Throughout the history of professional baseball, there have been some phenomenal talents on the mound. From former big leaguers like Juan Maricel to Tom Seaver to Lefty Grove to Gaylord Perry, there is no shortage of pitchers who have dominated the game. With so many outstanding talents, it can be hard to discern who the best of all time is. The debate becomes even more complicated when you factor in some of the changes the game has gone through in its more than one hundred years of history. But still, “who is the best ever” is a fun debate to have.
Another spirited debate centers around what constitutes Major League Baseball's “modern era.” Some experts simply say that baseball's modern era began in the year 1900. That's a tough one to swallow given that the sport looked vastly different in 1900 than it does today. Some argue that the “modern era,” begins in 1947, when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and baseball began its move toward integration. And it's a valid argument. However even in 1947, the game was much different than it is today. There is no shortage of thought about where the “modern era” of baseball begins and there are some compelling arguments out there.
For the purposes of this article, we are going to define baseball's “modern era” as 1969 . It was in 1969 that a variety of innovations within baseball – such as the lowering of the pitcher's mound in an effort to generate more offense – thus making pitchers have to be that much better – the unbalanced schedule, divisional play, and an expansion of the postseason, made baseball look much like the game we know and love today.
Given the amount of incredible pitching talent that has passed through the Major Leagues, it's tough narrowing down a “best” list to 100. Narrowing it down all the way to 10 is insane and will likely leave off quite a few names – and will undoubtedly upset a lot of people along the way. But for the purposes of this article, no player who began their career prior to 1969 will be named, no active player will appear, nor will any pitcher who spent more time in the bullpen than in the starting rotation.
Even with that criteria, it's tough to winnow this list down. But we shall soldier on and deal with the flak accordingly. Here then, are the 10 greatest pitchers in MLB's “Modern Era...”
10 Tom Glavine (1987-2008)
9 Bert Blyleven (1970-1992)
8 Orel Hershiser (1983-2000)
7 Curt Schilling (1988-2007)
6 Andy Pettitte (1995-2013)
5 Dennis Eckersley (1975-1998)
4 Pedro Martinez (1992-2009)
3 Randy Johnson (1988-2009)
2 Roger Clemens (1984-2007)
1 Greg Maddux (1986-2008)
Maddux was never going to beat you by blowing you off the plate. But rest assured, he was going to beat you. He had pinpoint control of his pitches, not to mention a very wide repertoire, and that led to him racking up 355 wins over his 23-year career – feat made all the more impressive by the fact that he spent 10 years playing for some very bad Chicago Cubs teams. The Professor is an 8-time All Star, 4-time Cy Young winner, 3-time NL wins champion, and 4-time NL ERA champion. Maddux won his lone ring in 1995, and became a first ballot Hall of Famer in 2014. Proving his dominance and standing as one of baseball's greatest ever, he is the only pitcher in MLB history to win 15 games (or more) for 17 consecutive seasons.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!