Most Underrated Pitchers in MLB History
Know that incessant "o-ver-ra-ted!" chant at ballparks? It’s so overdone that it has become (get ready for it) overrated! Besides, isn’t anyone underrated anymore? Where’s the love for them? Well, kids, you’ve come to the right place.
Here are the 30 most unsung, under-the-radar, underrated pitchers in Major League Baseball history. No one-year wonders or self-promoters here. These guys had solid career resumes and often came up big in big games, yet they seldom, if ever, received widespread acclaim. A few even deserved a Cy Young Award or should be in the Hall of Fame.
OK, let’s hear it now. Un-der-ra-ted!
30. David Wells
Career: 21 seasons (1987-2007)
Teams: Toronto Blue Jays (1987-92, 1999-2000), Detroit Tigers (1993-95), Cincinnati Reds (1995), Baltimore Orioles (1996), New York Yankees (1997-98, 2002-03), Chicago White Sox (2001), San Diego Padres (2004, 2006-07), Boston Red Sox (2005-06), Los Angeles Dodgers (2007)
Career statistics: 239-157 record/4.13 earned run average/13 saves
Bottom Line: David Wells
Boomer played for so many years with so many teams — three more than once — it was hard to keep track of him. That explains why he had some of the quietest 239 wins in baseball history, 192 of them in his 30s.
If there’s a Baseball Geezers Hall of Fame, then this guy deserves to be there.
In Their Own Words: David Wells
"Fifteen men in the history of organized baseball have ever thrown a perfect game. Only one of those men did it half-drunk, with bloodshot eyes, monster breath and a raging, skull-rattling hangover. That would be me." —David Wells
29. Virgil Trucks
Career: 17 seasons (1941-43, 1945-1958)
Teams: Detroit Tigers (1941-43, 1945-52, 1956), St. Louis Browns, (1953), Chicago White (1953-55), Kansas City Athletes (1957-58), New York Yankees (1958)
Career statistics: 177-135/3.39/30
Bottom Line: Virgil Trucks
His numbers got a boost in the war years but not much. After the big leagues returned to normal, the righty won 19 games twice and 20 once in a season. In 1952, he authored a pair of no-hitters, one of only three pitchers in MLB history to do so.
Then, there was his most important win of all — a 4-1 route job in Game 2 of the 1945 World Series. All this for two All-Star Game invitations.
In Their Own Words: Virgil Trucks
"(Casey) Stengel didn't put me on the World Series roster. He picked Murray Dickson, who was only with the team for the last month of the season. I wasn't happy about that, and when the Yankees asked me to pitch batting practice for the Series, I was going to refuse until Milt Richman, who was a writer at the time, talked me into it." —Virgil Trucks
28. Bob Shawkey
Career: 15 seasons (1913-27)
Teams: Philadelphia Athletics (1913-15), New York Yankees (1915-27)
Career statistics: 195-150/3.09/29
Bottom Line: Bob Shawkey
This four-time, 20-game winner beat the cross-borough Giants in the crucial Game 4 of the 1923 World Series.
Unfortunately, the right-hander played in the same era as mound stars Eddie Cicotte, Stan Covaleski and Walter Johnson, to name a few. Oh, and let’s not forget that Ruth guy, either.
In Their Own Words: Bob Shawkey
"At the start of the 1923 season, Shawkey was chosen to be the Yankees' Opening Day starting pitcher. Because the team's first game was at home, this also meant that he was the first player to pitch at the newly built Yankee Stadium." —Yankee Century and Beyond
27. Steve Rogers
Career: 13 seasons (1973-85)
Teams: Montreal Expos (1973-85)
Career statistics: 158-152/3.17/2
Bottom Line: Steve Rogers
Seven times, this sinkerballer ranked among the top 10 National League pitchers in home runs allowed per nine innings. So what happened in a rare relief appearance in the 1981 NLCS? Rick Monday took him deep to win the pennant?
One year later, despite an edge in several major categories, the right-hander was a distant runner-up to Steve Carlton in the Cy Young Award vote. Not only that, but he received one stinkin’ first-place vote.
In Their Own Words: Steve Rogers
"For many people, Steve Rogers is the guy who gave up the game-winning home run to Rick Monday in the 1981 National League Championship Series. However, to think of him for just that one pitch does a disservice to a player who was a five-time All-Star, an ERA leader, and the ace of the excellent Montreal Expos teams of the late 1970s and early 1980s." —Society For American Baseball Research
26. Stu Miller
Career: 16 seasons (1952-54, 1956-68)
Teams: New York-San Francisco Giants (1952-54, 1956), Philadelphia Phillies (1956), Baltimore Orioles (1963-67), Atlanta Braves (1968)
Career statistics: 105-103/3.24/153
Bottom Line: Stu Miller
Misplaced as a starter early in his career, this member of the 100 Wins-100 Saves Club had four consecutive stellar seasons out of the bullpen in his mid-30s.
So what is the 165-pounder still known for most to many? The time that he was blown off the mound at wind-whipped Candlestick Park in his only All-Star Game appearance. That’s cold.
In Their Own Words: Stu Miller
"Elroy Face (and I), we were kind of pioneers. They weren’t called closers then. I was pitching from the seventh inning on. There was no such thing as a short reliever. I was expected to go all the way." —Stu Miller, San Jose Mercury News
25. Larry Jackson
Career: 14 seasons (1955-1968)
Teams: St. Louis Cardinals (1955-62), Chicago Cubs (1963-65), Philadelphia Phillies (1966-68)
Career statistics: 194-183/3.40/20
Bottom Line: Larry Jackson
This three-sport athlete had 10 seasons of at least 33 starts, 243 innings pitched and a sub-4.00 ERA. Consider that none of his teams won more than 87 games in a season, and his career numbers look a lot better.
As Cubbie teammate Ron Santo once said, “He can go out there alone, even when he doesn’t have his good stuff, and his guts and courage alone will carry him into the seventh or eighth inning.”
In Their Own Words: Larry Jackson
"Almost. That’s Larry Jackson’s career in a word. He almost led his junior college football team to an undefeated season. In baseball’s major leagues, he won almost 200 games, almost pitched a perfect game, and almost won a Cy Young Award." —Society For American Baseball Research
24. Tom Gordon
Career: 21 seasons (1988-1999, 2001-09)
Teams: Kansas City Royals (1988-1995),Boston Red Sox (1996-99), Chicago Cubs (2001-02), Houston Astros (2002), Chicago White Sox (2003), New York Yankees (2004-05), Philadelphia Phillies (2006-08), Arizona Diamondbacks (2009)
Career statistics: 138-126/3.96/158
Bottom Line: Tom Gordon
A limited repertoire reduced his effectiveness as a starter in the first half of his career. But when Flash moved to the bullpen, where his live heater and killer curve played better, his career took off. He limited opponents to a crazy-good .618 OPS as a reliever.
Still, the guy received only three All-Star Game invitations — two of them after he had turned 36 years old.
In Their Own Words: Tom Gordon
"Tom Gordon was Trisha's and her Dad's favorite Red Sox player. Tom Gordon was the Red Sox closer; that meant he usually came in around the eighth inning." —Stephen King, "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon"
23. Babe Adams
Career: 19 seasons (1908, 1910-21)
Teams: St. Louis Cardinals (1906), Pittsburgh Pirates (1907, 1909-1916, 1918-26)
Career statistics: 194-140/2.76/16
Bottom Line: Babe Adams
The 1909 World Series hero (3-0 record, 1.33 ERA) pitched in the long shadows of Hall of Famers Pete Alexander and Christy Mathewson, or else he might have a plaque in Cooperstown, New York, himself.
Despite five seasons of 17-or-more victories, only once did the control artist have as much as a 10 percent approval rate in a Hall of Fame election.
In Their Own Words: Babe Adams
"Babe Adams is the franchise’s most accomplished pitcher by many standards, including WAR. He ranks sixth in Pirates history, between Hall of Famers [Willie] Stargell and [Max] Carey, with 52.9 WAR. But Adams received little support from the Hall of Fame voting bodies despite finishing his 19-year career with 194 wins, a 2.76 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP in 2,995 1/3 innings." —MLB.com
22. Mark Langston
Career: 16 seasons (1984-99)
Teams: Seattle Mariners (1984-89), Montreal Expos (1989), California-Anaheim Angels (1990-97), San Diego Padres (1998), Cleveland Indians (1999)
Career statistics: 179-158/3.97/0
Bottom Line: Mark Langston
Some remember the player that the M’s acquired for this left-hander more than he actually accomplished with them. That person would be Randy Johnson, of course.
Yet early in his career, Langston was dominant himself. In his first five full seasons, he won 70 games and was the American League strikeout leader three times. He did this with a team that never had more than 78 W’s in any of them.
In Their Own Words: Mark Langston
"This is part of the price, the parcel, of signing the longest major league contract in years for the most money in years. Mark Langston, a one-man California gold rush, got five years and $16 million from Angel owner Gene Autry." —Seattle Times, April 1990
21. Hippo Vaughn
Career: 13 seasons (1908, 1910-21)
Teams: New York Yankees (1908, 1910-12), Washington Senators (1912), Chicago Cubs (1913-21)
Career statistics: 178-137/2.49/5
Bottom Line: Hippo Vaughn
This right-hander probably would have claimed the 1918 Cy Young Award had there been one, but since we don’t know that for certain, we’ll tweak the eligibility requirement here.
In a seven-year span (1914-20), his average season was 293 innings pitched, 20-13 record and 2.16 ERA. Even so, he wasn’t even the best pitcher in his own league, a title that Pete Alexander held beyond dispute.
In Their Own Words: Hippo Vaughn
"Some ballplayers are defined by one moment. Jim 'Hippo' Vaughn was such a player. Mentioning his name evokes a knee-jerk reaction from a knowledgeable fan: 'Oh, yes, he threw the double no-hitter with Fred Toney in 1917.' This is unfortunate because that game is but one in the career of a pitcher whose overall performance was excellent. From 1914 to 1920, Vaughn was the best lefty in the National League if not in the game, but his short career leaves him just this side of the Hall of Fame." —Society For American Baseball Research
20. Sam McDowell
Career: 15 seasons (1961-75)
Teams: Cleveland Indians (1961-71), San Francisco Giants (1972-73),New York Yankees (1973-74), Pittsburgh Pirates (1975)
Career statistics: 141-134/3.17/14
Bottom Line: Sam McDowell
“Faster than (Sandy) Koufax?” That’s what Sports Illustrated wondered about Sudden Sam in the Summer of ’66. How ‘bout “Almost As Good As Koufax?”
In his most dominant stretch (1965-70), he averaged 261 innings pitched, 15 wins and 275 strikeouts over six seasons. In his best such run (1961-66), Koufax checked in at 272, 21.5 and 285.5 with a far better team. Of course, Sudden Sam wasn’t Koofoo. But the American League version did a darn good impersonation.
In Their Own Words: Sam McDowell
"It's no fun throwing fastballs to guys who can't hit them. The real challenge is getting them out on the stuff they can hit." —Sam McDowell
19. Al Leiter
Career: 19 seasons (1987-2005)
Teams: New York Yankees (1987-89, 2005), Toronto Blue Jays (1989-95), Florida Marlins (1996-97, 2005), New York Mets (1998-2004)
Career statistics: 162-132/3.80/2
Bottom Line: Al Leiter
Remarkably, this late-bloomer recorded all except 33 of his victories after he turned the big three-oh. He pulled this off in the middle of the steroids epidemic.
Yeah, we know what you’re thinkin’, but he wasn’t the type. Rather, it was Yankees teammate Ron Guidry who taught the lefty the cutter that turned around what would become a successful if underappreciated career.
In Their Own Words: Al Leiter
"Pitches are like pages of a book; they're so important. The chess game; how I set you up early, and how I'll do it differently later." —Al Leiter
18. Tim Hudson
Career: 17 seasons (1999-2015)
Teams: Oakland Athletics (1999-2004), Atlanta Braves (2005-13), San Francisco Giants (2014-15)
Career statistics: 222-133/3.49/0
Bottom Line: Tim Hudson
This right-hander had a half-dozen seasons of at least 15 wins and a sub-3.50 earned run average. He also won more games than he lost every season until he was 38 years old.
Somehow, he never won an individual award that mattered. The only time he finished higher than fourth in a Cy Young Award vote (2000), Pedro Martinez pitched absolutely out of his mind.
In Their Own Words: Tim Hudson
"My dad always told me to play hard and know that the people you're competing with and against are working just as hard or harder. So don't let them outwork you." —Tim Hudson
17. Chuck Finley
Career: 17 seasons (1986-2002)
Teams: California-Anaheim Angels (1986-99), Cleveland Indians (2000-02), St. Louis Cardinals (2002)
Career statistics: 200-173/3.85/0
Bottom Line: Chuck Finley
This long, tall lefty was widely known to be one of the better American League starters of his day. Sorry, unh-unh. Anyfranchise leader in games started, innings pitched, victories and WAR is better than just pretty good unless it comes with the Bad New Bears.
While the guy never won more than 18 games in a season, he reached double figures 11 times over a 12-season span.
16. Mark Buehrle
Career: 16 seasons (2000-15)
Teams: Chicago White Sox (2000-11), Miami Marlins (2012), Toronto Blue Jays (2013-15)
Career statistics: 214-160/3.81/0
Bottom Line: Mark Buehrle
This left-hander had at least 30 starts and 10 victories every season that he pitched in the bigs. Better yet, he worked faster than a burglar who was double-parked. Catch ball, throw ball.
Hey, look — it’s a 2.5-hour game! Yeah, baseball sure could use more Mark Buehrles right now.
In Their Own Words: Mark Buehrle
"I was so small, I wasn't even going to go back out for my junior year. But my mom and dad sat me down and said, 'We didn't raise a quitter — you're going back out.' I made the team, and everything happened from there." —Mark Buehrle
15. Brad Radke
Career: 12 seasons (1995-2006)
Teams: Minnesota Twins (1995-2006)
Career statistics: 148-139/4.22/0
Bottom Line: Brad Radke
This one-time, 20-game winner was good for 30-plus starts and 200-plus innings every season except the first and last. He was good when his team sucked in the first six seasons, and he was very good when his team was competitive in the last half-dozen seasons.
Too bad all he got was one trip to the All-Star Game in return.
In Their Own Words: Brad Radke
"He wasn't flashy, wasn't overpowering and was usually underrated by everyone except his teammates and the opposing batters who had to try to figure out a way to hit the guy. ... In Minnesota, there were always two things you could count on each year — ice fishing in the winter and quality starts by Radke in the summer." —Jim Molony, Baseball Perspectives
14. Wes Ferrell
Career: 12 seasons (1927-41)
Teams: Cleveland Indians (1927-1933), Boston Red Sox (1934-37), Washington Senators (1937-38), New York Yankees (1938-39), Brooklyn Dodgers (1940), Boston Braves (1941)
Career statistics: 193-128/4.04/13
Bottom Line: Wes Ferrell
His spectacular 1935 season remains one of the most complete and least known in baseball history — 322 1/3 innings pitched, 25-14 record, 3.52 ERA, .347 batting average, seven home runs, 32 RBI, .960 OPS.
Now get this — his brother and battery mate Rick was an All-Star selection but not him! One more thing — he finished second to Hank Greenberg in the Most Valuable Player race despite a massive edge in WAR (10.6-7.7). So when does the recount begin?
In Their Own Words: Wes Ferrell
"We’d go out into the fields after harvest time and hit for hours. Just hit an old beat-up nickel ball as far as it’d go and chase it down and throw it around. Saturday and Sunday were our big days, of course. That’s when we played team ball, around the countryside here." —Wes Ferrell
13. Luis Tiant
Career: 19 seasons (1964-82)
Teams: Cleveland Indians (1964-1969), Minnesota Twins (1970),Boston Red Sox (1971-78), New York Yankees (1979-80), Pittsburgh Pirates (1981), California Angels (1982)
Career statistics: 229-172/3.30/15
Bottom Line: Luis Tiant
As consistent as El Tiante was throughout his career, the side-winder was irrelevant too often. In the 1968 Year of the Pitcher, he was more dominant than Denny McLain, the runaway Cy Young Award winner on his 31-6 record alone. Six years later, he received nary a first-place vote in what should have been a tight five-man race. (He finished in a tie for fourth.)
His career numbers most closely resemble those of Jim Hunter and Jim Bunning, both Hall of Famers. Yet only in his first year of HOF eligibility did he receive as much as 20 percent of the vote.
In Their Own Words: Luis Tiant
"The fastball is the best pitch in baseball. It's like having five pitches if you know how to move it around." —Luis Tiant
12. Jimmy Key
Career: 15 seasons (1984-98)
Teams: Toronto Blue Jays (1984-92), New York Yankees (1993-96), Baltimore Orioles (1997-98)
Career statistics: 186-117/3.51/10
Bottom Line: Jimmy Key
This Clemson product was the very definition of crafty left-hander. Coupled with the fact that his best years came north of the border, that explains his relative lack of league-wide acclaim.
All except one of his five All-Star appearances came after he turned 30 years old.
In Their Own Words: Jimmy Key
"(Jimmy Key) is a pitcher, not a thrower. He has an average fastball, a good sinker and curve, and knows how to change speed on his pitches. He also throws a cut fastball with good movement on it. And his control is outstanding." —Al Widmar, Baseball Digest
11. Rick Reuschel
Career: 19 seasons (1972-81, 1983-91)
Teams: Chicago Cubs (1972-81, 1983-84), Pittsburgh Pirates (1985-87), San Francisco Giants (1987-91),
Career statistics: 214-191/3.37/5
Bottom Line: Rick Reuschel
How can a guy win this many games and not be widely acknowledged as one of the best pitchers of his time? Bo knows. They still haven’t found the ball that Bo Jackson launched off him in the 1989 All-Star Game, a monstrous home run that became part of his legacy.
Then there’s his nickname — The Whale. If he had been known as, say, The Big Fish, he might have won the 1977 Cy Young Award that he deserved.
In Their Own Words: Rick Reuschel
"I should also say that Ricky Eugene Reuschel wasn't a fat man ... just a big man, 6-3 and 235 (nicknamed 'Big Daddy' for his size), and despite his somewhat paunchy appearance, he was a tremendous athlete." —Al Yellon, BleedCubbieBlue.com
10. Wilbur Wood
Career: 17 seasons (1961-65, 1967-78)
Teams: Boston Red Sox (1961-64) Pittsburgh Pirates (1964-65), Chicago White Sox (1967-78),
Career statistics: 164-156/3.24/57
Bottom Line: Wilbur Wood
How much would this portly left-hander have been worth today? While teammate Dick Allen stole the show, the White Sox knuckleballer served as a one-man rotation. He averaged 45 starts and 21 victories over five seasons (1971-75) before a shattered left kneecap cut short his career.
Among knuckleballers, he was in a class with Hall of Famers Phil Niekro and Hoyt Wilhelm — and his slower flutter ball was easier to catch.
In Their Own Words: WIlbur Wood
"Arguably the best left-handed knuckleball pitcher in major league history, Wilbur Wood’s 19-year professional baseball career may be best described as a case study in patience, resiliency, and determination." —Society For American Baseball Research
9. Dave Stieb
Career: 15 seasons (1979-93, 1998)
Teams: Toronto Blue Jays (1979-92, 1998), Chicago White Sox (1993)
Career statistics: 176-137/3.44/3
Bottom Line: Dave Stieb
If WAR had been the standard, then this prickly right-hander with the drop-dead slider would have been the first pitcher to capture three consecutive Cy Young Awards in baseball history. Problem was, the guy wasn’t liked even by some teammates, let alone feckless media who allowed personality to cloud their judgements.
This cannot be debated: He won more games than any major league pitcher except Jack Morris in the 1980s decade, and his WAR total (45.2) blew everyone away.
In Their Own Words: Dave Stieb
"Dave Stieb may have received a World Series ring with the Toronto Blue Jays when they won their first World Series in 1992, but the pitcher was at the tail end of his career and had little to do with the coveted trophy landing north of the border. He did however give baseball fans the first legitimate reason to look there in the first place." —NotInHallofFame.com
8. Eddie Rommel
Career: 13 seasons (1920-32)
Teams: Philadelphia Athletics (1920-32)
Career statistics: 171-119/3.54/30
Bottom Line: Eddie Rommel
The father of the modern knuckleball was a two-time, 20-game winner, not to mention one of the best American League starters in the 1920s decade.
By the time the Athletics achieved dominance, however, he had been banished to the bullpen, a role player amid a Hall of Fame cast. Then he became an umpire and people knew his name again.
In Their Own Words: Eddie Rommel
"Eddie Rommel had two careers in baseball, and created some milestones in both of them. As a right-handed pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics, he was the first moundsman to make extensive use of the knuckleball. After retiring as a player and working briefly as a coach and minor league manager, he became an umpire, one good enough to spend 22 seasons in the American League. In 1956, Rommel and Frank Umont became the first two 20th-century major league umpires to wear eyeglasses, though Rommel did it only when he was umpiring on the bases during night games." —Society For American Baseball Research
7. Urban Shocker
Career: 13 seasons (1916-28)
Teams: New York Yankees (1916-17, 1925-28), St. Louis Browns (1918-24)
Career statistics: 187-117/3.17/25
Bottom Line: Urban Shocker
Before Wally Pipp, the Yankee who was famously replaced by Lou Gehrig at first base, there was George Pipgras, who started ahead of this 18-game winner in the 1927 World Series.
The spitballer had arrived to New York after four 20-win seasons with erratic Browns teams, destined to become known as the best player on the fabled Yankees team who few remember.
In Their Own Words: Urban Shocker
"It almost seemed unfair that the Yankees obtained Urban Shocker from the St. Louis Browns. Shocker won 20 games four years in a row for the Browns, and now he was an added gun to the best team in baseball. Especially when one considers the Yankees were Shocker’s first major league club and they unloaded him to St. Louis in 1918." —Society For American Baseball Research
6. Kevin Brown
Career: 19 seasons (1986, 1988-2005)
Teams: Texas Rangers (1986, 1988-94), Baltimore Orioles (1995), Florida Marlins (1996-97), San Diego Padres (1998), Los Angeles Dodgers (1999-2003), New York Mets (2004-05)
Career statistics: 211-144/3.28/0
Bottom Line: Kevin Brown
This late-bloomer was scrooged out of two Cy Young Awards, the first in 1996 (John Smoltz) and the second only two years later (Tom Glavine). Only Cheatin’ Andy Pettitte did better than his 143 victories in the 1990s decade, yet he received barely 2 percent of the vote in his only year on the Hall of Fame ballot.
Seriously, what did this guy do to deserve such shabby treatment except play with too many mid-market teams?
In Their Own Words: Kevin Brown
"A lot of baseball players take flak for their high salaries. One of those who did was (Kevin Brown), who was the first man in professional baseball to sign a contract worth $100 million. Sadly for Brown, his deterioration rendered that one of the worst contracts as during the final years of his career he was not a player who should have been amongst the games highest paid." —NotInTheHallofFame.com
5. Kevin Appier
Career: 16 seasons (1989-2004)
Teams: Kansas City Royals (1989-99, 2003-04), Oakland Athletics (1999-2000), New York Mets (2001), Anaheim Angels (2002-03)
Career statistics: 169-137/3.74/0
Bottom Line: Kevin Appier
That slow, roundhouse curveball of his made one want to pick up a bat and get in the batter’s box immediately. But the big tease knew how to pitch, had good enough stuff and rarely strayed to the inner half of the plate.
Only in his rookie season did the Royals chalk up more than 84 victories. Yet the one-time All-Star won more games than he lost seven consecutive times.
In Their Own Words: Kevin Appier
"Kevin Appier always had great stuff and a good arm. He had games where he was dominant. His slider was so good that right-handed batters didn't want any part of it. He had a tendency to throw a lot of pitches, which hurt him in the later innings of a lot of games. He just wore himself down. His mechanics were unusual. I'm not sure you would ever take a video of Ape's delivery and use it as an example of great mechanics. For him, though, it worked." —Denny Matthews, Tales From The Kansas City Royals Dugout
4. Cole Hamels
Career: 15 seasons (2006-20)
Teams: Philadelphia Phillies (2006-15), Texas Rangers (2015-18), Chicago Cubs (2018-19), Atlanta Braves (2020)
Career statistics: 163-122/3.43/0
Bottom Line: Cole Hamels
Because this lefty won more than 15 games in a season only once, he seldom was mentioned with the elite pitchers of the game. Fact is, over a 10-year span (2007-16), few were more consistent in either league.
And let’s not forget his 2008 postseason — five starts, 4-0 record and 1.80 ERA — a baseball Picasso if there ever is one.
In Their Own Words: Cole Hamels
"I kept believing that, if I got my innings in, it would come. I just kept believing." —Cole Hamels
3. Roy Oswalt
Career: 13 seasons(2001-13)
Teams: Houston Astros (2001-10), Philadelphia Phillies (2010-11), Texas Rangers (2012), Colorado Rockies (2013)
Career statistics: 163-102/3.36/0
Bottom Line: Roy Oswalt
This right-hander received Cy Young Award votes six times. Twice, he won 20 games in a season. He owned a 5-2 record in the postseason. He ranks among or close to the top 100 in win-loss percentage, strikeouts, strikeouts per base on balls ratio and WAR in baseball history.
By the modern Harold Baines standard, is this guy a first-ballot Hall of Famer or what?
In Their Own Words: Roy Oswalt
"I grew up in a small town where you know everyone. ... I've been told all my life that I come from too small a town to compete with some of the guys that competed in a higher level growing up. And that kind of drove me through college and drove me in the minor leagues, because I got to face all those guys in the minors." —Roy Oswalt
2. Dan Quisenberry
Career: 12 seasons (1979-90)
Teams: Kansas City Royals (1979-88), St. Louis Cardinals (1988-89), San Francisco Giants (1990)
Career statistics: 56-46/2.66/244
Bottom Line: Dan Quisenberry
Four-time league saves leader Lee Smith had greater longevity while this five-time saves leader had greater effectiveness, not to mention one more World Series title in which he played a key role.
So how is it that Lee Arthur gained Hall of Fame induction but the Quiz never received more than 4 percent of the vote? Please discuss.
1. Curt Schilling
Career: 20 seasons (1988-2007)
Teams: Baltimore Orioles (1988-90), Houston Astros (1991), Philadelphia Phillies (1992-2000), Arizona Diamondbacks (2000-03), Boston Red Sox (2004-07)
Career statistics: 216-146/3.46/22
Bottom Line: Curt Schilling
OK, yes, this guy is controversial (to put it politely).
But politics aside, we hate to snub a career 216-game winner (more than 16 current HOFers with at least 350 career starts) and three-time Cy Young Award runner-up who is on the short list of greatest postseason players ever as the only major league pitcher to win more games than he lost in all five postseason rounds — ALDS, NLDS, ALCS, NLCS and World Series.
Don't hate us.
In Their Own Words: Curt Schilling
"My father left me with a saying that I've carried my entire life and tried to pass on to our kids: 'Tough times don't last, tough people do.'" —Curt Schilling