There was a 4-way tie for 11th (each pitcher appeared on one ballot, and each was voted in 3rd place on those ballots).
Kimani Gregoire: The pitcher known as the “Big Six” or “Matty” ranks among the top pitchers ever in wins (373), shutouts (79), and ERA (2.13). He won at least 20 games 13 times and at least 30 games four times.
Matt Strobl: At first blush, it’s tempting to knock Grove down a few pegs for his propensity to put runners on base. After all, his lifetime WHIP of 1.28 is downright bloated compared to the others in these rankings. But that’s why it’s important to understand the era and the type of pitcher Grove was. His first goal was to strike you out; he led the league in Ks seven times. If he couldn’t – and as the WHIP indicated, the fiery Grove did indeed have some control issues – he made darn sure you didn’t score. He led the league in ERA a record nine times and led in Wins Above Replacement (pitchers) a record eight times. Grove’s career followed the end of the Dead Ball Era, and despite the game’s offensive output, he finished with an ERA of 3.06. That, as an Adjusted ERA+ stat, trails only Pedro Martinez for best all-time by a starter.
Mark Cebulski: Another 300-game lefty (his nickname: Lefty) who threatened to overtake Spahn for a while. The single greatest individual season achievement for a pitcher might have been Carlton’s nearly unbelievable 27 wins in 1972 for a Phillies team that barely won as many without him. His slider was absolutely nasty.
Mike Santangelo: Easily one of the most dominant pitchers of his time, Alexander’s stats are downright ridiculous. He led the league in in strikeouts six times during his career, WHIP (Walks/Hits per Inning Pitched) five times during his career, ERA (Earned Run Average) in four of the six seasons from 1915-1920, H/9 (Hits per nine innings) three times during his career, and K/BB (Strikeout to walk ration) three times during his career. If that’s not dominance then I’m not sure what is.
Brian Podoll: Even though this poll is about “MLB history,” the preponderance of legendary evidence concerning Paige in the Negro Leagues has to land him somewhere into this top five. Again, he was another pitcher who evolved with his longevity, going from firing peas past hitters to throwing virtually anything and everything, “including the kitchen sink” to end his brief impact upon MLB as an aged man. Anyone who could tell his Negro Leaguer fielders to sit down while he proceeds to strike out the side has to have a place on this list.
Mike Santangelo: This might be a bit misleading, as Satchel Paige only pitched in MLB for six years (well five years and a one game run in at the age 59 – where, by the way, he pitched three innings, allowed no runs, no walks, one hit, and had a strikeout). Where Paige’s fame comes from is, of course, the Negro Leagues. The stat that always stands out to me about Paige is that he pitched a shutout in just over 15 percent of the games he started (176 starts, 27 shutouts). He also had a K/9 rate of 8.1. People can debate whether he would have been as good in MLB or not, but there’s no denying what he did over the course of his career.
Up Next: 9th, 8th, and 7th Place