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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Latest Baseball News & Rumors Today / Top 10 Left-Handed Pitchers in Baseball History

Top 10 Left-Handed Pitchers in Baseball History

Publish Date: 05/09/2024
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Left-handed pitchers are highly valued in the baseball world, and today, we are going to look at the greatest southpaws in Major League Baseball history. Current active pitcher are not eligible for this list.

Criteria

We are looking at a pitcher’s overall resume, so that’s why Sandy Koufax is nowhere near the top of the list. The last five or six years of his career was dominant, but up until that point Sandy was an average pitcher.

10) Tommy John

With two hundred eighty-eight victories, there are currently only 22 pitchers in the Hall of Fame, with more. He ranks high on many pitching lists and even has a surgery named after him. Tommy John should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

John was never dominant. but he was consistent throughout his career, and it was a career that lasted a long time. The biggest question it seems is should Tommy John be in the Hall of Fame.

  • 4 Time All-Star
  • 288 Wins
Video: 1977 NLCS Gm4: Dodgers advance to World Series

1977 NLCS Gm4: Dodgers advance to World Series

9) Tom Glavine

He has over 300 career wins. A five-time twenty-game winner, he has a career ERA of 3.54, 25 shutouts, and 2,607 strikeouts. Tom won two Cy Young Awards, finished second twice, and third twice.

The Braves only won one World Series with Glavine, but he was a great pitcher and if the Braves when a couple of more he may be in the top five.

  • 10 Time All-Star
  • 1995 World Series Champion
  • 1995 World Series MVP
  • 2 Time Cy Young Winner
  • 4 Time Silver Slugger Award Winner
  • 5 Time NL Wins Leader
Video: 95 WS Gm6: Glavine tosses eight scoreless in clincher

95 WS Gm6: Glavine tosses eight scoreless in clincher

8) Carl Hubbell

Hubbell had a career record of 253-154, with an ERA of 2.98. He was a 20-game winner five times and threw 35 shutouts. He was the National League MVP in 1933 and 1936 and was on 9 All-star teams. He also led the league in wins on three occasions. He had the best WHIP in the league six times.

  • 9 Time All-Star
  • 1933 World Series Champion
  • 2 Time NL MVP
  • 3 Time MLB ERA Leader
  • 1937 NL Strikeout leader
Video: Carl Hubbell's 5 Consecutive Strikeouts 1934 MLB All Star Game

Carl Hubbell’s 5 Consecutive Strikeouts 1934 MLB All Star Game

7) Sandy Koufax

He had a career record of 165-87 with an ERA of 2.76 and was the best in the National League in his last 5 years. The first half of his career was not as stellar and pitching in Doger stadium was a huge boost to his career.

Sandy led the National League in strikeouts four times and, for a long time, had the most strikeouts in one season at 382 (broken by Nolan Ryan).

Koufax won 3 Cy Young Awards and 1 MVP award. He pitched 40 shutouts, 11 of them in one year. He won 4 World Series games with a sizzling ERA of 0.95 and appeared on 7 All-star teams. He pitched four no-hitters and a perfect game. Outside of his final five years in the MLB he was an average pitcher.

  • 7 Time All-Star
  • 4 Time World Series Champion
  • 1963 NL MVP
  • 3 Time Cy Young Winner
  • 2 Time World Series MVP
  • 3 Time Triple Crown
  • 3 Time MLB Wins Leader
  • 5 Time NL ERA Leader
  • 4 Time NL Strikeout Leader
Video: Sandy Koufax Perfect Game Footage (Best Quality), Pitching Mechanics, & Highlights

Sandy Koufax Perfect Game Footage (Best Quality), Pitching Mechanics, & Highlights

6) Whitey Ford

Ford was a 20-game-winner twice, winning 16 or more on 10 occasions. He finished his career with a record of 236-106 and an ERA of 2.75. He won the American League Cy Young Award in 1961 with a 25-4 record. Whitey threw 45 career shutouts and was on ten all-star teams. He led the American League in wins 3 times. Ford won 10 World Series games with a 2.71 ERA.

  • 10 Time All-Star
  • 6 Time World Series Winner
  • 1961 World Series MVP
  • 1961 Cy Young Winner
  • 3 Time AL Wins Leader
  • 2 Time MLB ERA Leader
Video: Whitey Ford Baseball Career highlights

Whitey Ford Baseball Career highlights

5) Eddie Plank

In his career spanning 17 seasons, Eddie Plank was 326-194, with an ERA of 2.35. He was twenty game-winner eight times. Eddie pitched 69 shutouts which ranks him 5th all-time. #1 for southpaws. He won 2 World Series games and has a 1.32 ERA.

Make sure you check out our list of the best right handed pitchers in baseball history.

  • 3 Time AL Wins Leader
  • 326 Wins More than any other Left Hander
Video: SouthPaw~ The Forgotten Story of Eddie Plank-Trailer

SouthPaw~ The Forgotten Story of Eddie Plank-Trailer

4) Lefty Grove

Lefty Grove won 300 and lost 141 games in 17 years. He was a thirty-game winner once and won twenty-seven other times. He finished his career with a lifetime ERA of 3.06. Grove led the American League in wins four times and ERA 9 times and won the Triple Crown in pitching three times.

He also led the league in strikeouts seven times. Lefty was the American League MVP in 1931 and had the lowest WHIP in the league 5 times. Grove won 4 World Series games with a 1.75 ERA. and was on 6 All-star teams. Check out the best baseball betting sites.

  • 6 Time All-Star
  • 2 Time World Series Champion
  • AL MVP
  • 2 Time Triple Crown Winner
  • 4 Time AL Wins Leader
  • 9 Time ERA Leader
  • 7 Time Strikeout Leader
Video: Lefty Grove Pitching Mechanics

Lefty Grove Pitching Mechanics

3) Warren Spahn

He won more games (363) than any other lefty in history. His ERA was good but not great, 3.09. The man won twenty games an astounding 13 times. You read that right. 13. He led the league in wins eight times, in ERA 3 times and in strikeouts four times (although he is not considered a “strikeout” pitcher). Warren’s WHIP was the lowest in the National League 4 times.

Spahn won the Cy Young Award once and was runner-up three times. He won 4 World Series games with an ERA of 3.05 and was on 17 All-Star teams.

  • 17 Time AL-Star
  • 1957 World Series Champion
  • 1957 Cy Young Award
  • 8 Time NL Wins Leader
  • 3 Time NL ERA Leader
  • 4 Time NL Strikeout Leader
Video: Warren Spahn's 300th Win - clip 1090

Warren Spahn’s 300th Win – clip 1090

2) Steve Carlton

Carlton had a career record of 329-244 and an ERA of 3.22. Steve is 4th on the career strikeout list with 4,136, trailing only Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens. Carlton was a twenty-game-winner six times and won 4 Cy Young Awards. He led the National League in strikeouts five times and pitched 55 shutouts. Steve won 6 post-season games and was on 10 All-Star teams.

  • 10 Time All-Star
  • 2 Time World Series Champion
  • 1972 Triple Crown
  • 4 Time Cy Young Winner
  • 1981 Gold Glove Award
  • 4 Time NL Wins Leader
  • 5 Time Strikeout Leader
Video: Steve Carlton Strikeout Montage

Steve Carlton Strikeout Montage

1) Randy Johnson

He has a lifetime ERA of 3.26. He has thrown 36 shutouts, which is almost unheard of in this era. He is the strikeout king of lefties and is second on the all-time strikeout list, behind Nolan Ryan with 4,789. He is a 3-time twenty-game-winner and has won 5 Cy Young Awards, 4 in the National League and 1 in the American League. He also was runner-up in the Cy Young voting three times. Johnson led the league in strikeouts nine times. He is 3-0 in the World Series with a 1.04 ERA. He also was on 10 All-star teams.

Johnson hadd one of the most dominant potching performances in a single season.

  • 10 Time All-Star
  • 2001 World Series Champion
  • 2002 World Series MVP
  • 4 Time Cy Young Winner
  • 2002 triple Crwon
  • 2002 MLB Wins Leader
  • 4 Time ERA Leader
  • 9 Time Strikeout Leader
Video: There Will Never Be Another Randy Johnson

There Will Never Be Another Randy Johnson

Honorable Mentions

Hal Newhouser

Tigers lefty Hal Newhouser was one of the more dominant pitchers of his era. Though his prime did not last long Newhouser was untouchable at his peak – as evidenced by winning consecutive MVP awards from 1944-45 and compiling an 80-27 record with an ERA under 2.00 during this span of his career. Unfortunately however, some seasons saw incredible performances alternate with less-than-stellar ones.

 

 

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