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The Wildest Pitchers in Baseball History

Nolan Ryan Led The League In Wild Pitches Six Times

Nolan Ryan Led The League In Wild Pitches Six Times

Not wild, like party wild. Not wild, like big beards, purple parachute pants or daring ‘dos. Not wild, like Mitch Williams.

These guys threw the most wild pitches ever.

Not so wild they couldn’t make it in the big leagues or even just make the big leagues. Just the opposite. A handful are even Hall of Famers, including the wildest of them all, Nolan Ryan. The others are Phil Niekro, Steve Carlton, Gaylord Perry, Walter Johnson and Tom Seaver.

It helps to have a lengthy career. Most of these pitchers played nearly 20 years or more than 20.

Ryan missed the glove 277 times, a full 51 more than second place, knuckler Niekro. Niekro is considered the best knuckle ball pitcher of all time and Ryan is baseball’s all-time strikeouts leader (and has a likely untouchable seven no-hitters).

Naturally, knuckle ballers pepper the list: both Niekros (brother Joe), Charlie Hough and Tim Wakefield.

It’s a colorful list of interesting players overall. They played all of their careers in the 20th and 21st centuries (no dudes from the 1800′s here). I excluded pitchers who accumulated wads of wild pitches before the unification of the National and American Leagues in 1901 (including Cy Young).

Most are right-handers. Then again, most pitchers have been right-handed.

And there’s one active. Where will A.J. Burnett finish up? He’s already in the top 10.

  PITCHER WILD PITCHES ARM SEASONS TEAMS
1. Nolan Ryan 277 R 1966, 1968-1993 New York Mets, California Angels, Houston Astros, Texas Rangers
2. Phil Niekro 226 R 1964-1987 Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Toronto Blue Jays
3. Jack Morris 206 R 1977-1994 Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians
4. Tommy John 187 L 1963-1974, 1976-1989 Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, California Angels, Oakland A’s
5. Steve Carlton 183 L 1965-1988 St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins
6. Charlie Hough 179 R 1970-1994 Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, Florida Marlins
7. Joe Niekro 172 R 1967-1988 Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres, Detroit Tigers, Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins
8. Gaylord Perry 160 R 1962-1983 San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals
9. Walter Johnson 154 R 1907-1927 Washington Senators
10. A.J. Burnett 152 R 1999-present Florida Marlins, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies
11. David Cone 149 R 1986-2001, 2003 Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox
12. John Smoltz 145 R 1988-1999, 2001-2009 Atlanta Braves
13. Roger Clemens 143 R 1984-2007 Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Houston Astros
14. Sam McDowell 140 L 1961-1975 Cleveland Indians, San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates
15. Mike Moore 135 R 1982-1995 Seattle Mariners, Oakland A’s, Detroit Tigers
16. Tim Wakefield 134 R 1992, 1993, 1995-2011 Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox
17. Chuck Finley 130 L 1986-2002 California/Anaheim Angels, Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals
18. Bobby Witt 128 R 1986-2001 Texas Rangers, Oakland A’s, Florida Marlins, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Cleveland Indians, Arizona Diamondbacks
19. Jim Kaat 128 L 1959-1983 Washington Senators, Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals
20. Tom Seaver 126 R 1967-1986 New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox

Photo: sportslogos.net

Derek Jeter’s Career Statistical Rankings

GAMES PLAYED

28. Graig Nettles 2,700
29. Darrell Evans 2,687
30. DEREK JETER 2,686
31. Paul Molitor 2,683
32. Ken Griffey 2,671

*

AT BATS

9. Stan Musial 10,972
10. Rickey Henderson 10,961
11. DEREK JETER 10,956
12. Willie Mays 10,881
13. Craig Biggio 10,876

*

PLATE APPEARANCES

11. Willie Mays 12,496
12. Dave Winfield 12,358
13. DEREK JETER 12,343
14. Robin Yount 12,249
15. Paul Molitor 12,167

*

HITS

7. Honus Wagner 3,420
8. Carl Yastrzemski 3,419
9. DEREK JETER 3,410
10. Paul Molitor 3,319
11. Eddie Collins 3,315

*

SINGLES

3. Eddie Collins 2,643
4. Cap Anson 2,614
5. DEREK JETER 2,552
6. Willie Keeler 2,513
7. Honus Wagner 2,424

*

STOLEN BASES

102. Hughie Jennings 359
102. Fielder Jones 359
104. Buck Ewing 354
104. DEREK JETER 354
104. Gary Pettis 354

*

HIT BY PITCH

14. Carlos Delgado 172
15. Alex Rodriguez 169
16. DEREK JETER 167
17. Kid Elberfeld 165
18. Chase Utley 163

*

STRIKEOUTS

14. Dave Kingman 1,816
15. Manny Ramirez 1,813
16. DEREK JETER 1,807
17. Alfonso Soriano 1,803
18. Ken Griffey, Jr. 1,779

*

DOUBLES

34. David Ortiz 539
34. Al Simmons 539
36. Lou Gehrig 534
36. DEREK JETER 534
38. Al Oliver 529

*

RUNS

9. Stan Musial 1,949
10. Alex Rodriguez 1,919
11. DEREK JETER 1,909
12. Lou Gehrig 1,888
13. Tris Speaker 1,882

*

TOTAL BASES

23. Paul Molitor 4,854
24. Al Kaline 4,852
25. DEREK JETER 4,850
26. Reggie Jackson 4,834
27. Manny Ramirez 4,826
*
OFFENSIVE WAR
18. Mel Ott 103.5
19. Nap Lajoie 97.8
20. DEREK JETER 95.2
21. Jimmie Foxx 94.3
22. Eddie Mathews 93.8

*

EXTRA-BASE HITS

77. Sam Crawford 864
78. DEREK JETER 858
78. Joe Medwick 858
80. Jim Edmonds 855
80. Paul Konerko 855

*

WALKS

88. Ozzie Smith 1,072
89. DEREK JETER 1,071
90. Harlond Clift 1,070
90. Keith Hernandez 1,070
92. Bernie Williams 1,069
93. Bill Dahlen 1,064

*

WAR

56. Larry Walker 72.6
57. Harry Heilmann 72.1
57. DEREK JETER 72.1
59. Rafael Palmeiro 71.6
60. Johnny Mize 71.0

*

RBI

117. Moises Alou 1,287
117. Scott Rolen 1,287
119. DEREK JETER 1,286
120. Del Ennis 1,284
121. Bob Johnson 1,283

*

BATTING AVERAGE

98. Baby Doll Jacobson .311(2)
98. DEREK JETER .311(2)
98. Taffy Wright .311(2)
101. Robinson Cano .311(0)
101. Rip Radcliff .311(0)

*

HOME RUNS

190. Matt Holliday 258
190. DEREK JETER 258
192. Bob Allison 256
192. Larry Parrish 256
192. Vada Pinson 256

*

TRIPLES

435. Gus Bell 66
435. Bobby Bonds 66
435. Lou Boudreau 66
435. Fred Carroll 66
435. Rickey Henderson 66
435. Orlando Hudson 66
435. Derek Jeter 66
435. Harry Lumley 66
435. Jack McCarthy 66
435. Hal McRae 66
435. Lloyd Moseby 66
435. Jack O’Connor 66
435. Amos Otis 66
435. Heinie Peitz 66
435. Curt Welch 66

*

ON-BASE PERCENTAGE (OBP)

175. Gavvy Cravath .380
175. Carl Yastrzemski .380
177. DEREK JETER .379
177. David Wright .379
179. George Sisler .379

*

ON-BASE PLUS SLUGGING (OPS)

285. Bruce Campbell .822
285. Rod Carew .822
285. Brad Fullmer .822
285. Harry Stovey .822
289. DEREK JETER .822
290. Joe Adcock .822

*

SLUGGING AVERAGE

475 Wade Boggs .443
475 DEREK JETER .443
475 John Romano .443
478 Juan Rivera .443
478 David Segui .443

 

Orel Hershiser, Clayton Kershaw and the Longest Scoreless Innings Pitched Streaks in Baseball History

Orel Hershiser Holds The Record With 59 Straight Scoreless Innings Pitched

Orel Hershiser Holds The Record With 59 Straight Scoreless Innings Pitched

Clayton Kershaw is currently riding a 36-inning scoreless streak, not enough to make today’s lists – but he’s pitching tonight and could make his mark on either the National League or Overall rankings of pitchers with the longest scoreless innings pitched streaks of all time.

Kershaw’s fellow Los Angeles Dodger, Orel Hershiser holds the all time record of 59 consecutive innings (1988) without giving up either an earned or unearned run. It’s quite a record, many think near unbreakable.

Only four pitchers in history – Hershiser, another Dodger, Don Drysdale, and old-timers Walter Johnson and Jack Coombs – breached the 50 consecutive scoreless innings barrier.

Even if Kershaw pitches a complete game shutout tonight, he’ll still need another 14 innings – likely two outings – to catch Hershiser.

Take a look below at the 10 longest scoreless innings pitched streaks in baseball history, courtesy baseball-almanac.com, first overall and then broken down by league.

OVERALL

  PITCHER TEAM LEAGUE CONSECUTIVE SCORELESS IP SEASON
1. Orel Hershiser Los Angeles Dodgers NL 59.0 1988
2. Don Drysdale Los Angeles Dodgers NL 58.0 1968
3. Walter Johnson Washington Senators AL 55.2 1913
4. Jack Coombs Philadelphia Athletics AL 53.0 1910
5. Bob Gibson St. Louis Cardinals NL 47.0 1968
6. Carl Hubbell New York Giants NL 45.1 1933
7. Cy Young Boston Americans AL 45.0 1904
7. Doc White Chicago White Sox AL 45.0 1904
7. Sal Maglie New York Giants NL 45.0 1950
10. R.A. Dickey New York Mets NL 44.2 2012

NATIONAL LEAGUE

PITCHER TEAM LEAGUE CONSECUTIVE SCORELESS IP SEASON
1. Orel Hershiser Los Angeles Dodgers NL 59.0 1988
2. Don Drysdale Los Angeles Dodgers NL 58.0 1968
3. Bob Gibson St. Louis Cardinals NL 47.0 1968
4. Carl Hubbell New York Giants NL 45.1 1933
5. Sal Maglie New York Giants NL 45.0 1950
6. R.A. Dickey New York Mets NL 44.2 2012
7. Ed Reulbach Chicago Cubs NL 44.0 1908
8. Brandon Webb Arizona Diamondbacks NL 42.0 2007
9. Jack Chesbro Pittsburgh Pirates NL 41.0 1902
9. Grover Cleveland Alexander Philadelphia Phillies NL 41.0 1911
9. Art Nehf Boston Braves NL 41.0 1917

AMERICAN LEAGUE

PITCHER TEAM LEAGUE CONSECUTIVE SCORELESS IP SEASON
1. Walter Johnson Washington Senators AL 55.2 1913
2. Jack Coombs Philadelphia Athletics AL 53.0 1910
3. Cy Young Boston Americans AL 45.0 1904
3. Doc White Chicago White Sox AL 45.0 1904
5. Rube Waddell Philadelphia Athletics AL 43.2 1905
6. Rube Foster Boston Red Sox AL 42.0 1914
7. Ted Lyons Chicago White Sox AL 41.0 1926
7. Luis Tiant Cleveland Indians AL 41.0 1968
9. Walter Johnson Washington Senators AL 40.0 1918
9. Luis Tiant Boston Red Sox AL 40.0 1972

Note: These rankings reflect regular season games only.

Photo: Tom Gannan / AP via latimes.com

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