Over a century and thirty teams later, the Major League Baseball, one of the United States and Canada’s major sports league, can be said to have had many memorable moments and pitchers that have made the game worth participating in or watching.
A game of baseball usually starts and ends with a starting pitch, which usually is the winning or losing determinant. A pitcher is a defensive player (with the number 1) who throws the baseball to the catcher from the pitcher’s mound. Apart from the starting pitcher, we have other pitchers like the relief pitcher, the middle reliever, the lefty specialist, the set-up man, and the closer. Usually, the starting pitcher begins the game and is then followed by any of the pitchers mentioned above. Picking a starting pitcher who can bring his good stuff home is always a big challenge for coaches and managers as massive skill is required for a good starting pitcher. A skilled starting pitcher is expected to master pitches like fastball, curveball, sinker, slider, changeup and knuckleball among others. Most gifted and talented pitchers use hybrids. If one takes a walk down history lane of MLB, one is sure to find great pitchers who have broken records with their talent, skills and pitches. As a starting pitcher, my main aim will be to ensure the batter does not hit the ball when I throw it. To achieve this, I must put force and speed into my throw and employ throwing styles calculated to confuse or deceive the batter from hitting the ball.
Now I will look at the top five starting pitchers of all time in MLB history. As with any list of ‘top five’, there are usually arguments and debates, which I think arises from the basis or criteria used in arriving at the list. My ranking is based on starting pitchers with highest pitcher’s scores. So those whose records have been broken will not be considered, while those whose records are yet to be broken will be considered. Also, ranking starts from 1969 when modern practices and innovations were incorporated into baseball. I thus will not be mentioning legends like Cy Young and Bob Feller.
As a member of the great St. Louis Cardinals, he inspired modern practices and innovation in baseball like the lowering of the pitcher’s mound to give pitchers better advantage. His close-shave fastballs are as intimidating as his appearance. He won several awards like All-Star (9), World Champion (2), Cy Young Award (2) and various others. He has been put into the St. Louis Cardinal Hall of Fame.
In spite of the steroid scandal involving Roger Clemens, he showed extraordinary talent in his 24-season career. He has 354 wins to his credit and has won awards such as Cy Young Award (7), All-Star (11), and ERA Champion (7).
He was a member of about six teams like the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers. He has a winning record of 355 and 3,371 strikeouts. Has won awards such as All-Star (8), Cy Young Award (4), and Gold Glove Award (18) and has been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
He has great pitching styles like a fastball and hard-hitting sliders, with 303 wins and 4,875 strikeouts; his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame is well deserved. He was a member of about seven different teams at different times and won awards like Al-Star (10) Cy Young Award (5) and a Triple Crown.
One of the most talented starting pitchers of all time, he has spent time with five teams from New York Mets to Boston Red Sox. Since his debut in 1992, he has made 219 wins and 3,154 strikeouts. His awards include All-Star (8), Cy Young (3) and a triple crown among others.