Grover Cleveland Alexander
Grover Cleveland Alexander
WJ has a real claim at #1, but Alexander has been outstripped by a handful. RJ, RC, GM, Grove. And that is assuming Alexander's leagues were as tough. The visual evidence as well as the level of coaching, diet, population drawn from- all intimate that the level of ball in Alexander's day was lower, perhaps a good deal lower. WJ has the same problem. Neither one did as well in the live ball era as the dead ball era.
Alexander's peak was 1915-1920 and he never matched it, although he had a great twilight year in 1927 at age 40.
This is why I started the 1925-today poll. No real way to compare. Tough enough to talk about a guy in 1965 vs. 1994, nevermind 1914 and 2007.
Aumm, let's see - 7 no hitters...
Great - he had 773 starts, so after the 1% of his starts are out of the way, you have a guy with closer to league average stats then any real elite SP has.
How many Cy's did he win?
Erm.... zero. Yeah, but he has the most K's all time!!!
Well he is 16.2% ahead of Randy Johnson in K totals. However in K/9 Ryan is only 4th behind Randy Johnson, Kerry Wood, Pedro Martinez.
How about BB's?
Well, ummm yeah, he does have the record.
Mmmm.. not only the record, but holds it by a whoping 34.5% - more then double his lead in K's.. <chuckle>
Did you know that Ryan has one of the lowest winning percentages in the HOF?
Did you know that Ryan's teams generally sucked?
Yes, but his winning percentage isn't much different from his team.
324-292 (worse then the next 10 guys listed below by percentage)
ERA+ 111 (11% over average) by far the worst of the next 10
DERA 4.21 (4.50 is league average, he had a 106.5 defenses removed, so while his teams may have been bad, they had good defenses.
RAA 111 in 5386 IP (that is 111 runs saved over averages pitchers in 27 years and 5386 IP worth of effort) - check out the next 10 for some real numbers.
Gibson RAA 336 in 3884 IP
Pedro RAA 400 in 2782 IP
Seaver RAA 403 in 4782 IP
RJohnson RAA 407 in 4039 IP
Alexander 445 in 5190 IP
Grove RAA 459 in 3940 IP
Maddux RAA 467 in 5008 IP
Clemens RAA 599 in 4916 IP
WJohnson RAA 808 in 5914 IP
Cy Young RAA 901 in 7356 IP
Only a fanatic or uneducated fan can hold the opinion that Ryan is #1
I really have no idea how Walter Johnson isnt #1 on this. I mean, I am a big Nolan Ryan fan, and have him sitting at #2, but Johnson has so little votes I find it extraordinary
Mark Buerhle, Jose Contreras, Freddy Garcia to name a few more.
lol at Ryan and Koufax winning this.
Just goes to show how over rated they are.
I will say Walter Johnson just because I do not want to pick Clemens. My heart won't let me put RC first because of the roids, throwing the bat Piazzi, and mainly because he asked to come out of a series clinching WS game because of a freaking blister.
I don't understand why Seaver, Steve Carlton, Satchel Paige, and Jim Palmer are not on the list. It also says best pitcher of all time, and if I were putting a staff together, Eckersly would be on it somewhere.
Ryan pitched that many no hitters in large part to throwing hard and not having any control. He walked over 50% more batters that any other pitcher.
I only choose Maddux because of my love affair with him, and nothing to do with anything else. He was (as far as we know) 'clean' and he was a pinpoint control pitcher during a very offense era. Of Maddux, Clemens and Pedro, Pedro had the best peak, Clemens had the best career, and Maddux was my favorite.
Going back further, there are arguments for Walter Johnson, Lefty Grove, Pete Alexander, Koufax during his short prime, etc.
But on a personal level, Maddux and Gibson.
If I want pure performance....Clemens. But, like Bonds, I think he is a piece of ****, that was heading to the hall anyway, and tainted his career. (not really trying to hold that against both of them, but I feel slighted by it with these two players for some reason, and not really by anyone else).
I think if you go from 1950-1987 (5 man rotations) that Seaver has to be the #1 guy. But you have to be at least in your early 50's to have seen him in his prime - which most folks on the web talking baseball are not. Sigh.