The top 20 greatest pitchers of all-time in MLB history

The top 20 greatest pitchers of all-time in MLB history

Pitchers play significant roles during any match. Among other factors, the pitcher controls the game's pace, and whether or not a team will win a game is determined by his skillfulness. As a result, some pitchers have stood out in baseball history and are reputed as the greatest pitchers of all time because of their unique physical and mental skills.

greatest pitchers of all time
Former Phillies player and Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez throws out the first pitch during a pre-game ceremony at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo: Rich Schultz
Source: Getty Images

Pitchers have greater responsibilities on their shoulders than other players on their team. This is because they occupy the most crucial position in the field. Besides the mental and physical skills that this set of players possess, their rigorous practice time and experience in pitching make them better than other players.

20 best pitchers of all time

The best baseball pitchers are respected for their calmness through adversity and ability to think ahead in situations, anticipate, and be overall intelligent players. In addition, they throw balls with a high velocity so their hitter can sneak the fastball. So, check out the best MLB pitchers of all time whose impact on the field cannot easily be forgotten below:

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1. Walter Johnson

greatest pitchers of all time
Walter Johnson. Photo: @OleTimeHardball
Source: Twitter

Walter Johnson, popularly known as The Big Train, played between 1907 and 1927 for the Washington Senators, thereby having some fantastic pitching in the game's history. He led with 110 shutouts, 417 wins, and ERA five times throughout his career and was recognised as the most strikeout king and best pitcher of all-time in baseball.

2. Roger Clemens

greatest pitchers of all time
Roger Clemens. Photo: @MLBONFOX
Source: Twitter

Popularly known as Rocket, Roger Clemens played between 1984 and 2007 with the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Houston Astros, and New York Yankees. He always has the delight of removing batters from the game, thus winning strikeout king five times.

As one of the top 10 pitchers of all time, he also won 1985 American League MVP and other accolades such as Cy Young award winner and ERA champion seven times. In addition, he was a dominant force throughout his 24 seasons in Major League Baseball.

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3. Sandy Koufax

greatest pitchers of all time
Sandy Koufax. Photo: @OleTimeHardball
Source: Twitter

Sandy Koufax played between 1955 and 1966 for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Los Angeles Dodgers. He is a left-handed pitcher and widely regarded as the greatest left-handed pitcher of all time. Koufax did magical throws as a pitcher in MLB, winning five consecutive ERA titles and three Cy Young Awards.

4. Pedro Martinez

greatest pitchers of all time
Pedro Martinez. Photo: Rich Schultz
Source: Getty Images

Pedro Martinez played between 1992 and 2009 for several teams such as Los Angeles Dodgers, Montreal Expos, Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox, and New York Mets. He won the Cy Young award three times during his blissful career and the ERA champion five times.

In addition, he is highly regarded as a dominant player for the Boston Red Sox because he guided the team to their first World Series title in 86 years.

5. Cy Young

greatest pitchers of all time
Cy Young. Photo: @mancavepictures
Source: Facebook

Cy Young played from 1890 to 1911 for top teams such as the Red Sox, Cleveland Spiders, Cleveland Naps, Cardinals, and Boston Rustlers. During his career, Young was recognised as one of the hardest pitchers with a record of 511 wins (Baseball's all-time leader wins), winning two games in the first modern-day World Series and leading Boston to the championship.

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6. Lefty Grove

greatest pitchers of all time
Lefty Grove. Photo: @AmazinAsCraze
Source: Twitter

Lefty Grove played from 1925 to 1941 for the Philadelphia Athletics and Boston Red Sox. The record of Grove speaks for itself. The titles and accolades won are two consecutive World Series championships with the Philadelphia Athletics, nine ERA titles, and seven strikeout titles.

He is the best left-handed pitcher and created records that several great left-handed pitchers of all time could not attain.

7. Pete Alexander

greatest pitchers of all time
Pete Alexander. Photo: @nut_history
Source: Twitter

Popularly known as Old Pete, Pete Alexander played between 1911 and 1930 for the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, and Philadelphia Phillies. Even though he started his professional career late, at the age of 24, he could pitch 20 seasons and rack up the third-most wins of all-time. In addition, he led the league in ERA four times and won shutouts seven times.

8. Christy Mathewson

greatest pitchers of all time
Christy Mathewson. Photo: @BSmile
Source: Twitter

Christy Mathewson, popularly known as Big Six, played from 1900 to 1916 for the New York Giants and Cincinnati Reds. Mathewson revolutionised the role of a pitcher, as he won two world series championships, triple crown twice, four NL wins leader, and five-time NL ERA leader.

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9. Greg Maddux

greatest pitchers of all time
Greg Maddux. Photo: @nut_history
Source: Twitter

Greg Maddux played between 1986 and 2008 for several teams, including Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers. He is regarded as the most dominant pitcher in the history of MLB. His tactics for removing batters are always unique with a blazing fastball. Greg was a four-time Cy Young award winner and won 18 Gold Glove Awards.

10. Randy Johnson

greatest pitchers of all time
Randy Johnson. Photo: @Jimfrombaseball
Source: Twitter

Randy Johnson, popularly known as The Big Unit, played between 1988 and 2009. For more than two decades, he won the Cy Young Award five times, World Series MVP, Triple Crown, MLB wins leader, and was four times ERA leader. In addition, he is the fastest pitcher in the game's history, as he routinely topped with 100 mph.

11. Tom Seaver

greatest pitchers of all time
Tom Seaver. Photo: @MichaelNegrn2
Source: Twitter

Tom Seaver played between 1967 and 1986 for New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, and Boston Red Sox. Tom is known for his high strikeout, especially from 1967 to 1977. He won the NL Cy Young Award three times, NL Rookie of the Year, NL ERA leader three times, and was crowned the strikeout king of baseball five times.

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12. Bob Gibson

greatest pitchers of all time
Bob Gibson. Photo: @St. Louis Cardinals
Source: Facebook

Bob Gibson played between 1959 and 1975 for the St. Louis Cardinals. When it comes to pitching, he is regarded as one of the scariest pitchers in baseball history. However, at his best, Gibson won seven straight World Series and struck out 10 or more hitters in five World Series appearances, thus regarded as the best pitchers in MLB.

13. Nolan Ryan

greatest pitchers of all time
Nolan Ryan. Photo: @michaelgbaron
Source: Twitter

Nolan Ryan played between 1966 and 1993 for the New York Mets, California Angels, and other top teams. Was Nolan Ryan the best pitcher of all time? He is regarded as the greatest strikeout artist in the game's history.

14. Gaylord Perry

greatest pitchers of all time
Gaylord Perry. Photo: @baseballhall
Source: Facebook

Gaylord Perry played from 1962 to 1983 for the San Francisco Giants and other teams. The right-hand pitcher has a legacy for his notorious use of the spitball. He won the Cy Young Awards two times with two different teams, Cleveland and San Diego.

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15. Ed Walsh

greatest pitchers of all time
Ed Walsh. Photo: @Baseball4Ever31
Source: Twitter

Ed Walsh played from 1904 to 1917 for the Chicago White Sox and Boston Braves as their top pitcher. His strategy to keep hitters off-balance is to use spitball and apply much force to the ball. He has an MLB record of 1.82 ERA, won World Series champion in 1906, and is a two-time MLB strikeout leader.

16. Steve Carlton

greatest pitchers of all time
Steve Carlton. Photo: @uniformcritic
Source: Twitter

Steve Carlton played from 1965 to 1988 for the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, and other top MLB teams. Steve was the first pitcher to win the Cy Young award four times in the game's history.

In addition, his pitching accounted for 46 per cent of his team's (Philadelphia Phillies) wins in the 1972 season. He won the World Series champion twice, Triple Crown, and a Golden Glove Award.

17. Warren Spahn

greatest pitchers of all time
Warren Spahn. Photo: @baseballhall
Source: Twitter

Warren Spahn played from 1942 to 1965 for the Milwaukee Braves, New York Mets, and San Francisco Giants. From 1947 through 1963, Spahn averaged 20 wins a season, pitching to a 2.96 ERA and throwing 361 complete games. Spahn topped the league in victories eight times for five straight years.

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18. Eddie Plank

greatest pitchers of all time
Eddie Plank. Photo: @NLCarolynMuse
Source: Twitter

Eddie Plank played from 1901 to 1917 for the Philadelphia Athletics and St. Louis Browns. He made an impressive 529 career stats and completed more than 77 per cent. Among the greatest left-handed pitchers of all time, he had more complete games (410) or shutouts (69) than any and won the World Series championship three times.

19. Mariano Rivera

greatest pitchers of all time
Mariano Rivera. Photo: @BaseballCloudUS
Source: Twitter

Mariano Rivera played from 1995 to 2013 for the New York Yankees. His stats and accolades are impressive, some of which are five times World Series champion, five times AL Rolaids Relief Man Award, three times Delivery Man of the Year, three times MLB saves leader. In addition, Mariano Rivera is among the top baseball players when it comes to career saves; he has 652 career saves.

20. Juan Marichal

greatest pitchers of all time
Juan Marichal. Photo: @JuanMarichal27
Source: Twitter

Juan Marichal played from 1960 to 1975 for the San Francisco Giants, Boston Red Sox, and Los Angeles Dodgers. As a result of his distinctive high-leg kick and perfect control, he was a fan-favourite among baseball fans. Besides, he was a Pitched no-hitter in 1963, the NL wins leader in 1968, and MLB ERA leader in 1969.

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Who is the greatest pitcher of all time?

Many great pitchers have graced the mounds of Major League Baseball (MLB) throughout the years, but the greatest of them all is Walter Johnson. He remains the all-time career leader in shutouts with 110, second in wins with 417, and fourth in complete games with 531. In addition, he won every trophy, title, and accolade in MLB as a player.

The argument about the greatest pitchers of all time is one of many that have raged throughout the game's history, but it always seems to spring back to life now and then. Even the best hitters on the planet feared facing these men during their primes.

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