Can You Identify These Legendary MLB Pitchers?

By: Daniel Yetman
Image: Wiki Commons by ScottRAnselmo

About This Quiz

Pitchers are a special breed of athlete. There's not one body type that universally makes a pitcher great. Many Hall of Fame pitchers have a well above average height. Randy Johnson, one of the fastest-throwing pitchers of all-time, is listed at 6'10". Joe Rauch is the tallest player to ever play in the league. The Washington Nationals pitcher towers over hitters at 6'11".

At the other end of the spectrum, you have pitchers like Tim Lincecum, who is 5'11". Despite his small stature (compared to other pitchers), Tim won the Cy Young award twice and, at his prime, regularly touched mid-nineties with his fastball.

Not all pitchers rely on their fastball. Some pitchers have made it to the majors while throwing at pedestrian velocities. Tim Wakefield pitched in the majors for almost 20 years, with his main pitch being his knuckleball. He would generally pitch the knuckleball at a velocity in the mid-sixties, about two-thirds the speed of most guys. He even occasionally threw in an offspeed knuckle that wouldn't even clock at 60 mph. 

How many pitchers do you think you can recognize? Warning: if you're not a baseball nut, you might have trouble with some of these. We're going to put your baseball knowledge to the test. Are you ready?

Walter Johnson pitched from 1907 to 1927. He spent his entire career with the Washington Senators. During his stint in the MLB, he posted a lifetime 2.17 ERA. He led the league in strikeouts an amazing 12 times.

Pedro Martinez is one of the most dominant pitchers to ever play the game. From 1997 to 2003, his highest ERA was 2.83. In 1997 and 1999 he had over 300 strikeouts. Checkout this line from 1999: 23-4, 2.07ERA, 0.923WHIP, 313K.

Christie Mathewson played from 1900-1916. For 12 straight seasons, he won more than 22 games. He also had more than 30 wins four times, and he was one of the most dominating pitchers of his time.

Greg Maddux won the National League Cy Young from 1992 to 1995. 1995 was arguably his best season (it's hard to pick just one). He slashed 19-2, 1.63 ERA, 0.811WHIP, and 181K. He also had an ERA under 2.00 in 1994 with an astounding 1.56.

Cy Young played from 1890 to 1911. He still holds the record for most MLB wins (511). He is unquestionably one of the best pitchers of all time, having won more than 20 games a staggering 15 times. However, even the best lose sometimes. CY Young also holds the record for the most losses with 316.

Randy Johnson is best known for his lanky frame and blistering fastball that would regularly reach over 100MPH. Johnson won the Cy Young award five times, second to Roger Clemens. He also broke 300 strikeouts in a season six times in his career. In 2001, he had an amazing 372K.

Kevin Brown was a six-time All-Star who had a great career with several teams. he led the American League in strikeout as a member of the Rangers. He also led the National League in ERA with the Dodgers. He slashed a career 211-144, 3.28ERA, 1.22WHIP, 2397K.

Orel Hershiser played in the league from 1983 to 2000. He reached at least 10 wins 13 times in his career. In 1988, he had one of the best seasons of any pitcher. He pitched his way to a line of 23-8, 2.26ERA, 1.06WHIP and 178K. He also set the MLB record of most scoreless innings that season while tossing 59 frames without allowing a run.

Felix Hernandez is one of the few pitchers to ever pitch a perfect game. He has played his entire career (thus far) in Seattle. He managed to take home the Cy Young Award for best American League pitcher in 2010 even though he was playing on a team that offered very little offensive support.

CC Sabathia has enjoyed a consistent career. He took home the American League Cy Young award in 2007. He started his career in Cleveland before moving on to the Yankees. In 2019, he broke 3,000 strikeouts for his career. He also has 247 career wins (at the time of writing).

Dizzy Dean led the National League in strikeouts four times as a member of the Cardinals. In 1934, he took home the MVP award with a 30-win season. He also had a 2.66ERA, 1.17WHIP, and 195K in the same season. He won 150 games over his injury-shortened career.

Curt Shilling won 20 games three times in his career. He's enjoyed a successful career spanning about 20 years. However, his lasting legacy might be the bloody sock game in the 2004 ALCS when the Red Sox came back to beat the Yankees after being down 0-3 in the series.

Early managed to win more than 20 games five times in his career. Each season with more than 20 wins came when he was in his 30s. He had at least 10 wins 15 times in his career. Over 24 years, he won a total of 300 games and struck out 2,334 batters.

Luis Tiant was famous for having one of the most unusual deliveries of any pitcher in baseball. He enjoyed a successful career with more than 200 wins and 2400 strikeouts. However, he's not currently in the Hall of Fame even though many people believe he deserves to be in.

Mike Mussina had a consistent career over his 18 seasons in the MLB. He had at least 10 wins in 17 seasons in the league. He won the Gold Glove award for top defensive pitcher in the league seven times. His last season in baseball was his only 20-win season.

John Smoltz was a major piece for the Atlanta Braves in the 1990s. He was an All-Star eight times in his career. In 1996, he won the National League Cy Young award. That season, he had 24 wins and 276 strikeouts. He had 3,084 strikeouts in his career.

Tom Glavine played his entire career with the Atlanta Braves. With his teammates Greg Maddux and John Smoltz, he helped the Braves become one of the most dominant teams in baseball throughout the 1990s. Glavine was an All-Star 10 times in his career and won 20 games or more five times.

Don Drysdale has the modern-day record for most hit batters. In his career, he plunked 154 hitters at the plate. He won the National League Cy Young award in 1962 when he finished the year with 25 wins. He finished his career with 209 wins and 2486K.

'Doc' Halladay won a Cy Young award in both leagues: one with the Blue Jays and one with the Phillies. He was one of the most dominant pitchers in the league for more than a decade. Shortly after retiring from baseball, he died in a small plane crash that he was piloting.

It's hard to say exactly how fast Nolan Ryan would pitch if his pitch speed was measured with modern technology. He hit 100.9MPH in 1974, but the pitch was measured from eight feet away from home plate. Some people think he might even hit 108MPH if measured at home plate like modern pitches.

Jordan Hicks is still in the early stages of his career. However, he's quickly established himself as one of the fastest throwers in MLB history. In 2018, he threw the fastest pitch of the season at 105.1MPH. He consistently throws over 100MPH, but only time will tell how his career will develop.

Unlike some pitchers who made a legacy for themselves with one team, David Wells consistently moved around the league. He played for nine teams over his career. He had two stints with Toronto and played eight seasons there, the most of any one city. He won one World Series with the Blue Jays and one with the Yankees.

Mariano Rivera was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2019. He was the first player to be elected unanimously. He's also baseball's all-time saves leader with 652. He qualified for 13 All-Star teams and won the World Series five times with the Yankees.

Eddie had a variety of pitches he would use to make batters look silly including his knuckleball, knuckle-curve, and spitball. He was part of the Black Sox Scandal, where gamblers instructed him to hit the first batter of the World Series in exchange for $10,000.

Palmer is the only pitcher to win a World Series game in three decades. He won the World Series with the Orioles in 1966, 1970, and 1983. He broke 20 wins in a season eight times and won the Cy Young award three times in a four year period.

Middle relievers usually aren't the stars of the team. However, Mike Stanton played a critical role helping the Yankees win three World Series in a row. In the six seasons he spent in New York, he appeared in 456 games, which is the fourth most in Yankee history.

Clayton Kershaw is one of the top pitchers to ever play for the Dodgers. He is a seven time all-star (and is still only 31 years old). He's already won the Cy Young award three times in his career. He also won the National League MVP award in 2014 and has led the league in strikeouts three times.

Justin Verlander has been one of the best pitchers since the year 2000. He has made an All-Star team seven times, took home the Cy Young in 2011, and has pitched two no-hitters. He has led the league in strikeouts five times including the 2018 season.

Fenway Park isn't the easiest park in the league for left-handed pitchers, but Jon Lester still managed to find success there. He won the World Series twice with the Red Sox and once again with the Chicago Cubs.

Max Scherzer has already amassed over 2500K even though he's only 34. He has pitched an immaculate inning twice in his career. An immaculate inning is when a pitcher strikes out the side using the minimum number of pitches (nine).

Steve Carlton played with six different teams over his career. However, he found the most success as a member of the Phillies. He has the second most strikeouts of any left-handed pitcher.

Gaylord Perry's career was spread over 21 seasons. He played for nine teams during his tenure in the league. He won the Cy Young award twice and amassed 3,534 strikeouts, the eighth most of all time.

Zach Greinke has been consistently good for the past 10 years. He won the American league Cy Young in 2009, and since he came into the league in 2004, he has an average ERA of 3.38.

Bartolo Colon has been around the league more than almost everybody. He started his career in Cleveland and has since played in Montreal, Chicago, Anaheim, Boston, Chicago (again), New York, Oakland, New York (again), Atlanta, Minnesota and Texas.

Tommy John is number 60 on the career strikeout list. However, he might be more famous for being the first pitcher to get what's become known as "Tommy John surgery." Tommy John surgery is an ulnar collateral ligament reconstructive surgery (ligament in the elbow joint).

Before Kenny Rogers was a country music star, he was a baseball player. OK, so it's a different Kenny Rogers. In 1994, Rogers pitched a perfect game against the Angels.

Andy Pettitte pitched with the Yankees for the majority of his career besides a brief stint with the Astros. He never won the Cy Young award, but he had a consistently dominant career which led to his number 46 being retired with the Yankees.

Jamie Moyer had a long career, spanning 25 years with eight teams. He won the World Series as a member of the Phillies in 2008. He was 49 when he made his last appearance in an MLB game.

James "Catfish" Hunter won 224 games as a member of the Athletics and Yankees. He died when he was 53, less than a year after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. He won the Cy Young in 1974.

Red Faber played on the Black Sox team that became famous for throwing games for money. He was not involved with the scandal himself, having been injured at the time of the World Series. He was the last legal spitball pitcher.

About Zoo

Our goal at Zoo.com is to keep you entertained in this crazy life we all live.

We want you to look inward and explore new and interesting things about yourself. We want you to look outward and marvel at the world around you. We want you to laugh at past memories that helped shape the person you’ve become. We want to dream with you about all your future holds. Our hope is our quizzes and articles inspire you to do just that.

Life is a zoo! Embrace it on Zoo.com.

Explore More Quizzes