Greatest Pitchers of All Time

Granted, the list is primarily comprised of pitchers who played after World War II even though there are many pitchers who put up staggering numbers prior to that period, but it is hardly a fair comparison to include the earliest pitchers who played in a far less competitive era when many of the best players weren?t even allowed to join the league. Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

Nolan Ryan
This is subjective based on fans, but I think Ryan is the best all-time with stats, longevity, numerous pitching records, and his ERA was 3.18 over 5, 000 plus innings which is amazing. Consider the steroid era of pitchers like Rogeroids Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Glavine, Maddux, and even Randy Johnson.
Throws the hardest fastball and meanest headlock of anyone on this list. Ask Robin Ventura if you need a second opinion.
Struck out more people than any1 in history.


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2Walter Johnson
Nolan Ryan only beat Johnson here because of he leads in the most "glamorous" pitching stat, everybody knows Ryan, Johnson is so underappreciated. Johnson only beats him in wins, ERA, Shutouts, and Complete Games... Not that they're important.
Not even close. Best pitcher ever by far. Clemens, Maddux, Alexander, and Grove are also amazing, but not at his level of sustained dominance.
The Big Train, who held the all-time strikeout record for half a century, is not 4th, folks... his magnificence is gradually disappearing into the mists of time.
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3Sandy Koufax
Would have been the greatest ever by far if he didn't get injured. Here is my top 5 list.

1. Walter Johnson
2. Sandy Koufax
3. Warren Spahn
4. Lefty Grove
5. Christy Mathewson

Nolan Ryan is not the best ever.


Had he not been injured in 1962 & 1964 he would have won 5 Cy Young awards in a row when there was only 1 given for the entire major leagues each year. He was the greatest pitcher ever! No one was even close!
If bob feller who had an ego problem, called koufax the best, that's good enough for me. I saw him pitch and never saw a ball that moved like his.
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4Cy Young
Even among his peers at the time he was the best. Just a freak of nature. If around today would still be at the top. Great control and fantastic speed. Imagine nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens in one person
you are all idiots you should know that cy young is the best pitcher ever and just because walter johnson and christy mathewson aren't the best because they were in the first class
If he is the best then he should have the most strikeouts he may have more wins bet nolan ryan had more strikeouts so nolan ryan is 1st and cy young 2nd
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5Tom Seaver
The first player ever to be referred to as "The Franchise", need I say anything more?
awesome player this is my fav met of all time
Highest vote percentage to get into Cooperstown. Must I say anything else.

6Bob Gibson
yeah they did lower the mound because of him... he was unbelievable. he could hit too. he was amazing just amazing... two times better than pedro hahaha don't give me crap about pedro.. he was good but not gibson good, by any means
Hands down, the greatest competitor in any sport... Ever. Ending the 1968 season with an ERA of 1.12? Insanity! He did not want to give up ever ONE run per game!
absolutely unhittable for YEARS. people were scared to death of this guy and he didn't really hit a lot of people.
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7Greg Maddux
My name is James Filippi... I pitched against "the baby faced assassin" in 1985 in Peoria Illinois (mid west league Chisox) and before the first inning was over I knew it would be very difficult to beat him... This in itself was a great weapon! He had an exploding fastball and the hitters just could not get a good swing on his pitches! If we got one run against him that was an accomplishment... All game and all the time it was like this... Very tough! Great fielder too! Extremely smart pitcher... He had great command of everything he threw and he threw very hard and strode incredibly long at that time... I thought I had a long stride but when I took the mound I was landing at the back of his landing which I thought was unusual because it had never happened before! He only got better from there! I still think "POUND FOR POUND THE BEST PITCHER EVER TO PLAY THE GAME" I believe this! And he was maybe 6ft 150lbs at that point!
I was lucky enough to get to see Greg Maddux in my lifetime. True pitcher there is Maddux and then everyone else. Nolan Ryan come on people fall in love with the strikeout. He was an average pitcher win loss wise. He had a fastball and whoever there said 110 come on here lets get real. He never broke 100. Maddux, Gibson, Koufax, Clemens*, and Seavers. Cy Young voters look at his numbers it was the dead ball era. Nolan Ryan was the Ryan Howard of our day hit the big home runs (hard fastball) but struckout most the time (overall pitcher) Ryan get real here.


No Question Maddux was an absolute dominate pitcher for the reasons mentioned. I actually believed he did the things stated above. He pitched on brain power. That however does not make him the best Pitcher although I would consider putting him near the top of the list. If I was starting a dream team today, I may pick him first. The only issue I have with Maddux in that the Umpires were in love with him. I don't know why. But a lot of balls were called strikes when he was on the mound. Can't take anything from him but I never really understood why.
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8Randy Johnson
His strikeout ratios were absurd. In my opinion, that's how you measure true dominance. I think the Unit is underrated. He was a beast and I'm saying that as a fan of the game and a Dodgers fan. He was an intimidator and we haven't seen one since.
You have to give the benefit of the doubt to the lefties. Its harder to pitch in the majors as a lefty and Randy did better than all lefties and righties of his era.
He just went out there and pitched. He's the strongest thrower I've ever seen. He was the last true great of his generation.

9Christy Matthewson

Mathewson was way better than Nolan Ryan. He tops him in everything but strikeouts. One overlooked aspect of his game is his postseason mastery. He pitched single-handedly won a World Series by pitching 3 shutouts in 5 days! His World Series ERA was 0.97 in 101.2 innings! Sorry Ryan, sorry Koufax, you guys shouldn't be close to Big Six.

Way to underrated. He got 373 wins despite playing only 17 years. great friend. once played 13 checker players at the same time blindfolded, won 7 and DREW 6. Here is my list:
1. Christy mathewson(by far)

2. Cy Young(by even more far)

3. Walter Johnson(just barely)

4. Warren Spahn

5. Gregg Maddux

Underrated old times pitcher

10Pedro Martinez
I agree... while you have to take into account that his arm failed him as he got older, you also have to take into account that his ERA was often well below other pitchers of his day, and he man-handled hitters during the heart of the steroid era.

In his prime he was THE best. There are very very few others that you could argue were better.


by far the best ever, no doubt. From 1997-2003 no one could ever touch him! at one point his ERA was 1.74 and THE NEXT GUY (Clemens) was over two RUNS HIGHER! hands down the best! if it wasn't for his injuries (Koufax) he would have dominated even longer
Pedro Martinez is the most dominat pitcher I have ever seen. He also has the best fastball in the history of baseball.


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The Contenders

11Warren Spahn
665 starts, 382 complete games. 63 shutouts, 13 -20 games seasons. 363 victories. The BEST!

12Mariano Rivera
Best era in the live ball era and with the DH which adds 1/2 a run to your era-he would be even lower that anyone. Lowest WHIP except for addie Joss-dead ball era-no dh. And the 9th inning pitchers face the best hitters (PH) the team can put up. ERA plus-amazing check out those numbers-no one ever even close! Single most dominating pitch in history and no one can throw it like he has! You can argue that a starting pitcher might be more valuable to a team than a releiver or even a closer, but if the question is the best pitcher those stats don't lie. But look at the playoffs and world series and he has been even greater there-walter johnson is the closest and its not that close.
My top ten:
1. Mariano Rivera
2. Nolan Ryan
3. Sandy Koufax
4. Roger Clemens
5. Randy Johnson
6. Walter Johnson
7. Warren Spahn
8. Pedro Martinez
9. Cy Young
10. Tom Seaver
He'll move up. In the end he gets the job done.


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13Roger Clemens
Played at a high level for what seemed like forever.

14Lefty Grove

15Grover Cleveland 'Pete' Alexander

16Satchel Paige

if you look only at MLB numbers not too impressive. but he didnt pitch that long in the MLB. His numbers in the negro leagues...unreal.


17Bob Feller

18Fernando Valenzuela

Lasorda didn't use this guy properly. He could have lasted years if he wasn't kept in the game as much as he was.

19Steve Carlton
You have got be kidding me. You put walter J. In front of carlton here is my 5 list
sandy koufax
steve carlton
nolan ryan
walter johnson
satchel page

20Tim Lincecum

21Mark Buerhle

22Tom Glavine

23Whitey Ford

24Curt Schilling
Since Roy Halladay isn't in the top 5 ill go with Schilling. Hamels shouldn't be in the top 4, 000 pitchers.
Three World Series Rings, 200+ wins, 2,000+ stikeouts. Truly amazing.

25Johan Santana

26Zach Greinke
7-1.61 era... Enough said!


27Aroldis Chapman
He is the best closer ever! Number 1 will ever be better 105 mph that is insane! Aroldis chapman could absoulutely, definitely be a starter! I think he could be one of the top starters ever! A blazing fastball and an oustanding slider leaves batters scared to come to theplate and devistated when they leave! And I'm not over exadrating one bit! And what can I say I'm a reds fan

28Catfish Hunter

29Orel Hershiser

30Don Drysdale

31Jaba Chamberlin

one of the youngest pitchers to throw 100 give the new yankees pitcher some props guys cmon


32Justin Verlander
MVP, that's all I'm saying'.

33Roy Halladay
He has been clever and durable.

34Cole Hamels

35Yu Darvish
Will be one of the best

36Jerry Koosman
You have to be kidding

37Don Sutton

38Gaylord Perry

39Jim Palmer

40CC Sabathia

41Mordecai Brown

42Cliff Lee

43Roy Oswalt

44Dwight Gooden

45Danny Salazar

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This list was created 8 years, 135 days ago and has been voted on over 1,000 times. This top ten list has been remixed 2 times and has been blogged about 3 times.

Updated Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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