Daily Archives: July 28th, 2014

The first two years didn’t define Glavine, Maddux

Glavine, Maddux

Atlanta Braves pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux were inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame yesterday. Both won over 300 games (Maddux, 355; Glavine, 305). But if you would have looked at their stats after their first two seasons in the majors, you would have never thought that they would eventually be enshrined in baseball’s hall.

Maddux, who made his MLB debut in 1986 with the Cubs, was 2-4 his first season in the majors and had a less-than-impressive 6-14 record his second year. Glavine, who debuted in 1987 with Atlanta, had a 2-4 record his first season (same as Maddux) and a 7-17 record the following year (those 17 losses that year were the most in Glavine’s career).

Maddux’s 8-18 record after his first two seasons and Glavine’s 9-21 record after their first two years certainly did not shout “Hall of Fame” careers. But when looking at the records of other Hall of Fame pitchers after their first two years, we see some similar results. Of the 30 Hall of Fame pitchers who finished their careers after 1950, 15 had a win-loss percentage over .500 their first two seasons. Thirteen, however, were under .500 after their first two years (two were exactly at .500).

Here’s a look at the win-loss records after the first two seasons of the 30 Hall of Fame pitchers who finished their careers after 1950.

Hall of Fame pitchers (careers ended after 1950) first two seasons in MLB

Under .500
Phil Niekro 2-3
Gaylord Perry 4-7
Sandy Koufax 4-6
Bob Gibson 6-11
Nolan Ryan 6-10
Rollie Fingers 6-7
Greg Maddux 8-18
Fergie Jenkins 8-9
Tom Glavine 9-21
Hal Newhouser 9-10
Catfish Hunter 17-19
Robin Roberts 22-24
Don Sutton 23-27

Exactly .500
Steve Carlton 3-3
Early Wynn 3-3

Above .500
Tom Seaver 32-25
Whitey Ford 27-7
Dennis Ecklersley 26-19
Bert Blyleven 26-24
Hoyt Wilhelm 22-11
Don Drysdale 22-14
Jim Palmer 20-14
Juan Marichal 19-12
Bob Lemon 15-10
Bob Feller 14-10
Bruce Sutter 10-6
Satchel Paige 10-8
Warren Spahn 8-5
Jim Bunning 8-6
Rich Gossage 7-5

Note: Of the 41 Hall of Fame pitchers who finished their careers prior to 1950, 27 had a winning percentage over .500 after their first two years; 12 had winning percentages under .500 (two had exactly a .500 winning percentage).

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