The Greatest Pitchers of Each Decade

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The Greatest Pitchers of Each Decade
(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

So, let me first explain what this list is. This is a list of the greatest pitchers of each decade. Not the greatest pitcher to pitch in a given decade, the greatest pitching year in a decade, or the greatest pitcher to have his best decade in a given decade. This is about the most dominating pitcher in Major League baseball during each decade from the 1890s to the 2000s.

Each decade is evaluated only on the years during that decade, and nothing else. For example, when I picked the 1970s, I was only looking at 1970-1979.

Why start in 1890? Pre-1890 baseball was far to unorganized, with most pitchers pitching a few really dominant years, and then burning out. So I decided to draw the line where I think organized baseball really became professional—1890.

One more note. In my opinion, the five best pitchers of all time are Walter Johnson, Lefty Grove, Cy Young, Pedro Martinez, and Greg Maddux. Several of these pitchers did not make the list.

Not because they were blocked by someone else, but because they simply never had a decade that was better than anyone else's, or because their prime's coincided with the end of one decade and the beginning of another.

This was originally published at

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