3000 strikeout club

3000 strikeout club

In Major League Baseball (MLB), the 3,000 strikeout club is the group of pitchers who have struck out 3,000 or more batters in their careers. Walter Johnson was the first to reach 3,000, doing so in 1923, and was the only pitcher at this milestone for 50 years until Bob Gibson recorded his 3,000th strikeout in 1974. In total, 16 pitchers have reached 3,000 strikeouts with John Smoltz, the most recent club member, joining in 2008.[1] Steve Carlton and Randy Johnson are the only left-handed pitchers in this group.[2][3] Randy Johnson was also the pitcher quickest to 3,000 strikeouts, taking fewer games pitched or innings pitched than any other pitcher.[4] César Gerónimo is the only player struck out by two different pitchers for their 3,000th strikeout, first by Gibson in 1974 and then Nolan Ryan in 1980.[5] The Chicago Cubs are one of two franchises to see multiple pitchers record their 3,000th strikeout on their roster, first Ferguson Jenkins in 1982 and then Greg Maddux in 2005. The Minnesota Twins also had two pitchers reach the milestone with their team. Walter Johnson was the first, joining the club while the franchise was called the Washington Senators, then Bert Blyleven joined in 1986 with the team in Minnesota. Ten 3,000 strikeout pitchers are also members of the 300 win club.[6]

Membership in the 3,000 strikeout club is often described as a guarantee of eventual entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame.[7][8] Of the thirteen eligible members of the 3,000 strikeout club, ten have been elected to the Hall. One club member, Greg Maddux, is expected to make his first appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot for the induction class of 2014.[9] The two who have appeared on a Hall of Fame ballot but have not yet been elected, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling, both made their first appearances on the ballot for the 2013 elections. Each received only about half of the total votes needed for induction, with Schilling earning slightly more votes than Clemens.[10] Clemens' future election is seen as uncertain because of his alleged links to use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).[11] Although Schilling was never linked to PED use, his future election is also seen as uncertain because of the PED issue. The current and near-future eligibility of many players linked to PED use, combined with voting restrictions in Hall of Fame balloting, has been cited as the source of a "backlog" in future Hall elections.[12][13] Eligibility requires that a player has "been retired five seasons" or deceased for at least 6 months,[14] disqualifying three living players who have been active within the past five seasons (all of whom will become eligible for induction in the Hall's class of 2015).[9] Bert Blyleven is the most recently elected member, voted in during 2011 balloting. Seven pitchers from this club were named amongst the one hundred greatest players in MLB history as part of the All-Century Team, four of whom were eventually voted as starters for the team by fan vote.[15][16]


Player Name of the player
Strikeouts Career strikeouts
IP Career innings pitched
Date Date of the pitcher's 3,000th strikeout
Batter The batter struck out for the pitcher's 3,000th strikeout
Team The pitcher's team for his 3,000th strikeout
Seasons The seasons this player played in the major leagues
Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame
Denotes player who is still active

Club members

Player Strikeouts IP Date Batter Team Seasons Ref
Ryan, NolanNolan Ryan 5,714 5,386 July 4, 1980[5] Gerónimo, CésarCésar Gerónimo[5] Houston Astros 1966–1993 [17]
Johnson, RandyRandy Johnson 4,875 4,135 13 September 10, 2000[5] Lowell, MikeMike Lowell[5] Arizona Diamondbacks 1988–2009 [3]
Clemens, RogerRoger Clemens 4,672 4,916 23 July 5, 1998[5] Winn, RandyRandy Winn[5] Toronto Blue Jays 1984–2007 [18]
Carlton, SteveSteve Carlton 4,136 5,217 13 April 29, 1981[5] Wallach, TimTim Wallach[5] Philadelphia Phillies 1965–1988 [2]
Blyleven, BertBert Blyleven 3,701 4,970 August 1, 1986[5] Davis, MikeMike Davis[5] Minnesota Twins 1970–1992 [19]
Seaver, TomTom Seaver 3,640 4,782 23 April 18, 1981[5] Hernandez, KeithKeith Hernandez[5] Cincinnati Reds 1967–1986 [20]
Sutton, DonDon Sutton 3,574 5,282 13 June 24, 1983[5] Bannister, AlanAlan Bannister[5] Milwaukee Brewers 1966–1988 [21]
Perry, GaylordGaylord Perry 3,534 5,350 13 October 1, 1978[5] Simpson, JoeJoe Simpson[5] San Diego Padres 1962–1983 [22]
Johnson, WalterWalter Johnson 3,509 5,914 23 July 22, 1923[5] Unclear[upper-alpha 1] Washington Senators 1907–1927 [23]
Maddux, GregGreg Maddux 3,371 5,008 13 July 26, 2005[24] Vizquel, OmarOmar Vizquel[24] Chicago Cubs 1986–2008 [25]
Niekro, PhilPhil Niekro 3,342 5,404 13 July 4, 1984[5] Parrish, LarryLarry Parrish[5] New York Yankees 1964–1987 [26]
Jenkins, FergusonFerguson Jenkins 3,192 4,500 23 July 25, 1982[5] Templeton, GarryGarry Templeton[5] Chicago Cubs 1965–1983 [27]
Martínez, PedroPedro Martínez 3,154 2,827 13 September 3, 2007[7] Harang, AaronAaron Harang[7] New York Mets 1992–2009 [28]
Gibson, BobBob Gibson 3,117 3,884 13 July 17, 1974[5] Gerónimo, CésarCésar Gerónimo[5] St. Louis Cardinals 1959–1975 [29]
Schilling, CurtCurt Schilling 3,116 3,261 August 30, 2006[30] Swisher, NickNick Swisher[30] Boston Red Sox 1988–2007 [31]
Smoltz, JohnJohn Smoltz 3,084 3,473 April 22, 2008[1] López, FelipeFelipe López[1] Atlanta Braves 1988–2009 [32]


See also

Baseball portal
  • Top 100 Major League Baseball strikeout pitchers
  • 300 win club