For a quick diversion, here’s a list of ten notable starting pitchers of the modern era (since 1901). Which career accomplishment (min. 250 decisions) distinguishes these players among all retired pitchers of the modern era?

Rk | Player |
---|---|

1 | James Shields |

2 | Kevin Tapani |

3 | Kevin Millwood |

4 | Earl Moore |

5 | Mike Flanagan |

6 | Rube Walberg |

7 | Mickey Lolich |

8 | Rube Marquard |

9 | George Mullin |

10 | Doug Drabek |

Congratulations to Bob Eno. He knew that only these pitchers compiled a .550 W-L% in 200+ decisions over their first 10 seasons, but then slid below .450 in 50+ decisions for the rest of their careers. More after the jump.

There are 141 retired pitchers since 1901 with a .550 winning percentage in 200 decisions over their first 10 seasons. Only 87 of them recorded 50 decisions after their 10th season, with our 10 quiz players having the lowest winning percentage for those 50+ decisions, ranging from .300 (18-42) for James Shields to .446 (25-31) for Doug Drabek.

Another nine of those 87 pitchers saw their winning percentage drop by over 100 points after their 10th season, including HOFers Juan Marichal (194 point drop), Bob Lemon (140), Red Faber (132), Carl Hubbell (113) and Mordecai Brown (106), as well as COG inductee Wes Ferrell (126).

Only 16 of the 87 saw their .550+ winning percentage increase after their 10th season, led by Stan Coveleski (111 point rise), Allie Reynolds (101) and Urban Shocker (85). In addition to Coveleski, these 16 include HOFers Don Sutton, Steve Carlton, Jesse Haines, John Smoltz and Eddie Plank, as well as COG honoree Roger Clemens. Reynolds, Shocker, Plank, Clemens and Jimmy Key all improved on a .600 winning percentage for their first 10 seasons.