When Tim Wakefield decided to call it a career, he retired as 1 of only 8 pitchers to win at least 200 games in the majors without racking up a 20 win season. In fact Wakefield won his 200 games without ever winning more than 17 games in a season. The other pitchers in this small club are:

In honor of this stat, I thought it might be interesting to examine the career records for all pitchers at each career high win number. Who had the most wins winning only 1 game a season? Which 20 game winner had the fewest career wins (a question that came from Tmckelv on another thread) How many pitchers have won 19 games in a season, but not 20? If a pitcher wins 15 games in a season, how many career wins can we expect him to have? etc.

Here is a table summarizing all of the information since 1871.  All players are sorted by the most wins that they recorded in a season. The other columns show the number of players that  met that criteria and the smallest, largest and average number of career wins for those players.

Career High WinsPlayers Matching the CriteriaAvg Career WMin Career WPlayersMax Career WPlayers
025340.0002534 Pitchers02534 Pitchers
110101.181858 Pitchers5Matt Ginter
25982.782326 Pitchers8Ambrose Puttmann & Roman Colon
34494.783188 Pitchers17Tony Fossas & Mike Lincoln
44057.264115 Pitchers39Alan Embree
534810.76558 Pitchers42Rick White
629914.14632 Pitchers40Armando Benitez
729619.19726 Pitchers62Mike Jackson
824021.48827 Pitchers (26 - br.com)75Mariano Rivera
924027.73917 Pitchers (18 - br.com)79Tom Burgmeier
1021831.33105 Pitchers96Gene Garber
1122035.32113 Pitchers96Dennis Lamp & Tug McGraw
1220340.50127 Pitchers109Denny Galehouse
1317047.4514Norm Baker125Clarence Mitchell
1417856.6715Warren Fitzgerald141Woodie Fryman
1515165.8715John Thornton171Danny Darwin
1614773.6316Fleury Sullivan245Dennis Martinez
1710986.56172 Pitchers209Milt Pappas
1812394.1118Sam Kimber220Jerry Reuss
198589.79193 Pitchers240Frank Tanana
20126122.6724Harry Salisbury355Greg Maddux
2167130.1631Ian Kennedy & Johnny Beazley324Don Sutton
2267127.9922Henry Schmidt324Nolan Ryan
2351147.3123Jocko Flynn363Warren Spahn
2440157.9332Joe Corbett354Roger Clemens
2540155.1332Gus Krock311Tom Seaver
2622154.7737Bill James326Eddie Plank
2724173.4279Doc McJames329Steve Carlton
2812124.5849Bob Barr286Robin Roberts
296179.0048George Derby239Mordecai Brown
30799.7161Pete Conway150Dizzy Dean
317152.0089Terry Larkin300Lefty Grove
324110.5044Bob Emslie264Gus Weyhing
333207.3396Henry Porter373Pete Alexander
346116.5075Elmer Smith159Elton Chamberlain
356186.0072Jim Devlin361Kid Nichols
367274.71129George Zettlein511Cy Young
373224.67110Jack Lynch373Christy Mathewson
382126.00114Toad Ramsey138Kid Gleason
403154.0049Bill Sweeney218Bob Caruthers
414145.0064Charlie Sweeney198Jack Chesbro
423237.3373Lady Baldwin342Tim Keefe
434172.5050Billy Taylor234Tommy Bond
443213.00149Dick McBride307Mickey Welch
453213.00171George Bradley265Jim McCormick
462252.50141Matt Kilroy364Pud Galvin
471164.00164John Ward164John Ward
481233.00233Charlie Buffinton233Charlie Buffinton
521173.00173Guy Hecker173Guy Hecker
531328.00328John Clarkson328John Clarkson
551253.00253Al Spalding253Al Spalding
591309.00309Charley Radbourn309Charley Radbourn


All data was derived from the Lahaman Database with some of the links created by the Baseball-Reference.com Play Index. The one discrepancy that I noticed is noted on the table. Lahman has Charlie Bartson with 8 wins and b-r has him with 9.

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