best Cy Young Finish

    1977: (20-7, 2.78 ERA, 123 Ks, 220.1 IP, second in voting)
    Winner: Steve Carlton (23-10, 2.64 ERA, 198 Ks, 283 IP)

    1979: (21-9, 2.96 ERA, 111 Ks, 276.1 IP, second in voting)
    Winner: Mike Flanagan (23-9, 3.08 ERA, 190 Ks, 265.2 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Famous more so for the surgery that bears his name than for his actual pitching career, John won 124 games with a 2.97 ERA over the first 12 seasons of his career before undergoing an experimental procedure that is now commonplace in the MLB.

    He returned from the surgery even better, and from 1977-1980, he enjoyed the best stretch of his career in going 80-35 with a 3.12 ERA as he finished second, eighth, second and fourth in Cy Young voting.

Kevin Brown

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    Best Cy Young Finish

    1996: (17-11, 1.89 ERA, 159 Ks, 233 IP, second in voting)
    Winner: John Smoltz (24-8, 2.94 ERA, 276 Ks, 253.2 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Through the first nine seasons of his career, Brown went 88-73 with a 3.78 ERA with a solid 21-win season in 1992 serving as his lone standout season. However, he broke out upon joining the Marlins at the age of 30 in 1996.

    After leading the league in ERA his first season with the team, he helped lead the Marlins to the World Series the following year. He also finished third in voting in 1998 when he went 18-7 with a 2.38 ERA and helped the Padres to a World Series appearance.

Jim Bunning

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    Best Cy Young Finish

    1967: (17-15, 2.29 ERA, 253 Ks, 302.1 IP, second in voting)
    Winner: Mike McCormick (22-10, 2.85 ERA, 150 Ks, 262.1 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Bunning played the majority of his Hall of Fame career during the span when the MLB only gave out one Cy Young. He played just five seasons when the award was given out in both leagues.

    He began his career with the Tigers, winning 110 games with a 3.35 ERA in seven full seasons in the rotation before being traded to the Phillies at the age of 32. He proved to have plenty left at that point, winning 74 games with a 2.48 ERA over his first four seasons in Philadelphia. It was as a 35-year-old with the Phillies that he finished second in Cy Young voting.

Luis Tiant

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    Best Cy Young Finish

    1974: (22-13, 2.92 ERA, 176 Ks, 311.1 IP, fourth in voting)
    Winner: Catfish Hunter (25-12, 2.49 ERA, 143 Ks, 318.1 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Playing in what was a golden era for starting pitching, Tiant is often overlooked due to the likes of Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton, Jim Palmer, Fergie Jenkins and others.

    However, his career was a solid one nonetheless as he racked up 122 wins in eight seasons with the Red Sox and had four 20-win seasons to his credit. He's widely considered one of the better pitchers not currently enshrined, but due to the era in which he pitched, he was never able to take home a Cy Young. 

Curt Schilling

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    Best Cy Young Finish

    2001: (22-6, 2.98 ERA, 293 Ks, 256.2 IP, second in voting)
    Winner: Randy Johnson (21-6, 2.49 ERA, 372 Ks, 249.2 IP)

    2002: (23-7, 3.23 ERA, 316 Ks, 259.1 IP, second in voting)
    Winner: Randy Johnson (24-5, 2.32 ERA, 334 Ks, 260 IP)

    2004: (21-6, 3.26 ERA, 203 Ks, 226.2 IP, second in voting)
    Winner: Johan Santana (20-6, 2.61 ERA, 265 Ks, 228 IP)

     

    Career Overview

     A late-bloomer of sorts, Schilling made his first All-Star team and received his first Cy Young votes as a 30-year-old on the Phillies in 1997.

    He finished second to teammate Randy Johnson in Cy Young voting back-to-back years, and the duo formed one of the best in baseball history. He then notched one more second-place finish as a 37-year-old in 2004 as he helped lead the Red Sox to a long-awaited World Series title.

Mike Mussina

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    Best Cy Young Finish

    1999: (18-7, 3.50 ERA, 172 Ks, 203.1 IP, second in voting)
    Winner: Pedro Martinez (23-4, 2.07 ERA, 313 Ks, 213.1 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Mussina was consistently one of the best pitchers in baseball throughout his career, winning double-digit games and making at least 24 starts every season from 1992 until he retired after the 2009 season.

    That stretch included 11 years with at least 15 wins and nine times finishing in the top six in Cy Young voting. However, he was never able to capture the honor, as his best chance came at the same time that Pedro Martinez was smack dab in the middle of one of the best five-year stretches in baseball history.

Phil Niekro

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    Best Cy Young Finish

    1969: (23-13, 2.56 ERA, 193 Ks, 284.1 IP, second in voting)
    Winner: Tom Seaver (25-7, 2.21 ERA, 208 Ks, 273.1 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    A knuckleball pitcher who spent 21 of his 24 big league seasons pitching with the Braves, Niekro pitched until the age of 48. He ended his career with 318 wins and earned Hall of Fame enshrinement in 1997 during his fifth year on the ballot.

    He did not become a full-time starter until the age of 28, yet still managed to enjoy sustained success with 19 seasons of double-digit wins. He led the league in losses each year from 1977-1980, but managed a pair of sixth-place Cy Young finishes while he played for some bad Braves teams.

Don Sutton

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    Best Cy Young Finish

    1976: (21-10, 3.06 ERA, 161 Ks, 267.2 IP, third in voting)
    Winner: Randy Jones (22-14, 2.74 ERA, 93 Ks, 315.1 IP) 

     

    Career Overview

    Sutton debuted for the Dodgers as a 21-year-old in 1966 and was still pitching as a 43-year-old in 1988. His combination of consistency and longevity led to 324 career victories and a place in the Hall of Fame.

    He had double-digit wins in the first 19 seasons of his career and consistently ranked among the leaders in WHIP, but he never quite had the one monster season he needed to capture a Cy Young award.

Bert Blyleven

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    Best Cy Young Finish

    1984: (19-7, 2.87 ERA, 170 Ks, 245 IP, third in voting)
    Winner: Willie Hernandez (80 G, 9-3, 32 SV, 1.92 ERA, 7.2 K/9)

    1985: (17-16, 3.16 ERA, 206 Ks, 293.2 IP, third in voting)
    Winner: Bret Saberhagen (20-6, 2.87 ERA, 158 Ks, 235.1 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Blyleven finally got the recognition he deserves when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011, finally garnering enough votes in his 14th year on the ballot.

    The combination of pitching in an era filled with great arms and playing for some bad teams often resulted in Blyleven being overlooked. He finished behind a pair of relievers in the 1984 balloting and with his 144 ERA+ and 5.1 WAR, he probably should have earned the honor that season.

Mariano Rivera

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    Best Cy Young Finish

    2005: (71 G, 7-4, 43 SV, 1.38 ERA, 9.2 K/9, second in voting)
    Winner: Bartolo Colon (21-8, 3.48 ERA, 157 Ks, 222.2 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Relievers are often looked down on when it comes to Cy Young voting, and with good reason. They usually pitch roughly a third of the innings their starting counterparts do and as a result, bring far less overall value to the team.

    However, with a 52.7 WAR for his career, Rivera is the exception to that rule. The greatest reliever in baseball history, Rivera actually posted a better WAR than Colon in 2005 (3.9 vs. 3.7) in what was one of a handful of years Rivera would have been a suitable choice for the award. 

Juan Marichal

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    Best Cy Young Finish

    1971: (18-11, 2.94 ERA, 159 Ks, 279 IP, eighth in voting)
    Winner: Fergie Jenkins (24-13, 2.77 ERA, 263 Ks, 325 IP)

     

    Career Overview

    Marichal was at his best during the span of time when the league still only awarded one Cy Young for both leagues, but he did still spend seven full seasons in the Giants rotation following the move to one in each league starting with the 1967 season.

    The 1971 season was the only one when he received Cy Young voting, but he was at least deserving of consideration in 1968 (league-high 26 wins) and 1969 (21 wins, league-best 2.10 ERA). Competing in the same league as Sandy Koufax during the peak of his career didn't help Marichal's cause any either.

Nolan Ryan

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    Best Cy Young Finish

    1973: (21-16, 2.87 ERA, 383 Ks, 326 IP, second in voting)
    Winner: Jim Palmer (22-9, 2.40 ERA, 158 Ks, 296.1 IP)

     

    Career Overview 

    The argument as to whether or not Nolan Ryan's career is overrated continues on to this day. The all-time strikeout leader was no doubt one of the most dominant pitchers of all-time, but he was also wild enough to be the all-time walks leader and his 324-292 record is less than spectacular.

    Still, his stuff was ridiculous even into his 40s, as he led the league in strikeouts 11 times. His 383 strikeouts in 1973 are the most by anyone since 1886, but he was edged out that season by Orioles ace Jim Palmer. His most deserving year may have been the strike-shortened 1981 season when he went 11-5 with a league-best 1.69 ERA, but he finished a distant fourth to Fernando Valenzuela.