In baseball lore, pitchers with 300 career wins are the rarest of the rare. Are there any current MLB hurlers who could make a run to join the list?
When Randy Johnson won his 300th game on June 4, 2009, he became just the 24th pitcher in big league history to do so. The 300 win club is more exclusive than its 500 home run and 3,000 hit counterparts. In a time with rampant arm injuries claiming victims by the dozens, 300 wins may be the most difficult achievement in the game.
Among the 24 members of the club, just over half played the game in the live ball era, and a mere four began their careers after 1967. The sort of career longevity reaching 300 wins requires is going extinct in a Major League Baseball that preaches maximum effort on every pitch, often to the detriment of pitchers’ arms.
There is currently not a single active pitcher among the top 74 winningest all-time. Bartolo Colon, who turns 43 on Tuesday, is the current leader with 221 and comes in tied for 75th on the all-time list with Joe Niekro. C.C. Sabathia, himself 35 years old, is the only other active pitcher who tops 200. Neither are going to reach the vaunted 300 mark.
While the odds of joining the 300 win club are stacked against every man who takes the mound, there does seem to be a recipe for getting there: start young, play for a contender, and stay relatively injury-free. There are those rare players who have been able to combine the luck of playing for winning clubs, the physical makeup to stay healthy, and the stuff necessary to rack up notches in the win column at an elite rate.
Using the Bill James Favorite Toy formula, there are a few pitchers in the big leagues right now who at the very least stand a shot at reaching the milestone. Let’s take a look at who they are.
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