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All-Time American League Winningest Pitchers By Team
The best way to judge a great pitcher over time is by how many games he wins, plain and simple. Here, we take a look at the American League franchise leaders in pitching victories all-time. As with other hubs like these, some of the names will surprise you and some certainly will not.
Baltimore Orioles-Jim Palmer
Jim Palmer is an Orioles legend, having pitched his whole career for them, from 1965 to 1984 and helping the team to win three titles over that span. Palmer leads the Orioles all-time with 268 wins against 152 losses, to go along with a 2.86 lifetime ERA and 2212 strikeouts. He led the American League in wins three times, had 20 or more wins eight times, won the Cy Young Award three times, and even won four Gold Glove Awards. Palmer is currently a broadcaster for the Orioles.
Los Angeles Angels- Chuck Finley
Lefty Chuck Finley pitched for the Angels from 1986 to 1999, and during that time became the franchise leader in wins with 165 against 140 losses. Finley boasted a 3.72 ERA and 2151 strikeouts in 436 games for the Angels, and his best season was 1990 when he went 18-9 with a 2.40 ERA and 177 strikeouts. In 1993, Finley led the American League in complete games with 13.
Oakland Athletics-Eddie Plank
Eddie Plank pitched for the A's when they were in Philadelphia, from 1901-1914, and remains the franchise leader in pitching victories with 284 to go along with 162 losses. Plank also leads the franchise in strikeouts with 1985. His best season in an A's uniform overall was 1904, when he went 26-17 with a 2.17 ERA and 201 Ks. Plank had seven seasons of 20 or more wins with Philadelphia, and went on to pitch a few more seasons with St. Louis before retiring in 1917.
Toronto Blue Jays-Dave Stieb
Among other accomplishments, Dave Stieb pitched the first no-hitter in Blue Jays history in 1990. He's also the winningest pitcher in franchise history, with a career record of 175-134 with the team, who he played for from 1979-1992 and again in 1998. 1990 was Stieb's best season, going 18-6 with a 2.93 ERA and 125 strikeouts. He also helped lead the Jays to a World Series title in 1992.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays- Victor Zambrano
Victor Zambrano only pitched for the Devil Rays for a short time (2001-2004) before being traded to the Mets in the deal that brought Scott Kazmir to Tampa. But over that stretch of time, Zambrano became the Rays' leading winner with 35 victories against 27 losses. In 2003, Zambrano went 12-10 with 132 strikeouts. After pitching for the Mets and suffering a torn tendon in his elbow, he signed a minor league deal with Toronto but was released in July of 2007, and is now a free agent.
Cleveland Indians- Bob Feller
Bob Feller had some of the nastiest stuff and threw as hard as just about any pitcher in baseball history. He pitched for the Indians for his entire career (1936-1956, minus serving in the military during WWII), leading the franchise to this day with 266 wins against 162 losses. Feller also had a career ERA of 3.25, 2581 strikeouts, and 279 complete games. His best season overall was 1946 when Feller went 26-15 with a 2.18 earned run average and 348 Ks. Feller also led the American League in pitching wins six times and helped the Indians to their last world championship in 1948. He still lives in the Cleveland area.
Seattle Mariners- Jamie Moyer
Moyer is a journeyman pitcher who played for the Mariners longer than any other team, from 1996-2006, and leads the franchise all-time in victories with 145 to go against 87 losses, a 3.97 ERA and 1239 strikeouts. What's most impressive about Moyer is that he's a so-called "crafty" lefthander who throws a fastball in the eighties. That's probably contributed to his longevity and consistency as well. Moyer's best season in Seattle was 2003 when he went 21-7 with a 3.27 ERA. Moyer has also pitched for the Cubs, Rangers, Cardinals, Orioles, Red Sox and Phillies (he's still currently in Philadelphia's starting rotation).
Texas Rangers- Charlie Hough
Though he's lost 123 games in a Rangers uniform, knuckleballer Charlie Hough is also the franchise leader in wins with 139. Hough pitched for Texas from 1980-1990 and his best season with them was 1987 when he went 18-13 with a 3.79 ERA and 223 strikeouts. That same year, Hough became the oldest pitcher in American League history to lead the league in starts and innings pitched. He also pitched for the Dodgers, White Sox and Marlins before retiring in 1994, and is currently the pitching coach for the Inland Empire 66ers of the California league.
Boston Red Sox- Roger Clemens and Cy Young
Two of the greatest pitchers in baseball history are tied for the Red Sox franchise lead in wins all-time with 192, Roger Clemens and Cy Young. Clemens pitched for the Sox from 1986 to 1996 and posted a 192-111 record with a 3.06 ERA and 2590 strikeouts. Young pitched for the franchise from 1901-1908, winning 192 games against 112 losses with a 2.00 ERA and 1341 Ks. While Clemens' 1986 season earned him the, um, Cy Young Award, as he went 24-4 with a 2.48 ERA and 238 strikeouts, that pales in comparison to Young's first season in Boston, when he went 33-10 with a 1.62 ERA and 158 strikeouts.
Kansas City Royals-Paul Splittorff
Lefty Paul Splittorff pitched for the Royals his entire career, from 1970 to 1984, and remains the franchise leader in wins with 166 against 143 losses. Splittorff also posted a career ERA of 3.81 with 1057 strikeouts. His best season was 1973 when he went 20-11 with a 3.98 earned run average. Splittorff became a color commentator for Royals' games upon retiring.
Detroit Tigers- Hooks Dauss
Many of you might not recognize the name Hooks Dauss, but he is the Tigers' all-time leader in pitching victories with 223 to go along with 182 losses. Dauss pitched in Detroit his entire career (1912-1926), and his best season was 1915 when he went 24-13 with a 2.50 ERA. Dauss had three 20-win seasons, and he was nicknamed "hooks" because of his hard-to-hit curveball.
Minnesota Twins- Walter Johnson
Walter Johnson pitched for this franchise his whole career, but it was when they were the Washington Senators, from 1907-1927. During that time, Johnson won an astounding 417 games against just 279 losses, with a 2.17 ERA, 110 shutouts, and 3508 strikeouts. He was simply one of the greatest pitchers of all-time. In 1913, Johnson had one of the most amazing seasons ever, going 36-7 with a 1.14 ERA and 243 strikeouts, with just 38 walks allowed.
Chicago White Sox-Ted Lyons
Righty Ted Lyons pitched for the White Sox his entire career (1923-1946), and remains the franchise leader in wins with 260 to go along with 230 losses. Lyons won 20 or more games three times, and his best season overall was 1927, when he went 22-14 with a 2.84 ERA and 30 complete games.
New York Yankees- Whitey Ford
In the storied history of the Yankees, it's almost hard to believe that lefty Whitey Ford leads the franchise all-time with only 236 wins. Ford pitched for the Yanks his entire career (1950-1967), going 236-106 with a 2.75 ERA and 1956 strikeouts. His best season was 1961, when he went 25-4 with a 3.21 ERA and 209 strikeouts, on his way to winning the American League Cy Young Award.