Sandy Koufax set a Major League Baseball record by topping the National League in ERA for five straight seasons. Jake Peavy topped all National League pitchers in 2007 with an ERA of 2.54. Although it is not recognized as such by the MLB, Koufax's perfect season also holds the record for lowest batting average against him,.209.
Koufax finished with 31 wins and 6 losses during that span and had an incredible 1.84 ERA in September games. He also led the Dodgers to the first two World Series titles in history. The only other time when a player has won 30 games while having a ERA under 2.00 is when Greg Maddux did so from 1992-1996 with the Chicago Cubs.
Peavy had a very good year at the age of 28 years old, going 20-4 with a 2.54 ERA. He also struck out 217 batters in 211 innings pitched.
Other candidates who could make this list include Tom Cheney (2.63 ERA in 1877), Bill James (3.06 in 1890), George Bradley (3.12 in 1892), John Clarkson (3.14 in 1895), and Fred Kelly (3.18 in 1903).
Koufax had three seasons with an ERA below 2.50 and four seasons with an ERA below 3.00.
Roger Clemens has the American League record with 4,167 strikeouts, while Steve Carlton holds the National League record with 4,000..
|†||Denotes elected to National Baseball Hall of Fame.|
|Bold||Denotes active player (with current season strikeouts shown).|
Hank Aaron has the most career RBI and has led the National League in four non-consecutive seasons. Matt Holliday won the RBI title in 2007, ending Ryan Howard's possible record-breaking string of four straight championships.
Aaron had 2134 hits before being retired by the Braves on August 26, 1995. He still holds many records including those to his head and leg injuries. Before Aaron, Joe DiMaggio was the only other player with 100 or more RBI in five consecutive years from 1941 to 1945.
Since 2001, the new RBI leader has been elected by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. The winner of this award is decided by how many runs batted in they have compared to their teammates.
It is very likely that Hank Aaron will remain the most prolific run producer in MLB history when he passes Joe DiMaggio's record sometime during October or November 2015.
It's also possible that someone else could break this record before then. In 2014, David Ortiz had a season worth of runs batted in due to an injury to Pedro Martinez. When Pedro returned in mid-September, David Ortiz had fallen behind Troy Glaus in the RBI race. However, when Pedro went back out for another week, Ortiz had yet to catch up.
On April 5, 1983, Steve Carlton of the Philadelphia Phillies throws against the New York Mets. Courtesy of Getty Images/Bettymann Archive Carlton had a 329–244 record in 24 seasons, yet he wasn't always on excellent teams. In 1982, his last season with the Phillies, they finished with a record of 82–80 and made it to the playoffs. Before that, in 1981, their first year in Philadelphia following their move from Washington, D.C., they finished with a record of 79–83.
In Game 1 of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Carlton pitched a complete-game victory as the Phillies defeated the Dodgers 3–0. In the process, he became the first pitcher to win 10 games during the regular season or postseasons. The Phillies went on to lose the series 4–1.
Carlton spent his entire career with the Phillies, except for two seasons (1978–1980) with the Chicago White Sox. He announced his retirement at the end of the 1982 season. During his tenure, he never lost more than eight games once and won at least 10 games five times.
After retiring, he returned to the Phillies in an executive role with the baseball operations department.
He died in June 2018 at the age of 70.
In 1916, Babe Ruth had the lowest ERA in the league. He started his Major League Baseball career as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox before moving to the outfield. Roger Clemens' seven ERA titles are the second-most in Major League Baseball history, trailing only Lefty Grove's nine. Clemens also has the most strikeout titles with 14, and his 203 wins are third behind Grover Hartley (220) and Grove (207).
Clemens is still playing today in his 36th season with the Houston Astros. He will turn 47 years old in April.
Among current players, Clayton Kershaw has the lowest ERA in the National League with a mark of 1.77. Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox leads all pitchers with three ERA titles. He is followed by Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets and Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians. All four pitchers have two ERA titles each.
Kershaw, deGrom, and Kluber were all chosen for the MLB All-Star Game this year. They will all be pitching in San Diego at the July 16 match-up between the American League and National League.
The All-Star Game is used as a format for both leagues to showcase their best players. It is not related to any particular player or team but rather it is an event that takes place during Midsummer Night's Baseball.
He also led the National League in strikeouts in each of those years, and he won his first of five earned run average crowns in 1905, with a 1.28 mark. He was a standout in that year's World Series against Mack's A's, starting, finishing, and shutting out Philadelphia three times to win the Giants their first world championship. Lefty led all pitchers with 14 strikeouts.
The first World Series played between two professional baseball teams from different cities took place in 1904. The New York Giants were champions that year, winning the last game of the series against their cross-town rivals, the New York Yankees. Lefty Tyler was the star of the show, throwing a complete game victory. After losing the first two games of the series, the Giants went on to win three in a row to take home the title.
Here are the other two winners of the first World Series: Jack Doyle (Chicago White Stockings) and Walter Johnson (National League).
Both of them pitched for their respective leagues in the inaugural series, but they didn't face off until next year's resumption of play following the original season's conclusion. In the interim, a new league had emerged - the American League - and neither Doyle nor Johnson belonged to it. So when they met again in the best-of-seven 1907 World Series, it was clear who the dominant force had been throughout the previous year - Ty Cobb's Georgia Tigers vs. Johnson's Nationals.