The 100 Greatest in 100 Days: #4 Roger Clemens

Hurling in at #4 is “The Rocket” Roger Clemens. Even among the elite pitchers in baseball history, Clemens stands out. His 24-year career is littered with one-of-a-kind accomplishments and an eye-popping run of peak longevity. Clemens’ seven Cy Youngs are the most all-time, two more than any other pitcher. He finished in the top-3 10 times which is the most ever. He won the 1986 AL MVP, making him the only pitcher in history with more than three Cy Youngs and an MVP. Clemens’ Cy Young Awards were won over a span of 19 seasons which is, by far, the longest stretch in history. He was the 7th youngest pitcher in history to win the award in 1986 at the age of 24, and was the oldest pitcher to win it in 2004 at the game of 42.  He won the 1986 All-Star MVP, making him the only pitcher in history to win the Cy Young Award, MVP, and All-Star MVP, and he did it all in the same season. What makes Clemens’ career so remarkable is his resume stacks up not just against the elite pitchers of the last 50 years, but against the OGs from more than 100 years ago. Since Major League Baseball formed in 1903, his seven seasons of at least a 160 ERA+ and 200 innings are tied for the 2nd most all-time and his eight seasons of at least a 150 ERA+ and 200 innings are tied for the most all-time. His 10 seasons of at least a 140 ERA+ and 200 innings are tied for the most all-time and his 13 seasons of at least a 130 ERA+ and 200 innings are also tied for the most all-time. His 14 seasons of at least 120 ERA+ and 200 innings are the most in history and his 19 seasons of greater than a 100 ERA+ and 170 innings are tied for the most in history. Clemens’ six seasons of at least 20 wins and fewer than 10 losses are tied for the most in history and his five seasons of at least 20 wins and fewer than eight losses are the most all-time. He pitched 12 seasons with at least 30 starts and no more than 10 losses which are the most in history.  He pitched three seasons with at least an .800 winning percentage and 30 starts which are also the most all-time. He’s the only pitcher in history with at least 600 career starts and at least a .658 winning percentage and the only pitcher in history with at least 4,000 strikeouts and a .658 winning percentage. Clemens had three seasons of at least a 210 ERA+ and 210 innings which are tied for the most since 1919. His 143 career ERA+ is the highest since 1929 (min. of 3,000 innings). Clemens led the league in ERA+ eight times which is the most since 1929 and the 2nd most by a pitcher. He led the league in field independent pitching nine times which is tied for the most all-time and shutouts six times which is the most since 1913. Clemens took six teams and three different franchises to the World Series and led the Yankees to back-to-back World Series championships in 1999 and 2000 in which he pitched a combined 15.2 innings with a .57 ERA and .51 WHIP.

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