100 Most Dominant Pitchers in MLB History

Christopher Benvie@CSBenvie81Correspondent IIJune 7, 2012

100 Most Dominant Pitchers in MLB History

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    As an intransitive verb, Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines dominate as "to have or to exert mastery, control or preeminence."

    Seems like a logical definition in baseball terms.

    When one thinks of a dominant starting pitcher, naturally things like strikeouts, control and wins all come to mind. Then, of course, there exists a demeanor, or air, about a player that helps him to dominate his opponents.

    In the world of baseball, a great pitcher is like a champion chess player. He controls the game and exerts his prowess over opponents seemingly at will.

    Throughout history there have been hundreds of these pitchers, so narrowing down the list was a bit tricky. That being said, here are my top 100 most dominant pitchers in MLB history.

100. Dennis Martinez

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    Dennis Martinez didn't truly find his way until later on in his major-league career. From 1990, at the age of 35, through 1995, Martinez proved to be a dominating force on the mound.

    In that six-year span, Martinez would make the All-Star team four times and finish fifth overall in 1991 NL Cy Young Award voting. He led the major leagues in ERA in 1991 at 2.39, as adding nine complete games and five shutouts.

    Throughout his career he racked up a record of 245-193, 2,149 strikeouts with a 3.70 ERA and a 1.266 WHIP.

99. Chuck Finley

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    Chuck Finley was a mainstay in the Angels rotation for 14 of his 17 years in the big leagues.

    The five-time All-Star consistently racked up double-digit victories for the Halos from 1986 to 1999. Over the course of his career, he maintained a 3.85 ERA and 1.376 WHIP while striking out 2,610 batters in 524 career games.

    Finley led the major leagues in 1993 with 13 complete games and racked up 251.1 innings of service.

98. Fernando Valenzuela

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    Fernando Valenzuela was fantastic for the Dodgers from 1981 through 1986.

    In that time he managed to win the NL Cy Young Award in 1981 while finishing third in 1982, fifth in 1985 and second in the 1986 voting. Valenzuela was voted to six consecutive All-Star games in that time as well.

    He was the 1981 NL Rookie of the Year and also brought home two Silver Slugger awards.

    While his numbers later in his career bog down his early greatness, Valenzuela finished his career with a record of 173-153, 3.54 ERA and 1.320 WHIP. After the 1986 season, he did not reach the same level of dominance he achieved early on in his career.

97. Burleigh Grimes

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    In 1920, when the spitball was banned from baseball, Grimes was one of only 17 pitchers allowed to continue to use the pitch.

    Call it an advantage if you'd like but, at the end of the day, after 19 years playing professional baseball, Grimes managed a record of 270 and 212, with a 3.53 ERA and 1.365 WHIP from 1916 to 1934. He would rack up 1,512 strikeouts during his career.

    He led the league in wins twice: once in 1921 with 22, the other in 1928 with 25. That same year, Grimes would appear in 48 games, starting 37 while throwing 28 complete games and four shutouts—all of which were league-leading statistics.

96. Herb Pennock

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    Herb Pennock was a hard-throwing lefty for the Philadelphia Athletics, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees during his 22-year career.

    In 1923, Pennock's first year with the Yankees, he led the league in winning percentage with a .760 from a 19-6 record. He would lead the league in WHIP in 1925 and 1926 as well.

    Over the course of his career, Pennock would manage a 3.60 ERA and 1.348 WHIP, adding 1,227 strikeouts and a 241-162 record. From 1923 to 1928 he was incredible for the Yankees, racking up 115 wins with just 57 losses. 

95. Clayton Kershaw

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    As the youngest player on this list, Clayton Kershaw may have a small sample size of work, but he has already established himself as the most dominant pitcher in the National League.

    In 2011 he posted a record of 21-5 with an impressive .808 winning percentage, a league-leading 2.28 ERA, 248 strikeouts and a 0.977 WHIP—also league-leading statistics. He was an All-Star, a Gold Glove winner and took home the 2011 NL Cy Young Award.

    At just 24 years old, Kershaw is still developing—but what he has shown in his young career is promising for years to come. In his first five seasons, Kershaw owns a 2.84 ERA with a 1.156 WHIP and 814 strikeouts already in the books.

94. Jimmy Key

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    Jimmy Key put together an impressive string of 10 consecutive seasons. Having amassed 12-or-more wins from 1985 to 1994, capped off by his AL-leading, 17-win season in 1994, he lost only four games and posted an .810 winning percentage.

    His two finest seasons came in 1993 and 1994, when he won 35 games for the Yankees, made the All-Star team both years and finished as a top-five Cy Young Award vote recipient each season.

    His career ERA is 3.51 with a 1.229 WHIP on the heels of 1,538 strikeouts and a 186-117 record.

93. Mike Cuellar

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    The 1969 AL Cy Young Award winner, Mike Cuellar, is widely considered one of the greatest Orioles of all time.

    In his 15-year career, his finest years came during the eight he spent in Baltimore. From 1969 to 1974 he was almost untouchable, racking up 135 wins and just 63 losses.

    In 1969, '70 and '71, he strung three consecutive 20-plus-win seasons in a row while making two All-Star teams.

    Overall, he owns a 3.14 ERA and 1.197 WHIP, with 1,632 strikeouts and a 185-130 record.

92. Rube Marquard

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    Over the course of his 18-year career, Rube Marquard put together 11 double-digit win seasons—three of which were for 20-or-more wins.

    Those three seasons came consecutively from 1911 to 1913, where he managed 73 wins and just 28 losses.

    His career ERA is 3.08 with a 1.237 WHIP and 1,593 strikeouts on a 201-177 record.

91. Charlie Buffinton

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    Charlie Buffinton was a professional baseball player for just 11 years, but managed to post a 233-152 record.

    He won 48 games in 1884. He won 20-or-more games eight times over the course of his career.

    More impressive is the fact that he owned a 2.96 ERA and 1.234 WHIP, which would have been considerably lower had he not posted a 1.814 WHIP in his final season. Buffinton also complied an even 1,700 strikeouts during his career.

90. Al Spaulding

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    If you want to talk about dominant pitchers, you can't avoid talking about Al Spaulding. True, he only pitched for seven years; however, during that time he racked up an insane 252 wins—and just 65 losses.

    That's the single greatest career winning percentage in baseball history: .795.

    Check this line out: 19, 38, 41, 52, 54, 47, 1.

    No, those weren't lottery numbers, those are his win totals. Incredible.

    His ERA was just 2.13 with a 1.193 WHIP to boot. In all of that time, though, he only struck out 248 batters from 1871 to 1877.

89. Babe Ruth

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    The most dominating hitter of all time makes it on the list of the most dominating pitchers of all time, as well.

    While obviously the most important player in the history of the game, Ruth was actually a dominant pitcher in his own right. He pitched a total of 10 seasons and put together a 94-46 record. He won 20 games twice in his career, and in 1916 he led the league in ERA (1.75) as well as games started (40) and nine shutouts.

    His career ERA is quite impressive, at just 2.28 with a 1.159 WHIP and 488 career strikeouts.

88. Bret Saberhagen

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    Bret Saberhagen, a 16-year veteran, is also a two-time AL Cy Young Award winner—once in 1985 and once again in 1989.

    He is a three-time All-Star and a Gold Glove winner as well.

    Saberhagen owns a career 167-117 record, with a 3.34 ERA, 1.141 WHIP and 1,715 strikeouts to his name.

87. Tim Lincecum

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    Tim Lincecum is the second-youngest player on this list but has already proven himself to be an incredible pitcher who can dominate the opposition.

    In his sixth major-league season, Lincecum has four seasons under his belt of 13-or-more wins with two Cy Young Awards and four All-Star appearances.

    His career record is 71-47, with a 3.15 ERA, 1.208 WHIP and 1,199 strikeouts already.

    He's just 27 years old.

86. Waite Hoyt

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    Nicknamed "Schoolboy," Waite Hoyt pitched for 21 seasons professionally. He posted a 237-182 record while earning a modest 3.59 ERA and 1.340 WHIP.

    From 1921 through 1930, Hoyt won double-digit games for the Yankees year in and year out.

    Seven of those years resulted in 15-or-more wins per season.

    He managed to strike out 1,206 batters during the course of his career.

85. Andy Pettitte

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    In his 17th major-league season, Andy Pettitte just keeps on rolling. He has spent 14 years with the Yankees organization.

    Throughout his career, Pettitte consistently wins 11-or-more games per season. Only once did he win less than 10 games—in 2004 for the Houston Astros.

    His 243 career wins and 140 losses are impressive, backed by his 3.87 ERA and 1.353 WHIP.

    Pettitte has struck out 2,283 batters during his career. He has been an All-Star three times and finished as a top-five AL Cy Young Award vote recipient five times in his career.

84. Jack Chesbro

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    Jack "Happy Jack" Chesbro played 11 seasons from 1899 through 1909. 

    In that time frame, Chesbro led the league in several statistical categories, but one that jumps off the page is the 454.2 innings pitched in 1904. He went 41-12 that season with a .774 winning percentage, appeared in 55 games, started 51 and threw 48 complete games.

    Furthermore, his ERA that season was just 1.82.

    Overall, Chesbro posted a 198-132 career record with a 2.68 ERA and 1.152 WHIP while compiling 1,265 strikeouts.

83. Eppa Rixey

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    From 1912 to 1933, Eppa Rixey pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds, putting together a 266-251 record.

    He threw for a 3.15 career ERA and 1.272 WHIP while striking out 1,350 batters over the course of 4,494.2 innings pitched.

    Rixey was the National League's leader in career victories for a lefty, until Warren Spahn surpassed his total in 1959.

82. Roy Oswalt

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    Roy Oswalt, the Wizard of Os, like Andy Pettitte, has only pitched one season in his career where he won fewer than 10 games.

    That came in 2009, when he won just eight for the Astros.

    In his 11 seasons, Oswalt has amassed a record of 159-93 with a 3.21 ERA and 1.194 WHIP.

    Oswalt is a three-time All-Star who has finished in the top five Cy Young voting several times and was an NL Rookie of the Year runner-up in 2001.

81. Rollie Fingers

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    Rollie Fingers: the man with the most amazing mustache in baseball history.

    Fingers was the 1981 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner. He is a seven time All-Star and closed out games with the best of them.

    He led the league three times in saves, three times in games played and twice in games finished. Essentially, when Fingers came into the game it was all over.

    His career ERA is just 2.90, with a 1.156 WHIP and 341 career saves.

80. Lefty Gomez

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    Lefty Gomez was a seven-time All-Star for the New York Yankees.

    Having played in 14 years from 1930 to 1943, Gomez racked up 189 career wins and 102 losses. His finest season came in 1934 for the Yanks: He went 26-5, which led the league in both wins and winning percentage (.839), posted a league-leading 2.33 ERA, 25 complete games, six shutouts, 281.2 innings pitched, 158 strikeouts and added a league-best 1.133 WHIP.


    He finished his career with a 3.34 ERA and 1.352 WHIP, with 1,468 strikeouts.

79. Dwight Gooden

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    However sad the case may be for wasted talent, when Dwight Gooden was on, he was incredible. 

    If one were to focus solely on the first four-to-five years in which Gooden played professional baseball, it appeared as though he was on his way to Cooperstown.

    With four All-Star games, an NL Cy Young Award, Rookie of the Year as well as other Cy Young considerations, the world was seemingly in his hands.

    In 1985, Gooden was as good as it got, going 24-4 with a league-best 1.53 ERA, 16 complete games and 268 strikeouts.

    In his first five years, Gooden won 91 games, dropping only 35. His ERA was just 2.67 and his WHIP was only 1.109 with 1,067 strikeouts.

    At the end of his career: 194-112, 3.51 ERA, 1.256 WHIP, 2,293 Ks after 16 years.

78. Mickey Lolich

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    From 1964 through 1974, Mickey Lolich strung together 11 seasons of 14-or-more wins for the Detroit Tigers.

    Having pitched for 16 seasons total, he gave the Tigers the best years of his career, racking up winning season upon winning season. In fact, 10 of his 13 seasons with Detroit were winning seasons and Lolich earned fewer than 12 wins in only one of them.

    The three-time All-Star posted a 217-191 record, a career 3.44 ERA and 1.227 WHIP, while striking out 2,832 career batters.

77. Jerry Koosman

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    Long before there were any issues concerning tax evasion for Jerry Koosman, he was a stud pitcher for the Mets, Twins, White Sox and Phillies.

    He put together a 222-209, 3.36 ERA, 1.259 WHIP, 2,556-strikeout career line that helped to bolster the Mets rotation from 1967 to 1978.

    Koosman was a two-time All-Star and both a Rookie of the Year runner-up in 1968 as well as a Cy Young runner-up in 1976.

76. Chief Bender

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    Chief Bender won six World Series games in 10 starts, including two apiece in the 1911 and 1913 Fall Classics.

    Having played from 1903 to 1925, Bender won 20-or-more games only twice in an era when 40 wins were not uncommon, but he led the league in winning percentage three times with 23-5, 17-5 and 17-3 seasons in 1910, 1911 and 1914 respectively.

    He won a career total of 212 games with 127 losses while maintaining a 2.46 ERA and 1.113 WHIP, striking out 1,711 batters.

75. Amos Rusie

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    Though he only played 10 years professionally, Amos Rusie had a tremendous impact on the game of baseball.

    While best known for his velocity (which was never officially measured, but assumed to be in the mid-to-upper 90s) one of his fastballs struck future Hall of Famer Hughie Jennings in the head, rendering him comatose for four days.

    This incident resulted in officials changing the distance from the pitching rubber to home plate from 50 feet to the current 60 feet, six inches. 

    Having 246 career wins and 1,950 career strikeouts is mighty impressive over the course of just 10 seasons.

    Dominate? If you get the league to change the distance a pitcher throws from, you're off the charts!

74. Johan Santana

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    Johan Santana was considered the premier left-hander in all of baseball from 2003 through 2009. 

    During that time, Santana won two Cy Young Awards, made four All-Star appearances and won a Gold Glove award. In other words, he was really good.

    While injuries have plagued him since signing with the Mets, the former Twin has 136 victories to his credit with a career ERA of 3.08 and a 1.117 ERA.

    This season, it would appear that Santana is finding his groove once again—and not just because of the no-hitter he recently threw.

    His ERA is at 2.38, the lowest of his career, and his K/9 is up to 9.0, something it has not been since 2007.

73. Catfish Hunter

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    From 1971 through 1975, Catfish Hunter strung together five seasons of 20 wins or more for the Oakland A's and New York Yankees.

    During that span he led the league in winning percentage twice: once in 1972, going 21-7/.750, and then the following yea, going 21-5/.808.

    His career line: 224-166, 3.26 ERA, 1.134 WHIP with 2,012 strikeouts.

72. Vic Willis

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    Vic Willis won 20-or-more games eight times during his 13-year career.

    His career ERA is only 2.63, but he was known as a workhorse for completing 388 of his 471 starts. Willis also holds the post-1900 record for complete games (45, in 1902) in a single season.

71. Clark Griffith

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    Before converting to an outfielder, Clark Griffith racked up a 237-146 record as a pitcher for the St. Louis Browns, Boston Reds, Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees.

    He owns a career 3.31 ERA and 1.313 WHIP with 955 career strikeouts.

70. David Cone

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    The 1994 AL Cy Young Award winner and a five-time All-Star, David Cone is one of the premier pitchers over the past 30 years.

    Cone is a 20-game winner for both New York clubs: the Mets in 1988 and the Yankees in 1998.

    Over the course of his career, Cone went 194-126 with a 3.46 ERA and 1.256 WHIP while striking out 2,668 batters during the course of his 17-year career.

69. Billy Pierce

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    One of the great pitchers in White Sox history, Billy Pierce was a seven-time All-Star for the team between 1949 and 1961.

    While he also played for the Detroit Tigers and San Francisco Giants, Pierce is best known for his time in the Windy City.

    He owns a career 211-169 record with a 3.27 ERA and 1.260 WHIP. Pierce led the AL in strikeouts in 1953 with 186, and finished off his career with 1,999 total Ks.

68. Tim Hudson

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    Tim Hudson will consistently win you 15 games per season.

    A three-time All-Star, Hudson has proven his worth by finishing in the top six or better of the Cy Young voting in either league four times.

    He led the American League in wins with 20 back in 2000.

67. Jim Kaat

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    In 25 years of professional baseball, Jim Kaat proved himself to be arguably the greatest fielding pitcher in baseball history.

    He has 16 Gold Glove awards on his shelf; 12 he won consecutively, then four more consecutively.

    Defense is dominance, coupled with a career 3.45 ERA and 2,461 strikeouts.

66. Bob Lemon

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    In his 13-year career, Bob Lemon was a perennial All-Star and MVP candidate.

    He was voted to the All-Star team seven consecutive times, while leading the league in wins three times (1950, 1954 and 1955) as well as strikeouts in 1950.

    His career line: 207-128, 3.23 ERA, 1.337 WHIP with 1,277 career Ks.

65. Red Ruffing

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    With 22 years in the bigs, his best years came late with the New York Yankees.

    From 1934 to 1942, Ruffing was able to compile 161 wins for the Yankees, winning 20-or-more games in four consecutive years.

    He finished his career as a six-time All-Star. All six selections came when Ruffing was between the ages of 29 and 37.

64. Tommy John

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    The man himself, Tommy John was incredible from 1977 to 1980.

    In that time, for the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers, John put together 80 wins over four years, making the All-Star team three times in four years—only one other time during his career would he be an All-Star.

63. Red Faber

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    Red Faber spent his entire 20-year career in Chicago pitching for the White Sox.

    From 1920 to 1922, Faber would have his three best seasons, posting 23, 25 and 21 wins, respectively, while leading the league in ERA in 1921 with a 2.48 and then the same again in 1922 with a 2.81.

    Those same years he led the league in WHIP with a 1.149 and 1.185, respectively.

62. Jack Morris

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    Jack Morris is a borderline Hall of Fame pitcher. 

    He is a five-time All-Star with several Cy Young nominations to his credit. He led the league in wins twice, as well as innings pitched and complete games.

    From 1983 to 1988, Morris was the go-to guy for the Tigers. 

61. Smokey Joe Wood

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    Smokey Joe Wood is one of the greatest pitchers in Boston Red Sox history.

    Wood's best season came in 1912, when he won 34 games (and lost only five), maintained an ERA of 1.91 and managed to strike out 258.

    Since 1900, pitchers have won 30-or-more games only 21 times, with Wood's 34 wins being the sixth-highest total. He also tied Walter Johnson's record for consecutive victories at 16.

    His career ERA is only 2.03 with a smooth 1.087 WHIP to match.

60. CC Sabathia

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    CC Sabathia is a five-time All-Star and is the 2007 AL Cy Young Award winner.

    Year in and year out, Sabathia is a monster on the mound. In his 12 seasons, and just 31 years old, he already has 2,091 strikeouts.

    He has led the league twice in wins and can all but guarantee 17 wins per season.

59. Stan Coveleski

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    During his 14-year career, Stan Coveleski had five 20-win seasons.

    He led the league in ERA twice. The first time came in 1923 with a 2.76 and the second was in 1925 with a 2.84.

    Coveleski also led the league in WHIP in 1920 at 1.108.

58. Hal Newhouser

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    In the 1940s, Hal Newhouser rolled for the Detroit Tigers.

    He was a two-time MVP and six-time All-Star.

    He led the league in wins four times, ERA twice and WHIP once. He finished his 17-year career with a 207-150 record, 3.06 lifetime ERA and 1.311 WHIP with 1796 strikeouts—having led the league in that category twice.

57. Trevor Hoffman

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    Stat: 601 career saves.

    Does one really need to justify Trevor Hoffman any more than that?

56. Dave Stewart

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    In Oakland, from 1987 through 1990, Dave Stewart was the man. He put together 84 wins and was a top-four Cy Young vote recipient each year.

    In that stretch, he led the league in complete games twice and shutouts once.

    Stewart had an icy glare that would freeze the best of hitters.

55. Kevin Brown

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    Kevin Brown was sort of a journeyman assassin.

    Wherever he went, he performed at a high level. He'd win you 15 games and 160-or-so strikeouts.

    His finest season came in 1996 with the Florida Marlins, when he led the NL in wins (21) and innings pitched (265.2).

54. Ted Lyons

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    From 1924 to 1930, Ted Lyons was excellent for the White Sox.

    He averaged 18 wins over those seven seasons at that point. He led the league in wins twice, while receiving a fair share of MVP consideration.

53. Mickey Welch

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    Simply put, Mickey Welch won 307 games in essentially just 11 seasons.

    He won over 30 games twice and over 40 games once, between 1880 and 1892.

52. Curt Schilling

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    Curt Schilling may very well be the finest postseason pitcher in baseball history, based on the way he's elevated his game in both Arizona and Boston.

    However, Schilling in the regular season didn't find his groove until he was 34 years old. He put together three Cy Young-caliber seasons at the ages of 34, 35 and 37, while collecting two World Series rings in those years.

    A third ring followed at age 40 in 2007 for Schilling.

51. Orel Hershiser

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    The 1988 NL Cy Young Award winner, Orel Hershiser, put together a string of magnificent pitching the likes of many have never been able to touch.

    Hershiser threw 59 consecutive scoreless innings in 1988.


50. Roy Halladay

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    Roy Halladay is a two-time Cy Young Award winner with eight All-Star selections to his credit over the course of his 15-year career.

    Considering he spent a majority of his time pitching for a Blue Jays team that only really won when he was on the mound, his 192 career victories are quite impressive.

    He has led the league in wins twice and, being the workhorse that he is, has led the league in innings pitched on four occasions.

49. Dizzy Dean

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    Dizzy Dean was the 1934 NL MVP.

    In his 12-year career, he managed to get selected to four All-Star games, lead the league in wins and shutouts twice, saves once, innings pitched three times and strikeouts on four occasions.

48. Joe McGinnity

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    Joe McGinnity was known as the Iron Man.

    He led the league in wins five times, innings pitched (four times) and games (six times).

    Through it all he maintained a career 2.66 ERA and 1.188 WHIP.

47. Dazzy Vance

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    Hall of Famer Dazzy Vance played 16 years professionally and was the NL MVP in 1924 for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

    He led the league in wins twice, ERA three times and strikeouts on seven occasions.

    In all, he owns a 197-140 record with a 3.24 ERA and 1.230 WHIP with 2,045 career strikeouts.

46. Jim Bunning

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    Seven-time All-Star Jim Bunning strung together seven years of fantastic pitching for the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies from 1961 through 1967. 

    He averaged 17 wins per year over that span while leading the league in strikeouts twice.

45. John Smoltz

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    With 21 years of service in Major League Baseball, John Smoltz proved to be an asset as both a reliever and a starting pitcher.

    The 1996 NL Cy Young winner is an eight time All-Star who has led the league in wins and strikeouts twice, respectively.

44. Rube Waddell

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    Hall of Famer Rube Waddell led the league in ERA on two occasions from 1897 to 1910.

    He also led the league in strikeouts on six occasions in his 13-year career.

43. Early Wynn

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    Early Wynn had a 23-year career that saw him win his first and only Cy Young at the ripe old age of 39.

    He is a seven-time All-Star who led the league in both wins and strikeouts on two separate occasions.

42. Luis Tiant

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    "El Tiante" was a beloved member of the Boston Red Sox pitching staff in the 1970s where he did a bulk of his damage.

    Tiant won double-digit games for the Red Sox for seven consecutive years before going to New York.

41. Dennis Eckersley

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    Dennis Eckersley started his career pounding the cheese as a solid starting pitcher who had 20-win capabilities, as he showed in 1978 with the Red Sox.

    He was converted to a reliever and wound up winning a Cy Young with the Oakland A's, inevitably being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

40. Phil Niekro

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    Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro spent 23 years pitching in the big leagues.

    He racked up 318 career wins with a 3.35 ERA and 1.268 WHIP, while making four All-Star teams and winning four Gold Gloves.

39. Tom Glavine

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    Tom Glavine is a lock for the Hall of Fame.

    He is a two-time Cy Young award winner and a 10-time All-Star with four Silver Slugger awards to his name as well.

    He owns a 305-203 record with a 3.54 ERA, 1.314 WHIP and 2,607 career strikeouts, using a cool but cerebral manner on the mound.

38. Robin Roberts

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    Robin Roberts made seven consecutive All-Star games from 1950 through 1956.

    In that span he won 157 games for the Phillies, leading the league in complete games and innings pitched five times.

37. Justin Verlander

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    Justin Verlander is the best pitcher in Major League Baseball today.

    The 2011 AL Cy Young and MVP winner led the league in wins with 24, ERA with 2.40, games started with 34, innings pitched with 251, strikeouts with 250 and WHIP with 0.920.

    In other words, completely dominant across the board.

36. Don Drysdale

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    Don Drysdale, Big D, is a Hall of Fame pitcher with eight All-Star games under his belt.

    He also was the 1962 NL Cy Young Award winner.

    His career ERA is just 2.95 with a 1.148 WHIP.

35. Mike Mussina

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    Mike "Moose" Mussina was about as consistent and dangerous a pitcher as one could hope for.

    He won 17-to-18 games per season while making a strong case for an All-Star bid. Year in and out he was in the Cy Young conversation, though never officially won one.

    On top of that, he is a seven-time Gold Glove winner.

34. John Clarkson

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    John Clarkson owns a 328-178 career record with an astounding 2.81 ERA and 1.209 WHIP.

    He led the league in wins on three separate occasions, once with 53 total wins. In his 12 seasons he racked up 1,970 total strikeouts.

33. Addie Joss

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    Though he only played nine seasons, Addie Joss owns a spectacular ERA of just 1.89.

    He is 160-97 lifetime and owns the best career WHIP in MLB history at 0.968.

32. Gaylord Perry

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    Gaylord Perry played for eight teams over his 22-year career.

    In that time he won two Cy Young Awards and was a five-time All-Star. He led the league in wins on three occasions while finishing his career with a record of 314-265.

31. Don Sutton

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    Don Sutton is a Hall of Fame pitcher with 324 career victories.

    During his career he led the league in WHIP on four separate occasions, finishing off with a 1.142 career total.

    Sutton owns 3,574 career strikeouts as well.

30. Pud Galvin

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    Pud Galvin is one of those old-school, hard-nosed pitchers who has 40-plus wins on his record on multiple occasions.

    He owns a 365-310 record with a 2.85 career ERA and 1.191 WHIP.

29. Ed Walsh

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    Ed Walsh owns the best career ERA in Major League Baseball history at 1.82.

    His WHIP is an even 1.000, and he also managed to ring up 1,736 strikeouts over the course of his 14-year career.

    Of the 430 career games in which he appeared, he completed 250.

28. Bert Blyleven

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    Bert Blyleven was an all-purpose strikeout machine.

    Over the course of his 22 years in the big leagues, Blyleven shut down 3,701 batters while piling up 287 career victories.

27. Old Hoss Radbourn

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    Old Hoss Radbourn is immortal.

    He pitched for 11 years from 1881 through 1891, and he has a Twitter account these days.

    Radbourn has 309 career wins with a 2.68 ERA and 1.149 WHIP.

26. Tim Keefe

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    Another old-timer, Tim Keefe is among the 300-win club.

    He owns a 342-225 career record with a 2.63 ERA and 1.123 WHIP over 14 seasons.

    His ERA was only 0.86 in his rookie season—an impressive note.

25. Fergie Jenkins

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    1971 NL Cy Young winner Fergie Jenkins was dominant for the Cubs from 1966 through 1973.

    The three-time All-Star racked up 3,192 strikeouts over the course of his 19-year career.

24. Whitey Ford

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    Whitey Ford is an eight-time All-Star and was the 1961 AL Cy Young Award winner.

    He led the American League in wins on three occasions, shutouts and innings pitched twice, as well as WHIP once.

23. Juan Marichal

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    Juan Marichal doesn't have to dominate his opponents with a baseball bat, but that hasn't stopped him.

    The nine-time All-Star owns a 2.89 ERA and 1.101 WHIP with 2,303 career strikeouts. 

22. Carl Hubbell

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    Carl Hubbel, aka Meal Ticket, is a two-time NL MVP and HOF pitcher.

    Nine times in his 16-year career he made the All-Star team.

    His career 2.98 ERA and 1.166 WHIP made him a formidable opponent. Three times in his career he led the league in wins and ERA.

21. Jim Palmer

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    Was Jim Palmer the greatest pitcher in Orioles history? You bet he was.

    The three-time Cy Young Award-winning pitcher was fierce for the O's, making the All-Star team six times and taking home four Gold Glove awards.

    He owns a career 2.86 ERA and 1.180 WHIP.

20. Bob Feller

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    No, Bob Feller never won a Cy Young.

    However, the eight-time All-Star was a six-time, top-six MVP finalist and finished 23rd overall on another year.

    Furthermore, he led the league in wins on six occasions and strikeouts on seven.

19. Mordecai Brown

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    Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown is a Hall of Fame pitcher who is best known for his, well, three fingers.

    Aside from that, he was a brilliant pitcher who owns a career 2.06 ERA and 1.066 WHIP over the course of his 14-year career.

    From 1906 to 1911, he strung together six consecutive seasons of 20-or-more wins while leading the league in WHIP on three occasions.

18. Pedro Martinez

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    From 1997 to 2000 there was no better pitcher in baseball than Pedro Martinez.


    He won three Cy Young awards in that four-year period, and one could argue that he was robbed of the 1999 AL MVP award.

    Martinez owns a career record of 219-100 with a 2.93 ERA and 1.054 WHIP as an eight-time All-Star.

17. Nolan Ryan

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    Nolan Ryan: 324 career wins, 3.19 ERA, 5,714 career strikeouts, all-time MLB leader.

    Eight-time All-Star.

    That about sums it up.

16. Kid Nichols

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    Another member of the 300-win club, Kid Nichols owns a record of 361-208.

    He strung together nine straight years whereby he won 26-or-more games, and then only dropped off to a 21-game-winning season.

15. Eddie Plank

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    A member of the 300-win club, Eddie Plank has 326 career victories on his resume.

    His 2.35 ERA is quite impressive over the course of 17 years, especially with a 1.119 WHIP to boot.

14. Randy Johnson

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    Another sure-fire Hall of Famer, Randy Johnson has been one of the most dominant pitchers over the last 20 odd years.

    Five Cy Young awards, 10 All-Star appearances, 303 career wins.

    Absolutely dominant in spite of the steroid era.

13. Steve Carlton

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    Steve Carlton is a four-time Cy Young Award winner.

    He has appeared in 10 All-Star games and owns 329 career victories with a 3.22 ERA and 1.247 ERA. He led the league in wins on four occasions while adding 4,136 career strikeouts.

12. Mariano Rivera

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    Mariano Rivera...what can I say beyond:

    608 career saves—all-time MLB leader.

    892 games finished—all-time MLB leader.

    206 ERA plus—all-time MLB leader.

    Twelve-time All-Star.

    The greatest closer of all time.

11. Roger Clemens

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    Say what you will about Clemens, but he is the embodiment of the word "dominant."

    Seven Cy Young Awards, 4,672 strikeouts, 354 career victories, 1.173 career WHIP, 3.12 career ERA.

    Eleven All-Star games.

10. Bob Gibson

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    Bob Gibson spent his entire 17-year career in St. Louis pitching for the Cardinals and walked away with two Cy Young Awards and an NL MVP award to show for it.

    He made it to eight All-Star games and took home nine Gold Glove awards.

    While he is not a member of the 300-win club, his 251 is nothing to shake a stick at. He does own a 2.91 career ERA and 1.188 WHIP, with 3,117 strikeouts to his name.

09. Warren Spahn

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    Warren Spahn played 21 seasons in Major League Baseball. Unfortunately for him, three of his early years were cut out for military service.

    That said, he still managed to be a 14-time All-Star and a National League MVP while on his way to winning 363 career games.

    He led the league in wins on eight occasions, while leading in complete games nine times.

08. Lefty Grove

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    During the course of his 17-year career, Grove was able to win the AL MVP one time in 1931.

    He was voted to six All-Star teams and owns an even 300 wins during his career.

07. Greg Maddux

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    If you want to talk about credentials, Maddux certainly has them:

    Eight-time All-Star.

    Four-time Cy Young Award winner, 18 Gold Gloves, 355 career wins.

    A 3.16 ERA and 1.143 WHIP over 23 years of service.

06. Sandy Koufax

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    Though a short-timer in the baseball world, Sandy Koufax was nothing but dominant in his time with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    He won three Cy Young Awards and a National League MVP, all within four years of each other.

    He appeared in six All-Star games while posting a career 2.76 ERA and 1.106 WHIP.

05. Tom Seaver

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    In his 20 years in the big leagues, Tom Seaver made his way to 12 All-Star games while he brought home three Cy Young Awards.

    Seaver has 311 career wins and led the league in strikeouts on five occasions.

04. Christy Mathewson

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    There was no such thing as a Cy Young Award when Christy Mathewson pitched.

    If there was, you could bet that he would have a few.

    In his 17-year career he racked up 373 career victories with an amazing 2.13 ERA and 1.058 WHIP. He led the league in wins on four occasions and five times in strikeouts.

03. Cy Young

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    For 22 years, Cy Young pitched. In that time he took a lot of records with him. Some are:

    511 wins—most in MLB history

    316 losses—most in MLB history

    815 starts—most in MLB history

    749 complete games—most in MLB history

    7,356 innings pitched—most in MLB history

    I think you get it.

    That said, he owns a 2.63 career ERA with a 1.130 WHIP.

02. Grover Cleveland Alexander

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    In his 20 years, Grover Cleveland Alexander put quite the dent in baseball's history books.

    He led the league in wins six times, ERA four times, shutouts seven times, innings pitched seven times and strikeouts seven times.

    He finished his career with a 373-208 record, a 2.56 ERA and 1.121 WHIP.

01. Walter Johnson

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    I don't think Walter Johnson at No. 1 is much of a surprise.

    The two-time MVP led the league in wins six times.

    He also led the league in strikeouts 12 times.

    To summarize, Johnson has 417 career wins with a 2.17 ERA and 1.061 ERA. For the time period, probably even today, Johnson would and did dominate the opposition.


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