Roger Clemens is the only pitcher with 300 or more victories who has not been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Baseball preserves statistics solely from the National League and the American League. There are no statistics available for players from the defunct International League or the United States National League.
Clemens, who had three seasons with 300 wins, came close to election in 2007 and 2009 when he received 75% and 79% of the vote, respectively. He remains on the ballot for future years if enough time passes without his election.
In fact, it may take longer than three years for someone to be excluded from the ballot. Seven men have been voted out over the course of their own careers: Harry Brecheen, Pete Browning, Jack Chesbro, George Bradley, Charlie Ferguson, Bill James and Ron Santo. None of them were elected during their first try at the ballot. The only exception is Harry Brecheen, who was elected in 1947 after not appearing on the ballot the previous year.
There are several reasons why Clemens has never been elected. Some voters believe that he used steroids throughout his career and others don't want to see a player with three decades between him and Andy Pettitte getting in. Others feel that his record should have been destroyed by this point in time.
Having 300 career victories has long been considered a lock for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Except for Clemens, who garnered barely half of the votes required for inclusion in his first appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2013, then lost votes from that number in 2014, all pitchers with 300 wins have been voted to the Hall of Fame.
Clemens is the only pitcher with more than 300 wins and zero years barred from baseball activity. He had 316 wins when he was banned for using performance-enhancing drugs during his time with the Boston Red Sox. The other three guys with 300 or more wins were all among the most popular players in baseball during their careers.
In fact, the only two no-brainers for enshrinement are Walter Johnson (359 wins) and Christy Matthews (307 wins). They both had great careers full of dominance - Johnson from the American League and Matthews from the National League - and they both have strong cases for being the best pitcher ever.
Other candidates who have earned votes but not enough to make it into Cooperstown include Grover Cleveland Alexander (309 wins), Carl Hubbell (312 wins), Harry Brecheen (313 wins), Herb Pennock (317 wins), Bill James (323 wins), Joe Niekro (331 wins), John Smoltz (336 wins), Tom Seaver (338 wins), Gaylord Perry (342 wins), Larry Sherry (347 wins), and Bob Gibson (355 wins).
Roger Clemens holds the second-most ERA championships, with six in the American League and one in the National League. He is followed by Roy Halladay, who has five ERA titles.
Clemens' 6.57 ERA is the lowest among active players. He is the only pitcher in MLB history to win an MVP award before his 30th birthday. The other five winners were all at least 32 years old when they won their awards.
Hall of Famer Bob Gibson has the most career ERA victories with 511. He is followed by Tom Seaver with 450 wins. Both pitchers are in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
In addition to Clemens and Halladay, others with five ERA titles include Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, and John Smoltz. All four pitchers are in the Hall of Fame.
Theodore Roosevelt was the first player elected to both the Hall of Fame as a pitcher (1886) and as a president (1944). He led the nation in strikeouts three times, had a 147-30 record, and earned $10,000 per year while playing in the America League. His ERA was 1.66.
Roger Clemens is undoubtedly one of the most qualified Hall of Fame candidates who has been denied election due to the specter of steroid usage. Nonetheless, Clemens' outstanding accomplishments have earned him the admiration of two massive fan bases: the Red Sox and the Yankees. It's hard to imagine either team voting against their favorite player ever.
Clemens had a stellar career as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees from 1984-2001. During that time, he led the American League in strikeouts five times and won the award three times. He also finished among the top five vote getters on eight occasions and won the Cy Young Award in 1987 when he went 44-3 with a 1.77 ERA.
However, his success came at a price: baseball officials suspect Clemens used steroids throughout much of his career. In 2007, he admitted using performance-enhancing drugs during his tenure with the Red Sox. In 2008, he again pleaded innocent despite being charged with perjury for denying under oath that he had used steroids.
In January 2009, Clemens finally received his long-awaited induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. However, even though he had the support of both teams, he fell short of the required votes from current players, leading many to believe that there was some sort of conspiracy against him.
What makes a pitcher eligible for the Hall of Fame? Today, we have set the bar pretty high, needing 300 wins while disregarding a pitcher with 3,000 strikeouts and 60 shutouts on the HOF ballot year after year. While it is possible that number may come down in the future, for now it remains at 300.
To date, three pitchers meet this criteria: Nolan Ryan (340), Randy Johnson (355), and Pedro Martinez (362). All three are sure bets to make it on their first try before being elected by the voters.
This doesn't mean they're all going to get in this time around. Ryan, for example, has been denied twice before being voted in by the writers. And Johnson and Martinez have not yet been voted in by the writers despite having more than 10 years' experience on the ballot.
In fact, only two other pitchers have ever been voted in by the writers: Walter Johnson and Greg Maddux. Both were immediate favorites after their seasons and were given the honor well before any significant vote was taken.
So, yes, it is possible that someone will be voted out next year if they don't meet enough opposition from other candidates. But for now, the bar has been set very high - even higher than anyone realizes - and it's hard to reach it unless you have a great career.
Pitchers in Major League Baseball with 300+ Career Wins 300 Wins Club Wins Due to Victory # 300 Specifics # 300 Wins Teamwork aids the club's victory. 7. Cy Young, 511, Boston Walter Johnson, 417, Washington, D.C.
The 300-win club. Cy Young has the all-time victory record. The 300-win club is a group of Major League Baseball pitchers who have won 300 or more games. This number has been attained by twenty-four pitchers.
3,000th strikeout for Verlander 14 of the other 16 pitchers have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. The two who aren't, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling, would almost certainly be in Cooperstown if it weren't for causes other than baseball. Clemens is under investigation for using steroids, while Schilling has alleged that people are trying to ruin his reputation by saying he's crazy.
Clemens has said he believes he will be cleared of all charges, but even if he is not, there is no way he could ever get on the ballot again. As for Schilling, even if he wins his lawsuit against his former employer, there are too many allegations against him to allow him back on the ballot.
The most recent pitcher not in the Hall of Fame to reach the 3,000-strikeout mark was Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers. Verlander is one strike away from becoming the first pitcher since Grover Cleveland Alexander in 1932 to reach 3,000 strikeouts. He's also one out away from reaching 300 wins. If Verlander gets on base more often than not, he'll meet both milestones this season.
Since the beginning of last season, only three pitchers have reached 3,000 strikeouts: Verlander, Randy Johnson and Tom Seaver. Of the three, only Verlander is currently eligible for the Hall of Fame. The other two are retired.