At the beginning of every year when fans start creating their own fantasy baseball leagues, there is always a lot of talk about who the best pitchers in the world are. With over 200 pitchers each season, however, it can be hard to know who best to choose for your baseball simulator. Whilst we’re not going to give any recommendations for the upcoming season, we are going to provide you with a list of the best starting pitchers in history. Hopefully you will find some inspiration from these to help you build your team for the upcoming year.
1 Walter Johnson
Nicknamed the Big Train, Walter Johnson enjoyed a 21 year baseball career playing purely for the Washington Senators. He’s often thought to be one of the most domineering players in baseball history, and even though his career as a player ended in 1927, he still holds a number of world records. With 3508 strikeouts and 110 shutouts Johnson is widely believed to be the best starting pitcher of all time. He was one of the first players to be elected in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
2 Roger Clemens
Roger Clemens was a power pitcher with an aggressive edge. In his young career, he was known for his hard breaking ball and 98mph pitch, and as he got older he developed a devastating split-finger fastball which often threw batters off. In 1987 he had 18 complete games to his name – more than any other pitcher since. In 1999 he was ranked in the top 100 baseball players of all time by The Sporting News, and has won numerous awards, including a whopping 11 All-Star wins.
3 Cy Young
The all time leader in pitching WAR, Cy Young had a 21 year career between 1890 and 1911. He established dozens of pitching records whilst playing for 5 different teams, many of which stood for over a century. Elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937, Young still holds the record for the most career pitched innings. Ranked at #14 by The Sporting News, a year after Young died an award was created in his name to honor the season’s best pitcher. This is still being awarded to this day.
4 Lefty Grove
Lefty Grove was a huge MLB star playing for the Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Athletics throughout his career. Often considered to be one of the greatest left handed pitchers in history, he won numerous records including the lowest earned run average nine times. He was awarded the Pitcher’s Crown twice in his career for leading the league in strikeouts, wins and ERA, and was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1947.
Although three of the players described above are no longer with us, they live on in the memories of millions of baseball fans around the world. And whilst most baseball simulators and fantasy leagues won’t enable you to choose historical players for your teams, the players above should help inspire your choices.