Three decades down, many more to go as Call to the Pen takes a look at the MLB Hall of Fame classes of the 1990s to see who are the best of the best.
We’ve made it through the 2010s and traversed through the 2000s, now it’s time to see who takes the cake in the last decade before Y2K would spell the end for all of us, the ten years that blessed us with the very internet which allows us at Call to the Pen to speak to all of you. Which members elected to the MLB Hall of Fame in the 1990s were the best? Let’s find out.
Nolan Ryan, 1999
Accomplishments: 8x All-Star, 1969 World Series champion, 2x ERA champion
Seven no-hitters, not really sure what else has to be said. Sure, he was wild, as an MLB record 2,795 walks would show, but when you strike out 5,714 batters and have an all-time H/9 to boot, it puts the pieces together for one of the most dominant starting pitchers the game has ever seen.
Known as the Ryan Express, he struck out over 300 hitters six times and threw his final no-hitter at the age of 44 years young. Just like during his career, and even with a stacked induction field alongside him, no one could touch Nolan Ryan on his way into Cooperstown.
Don Sutton, 1998
Accomplishments: 4x All-Star, 1980 ERA champion, All-Star MVP
Now, compared to 1999, the 1998 class was certainly not as stocked with Hall of Fame names, but just like 1999, a starting pitcher gets the top nod. Sutton, who made his name with a California team just as Nolan Ryan did, was a 4-time All-Star in Dodger Blue, with back to back appearances in 1972 and 1973.
His numbers don’t jump off the page at you, he won 20 games just once in his career and never punched out more than 217 batters in a season, but his 3.09 ERA over his 16 years with the Dodgers is certainly evidence of a pitcher that you could rely on.