The pitcher is the lifeblood of the baseball game. The pitcher throws the first pitch, and that toss has a significant impact on the atmosphere on the field for both teams. A good pitcher has the desirable traits of precision, focus, strength, speed, mental fortitude, and agility.
Pitchers take on more responsibilities than any other team member in baseball. That’s because they control the game from the best vantage point. They are considered essential to the team not only because of their natural talent but also because of the time and effort they have invested in training.
They are expected to set the game’s tempo and affect the outcome. That’s why enthusiastic baseball punters consider the quality of a team’s pitcher before wagering on MLB winner odds. Due to their exceptional physical and mental abilities, several pitchers have stood out in MLB history and have earned the right to be mentioned in the conversations of the best pitchers of all time. This article looks at the best five players in this position to have graced the MLB.
Atop the list is Walter Johnson, A.K.A “The Big Train,” who dominated the MLB and made history for decades in the context of all pitchers who have thrown 2,000 innings or more in their careers. He was an all-rounder talented guy. Five times the Big Train’s earned Run Average (ERA) was the league’s best, and on nine occasions, his Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) was the league’s best.
He also had the most innings pitched five times, the most strikeouts (12 times), and his Walks and Hits Per Inning Pitched (WHIP) was lowest six times. Alongside Christopher Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and Honus Wagner, Johnson was a part of the first MLB Hall of Fame class.
Christy Mathewson, a nickname for Christopher Mathewson, is universally recognized as one of the greatest baseball players of all time. The American right-handed pitcher’s extensive league career began in 1900 and lasted until 1916, a span of 16 years. Winning percentage, earned run average, and shutouts were just a few of Mathewson’s impressive pitching statistics that placed him in the top 10 all-time.
In 1936, Mathewson was among the first five players ever inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Even though Christy Mathewson has been retired for almost a century and has been dead for almost as long, he continues to be revered by MLB fans. To the baseball world, he will forever be a legend and one of the greatest pitchers ever to do it.
Former MLB pitcher Randall David Johnson was a member of the New York Yankees, the San Francisco Giants, the Seattle Mariners, the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Montreal Expos. With 303 wins, he ranks seventh all-time among left-handed MLB pitchers in victories. Also, his 4,875 career strikeouts place him second all-time among left-handed pitchers.
He has five of the top seven single-season strikeout totals by a left-handed pitcher in baseball’s modern era. He’s won five Cy Young Awards and been named to the All-Star team 10 times. Due to his impressive feats, his teams were usually regarded as one of the favorites to win the World Series in his prime. Moreover, he is one of just five pitchers in Major League Baseball and American League history to have thrown a no-hitter in both leagues.
Dominican-American Pedro Jaime Martinez pitched for Major League Baseball sides from 1992 to 2005. From 1997 through 2003, Pedro was at the pinnacle of his career and cemented his legacy as one of baseball’s all-time great pitchers. He has been nominated for American League Most Valuable Player a record eight times and has won three Cy Young Awards.
He also has the MLB record for the lowest WHIP in a single season (0.737 in 2000). Similarly, his 1.39 earned run average against live batters in 1999 is the lowest ever recorded by a starting pitcher in a single season for a live ball. It was announced on February 1st, 2018, that Martinez will be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame as a member of the 2018 class.
This list would be incomplete without mentioning the great Cy Young; one of the most prestigious MLB awards is named after him. Several critics and fans regard him as the greatest pitcher of all time, and many of his records are almost unbreakable. Much of his brilliance, without a doubt, is connected to the extraordinary power of his pitches and his desire to always win.
Although he wasn’t known for his strikeout rate, he did finish first in the league twice. He had the lowest walk rate in the league, as proven by his fourteen league walks per nine innings (BB/9) titles. On top of that, Young had the lowest WHIP for seven consecutive years and won the ERA championship twice. He also won an incredible 511 games in his career – an unbelievable feat. When the Hall of Fame was officially established in 1937, Young was a part of the second class of inductees.
Many great pitchers have graced Major League Baseball (MLB), and choosing just five out of countless generations of great pitchers was a difficult task. However, we have come up with a list that we think paints a great picture of the best to have ever done it. If you are in the mood, this might be a great time to go check out the footage of their past performances.