What better place to start our analysis than at the very beginning of baseball history, when the National Association became the first professional baseball league in 1871. Few names from the first 20 years of pro ball enter many discussions regarding the greatest pitcher of all time. However, to overlook baseball's pioneers because of the simple passage of time would be unfair. Fortunately, the detailed records that baseball has kept since its inception will allow us to actually determine which of these dinosaurs was the finest of his era.
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