Some of the greatest pitchers of all-time have been left-handed. Although there are many who deserved a quality look, here's a list of the best left-handed pitchers of all-time.
5. Steve Carlton
At his peak, Steve Carlton was the all-time strikeout leader (1982-1984). Even now, he still sits fourth on the all-time strikeout list with 4,136 K's. He's 11th on the all-time win list with 329 and 2nd among lefties. Steve Carlton was the first pitcher to win four Cy Young awards. His 1972 season was incredible. He went 27-9 and became the last NL pitcher to win 25 games in a single season. There also hasn't been a pitcher (in any league, left-handed or not) to pitch 300 innings since Carlton did it in 1980.
4. Sandy Koufax
This famous southpaw only lasted 12 years in the bigs because of the excruciating pain caused by arthritis in his elbow. He led the league in 1961 with strikeouts with 269. In his final four seasons, he went 97-27 and led the league in ERA each year. His final year was dominant. he went 27-9 with a 1.73 ERA and 317 strikeouts. In his short career, he had four no-hitters. Who knows what his career would have been had he not been injured.
3. Lefty Grove
Born Robert Moses Grove, "Lefty" won 300 games in the Majors. He did so with an incredible winning percentage (.680), that still leads all pitchers who have won over 300 games. Lefty led the AL in strikeouts in each of his first seven seasons and won nine ERA titles during his career. His 1931 season was legendary. He went 31-4 with a 2.06 ERA and 175 strikeouts. He did all this while throwing 27 complete games and he even notched five saves.
2. Warren Spahn
Spahn amassed 363 wins, the most of any left-handed pitcher, and sixth most in baseball history, even though he missed three years of his career to military service. Warren Spahn won over 20 games 13 times in his career, including a 23-win season when he was 42 years old. He led the league in strikeouts four times and won three ERA titles. He was voted onto 14 All-Star teams, won four World Series games, pitched two no-hitters and threw an astonishing 382 complete games.
1. Randy Johnson
The overpowering dominance by this very tall 6'10" hurler has been made even more incredible by the fact that it was done during the "steroid era". "The Big Unit" finished his career with 303 wins and with 4,875 strikeouts (second only to Nolan Ryan). During his career, he earned 5 Cy Young awards, four of them won consecutively. Randy Johnson led the league in ERA four times and finished second three times.
He was fantastic in the post-season and was 3-0 with a 1.04 ERA in the 2001 World Series and won the co-MVP.
Randy Johnson pitched a no-hitter and perfect game and once struck out 20 guys in one game. He featured a vicious slider and threw extremely hard. His size, scowl, speed, and hair made him a terrifying force on the mound and the greatest left-handed pitcher of all-time.
Other Baseball Articles
- Baseball: Famous Scouting Reports of Hall of Famers
Ever wondered what the scouts saw in the Hall of Famers before they became Hall of Famers? Find out in this article!
- Baseball: The Best Rookie Seasons in Baseball Histor...
A look at the greatest rookie seasons in baseball history.
- Baseball: Best Left-Handed Batters of All-Time
A list of the greatest left-handed batters in baseball history.
© 2014 William
Jerry Soncrant on February 03, 2020:
Wheres HAL NEWHOUSER the Grear Tiger Lefty from the 40s and 50s??
Joe E on September 07, 2019:
I think Grove is the best. His numbers are far better than Warren Spahn's, (more efficient), though Spahnie was great. His best competition is Randy Johnson and Clayton Kershaw.
Frank LiCausi on September 20, 2018:
I do not believe any current pitcher will get to 300 wins; I feel that 270 wins should be enough for selection in the HOF based upon the need for relief pitchers.