Friday, January 5, 2024

The 1989 and 1990 Texas Rangers Pitching Staffs That Featured Five Hurlers Who Would Each Retire with 200-Plus Victories

The 1989 and 1990 Texas Rangers teams are most remembered for the pitching exploits of ageless hurler Nolan Ryan who, despite being in his early forties, continued to overpower hitters with his blistering fastball on his way to racking up 324 career victories.  However, Ryan was not the only pitcher on those Rangers clubs who retired with a lofty win total as the fireballer’s teammates Charlie Hough, Jamie Moyer, Kevin Brown, and Kenny Rogers would each go on to finish their careers with 200-plus victories.  In the history of MLB, this quintet stands alone, as no other combination of five existing or future 200-win pitchers have played together on the same team.

On July 11, 1980, the Rangers made what seemed at the time like an inconsequential move by purchasing the contract of 32-year-old right-handed knuckleball pitcher Charlie Hough from the Los Angeles Dodgers.  A veteran of parts of 11 big league seasons, Hough had initially broken into the majors with Los Angeles in August 1970.  After spending the bulk of 1971 and 1972 in the minors, Hough established himself as an effective member of the Dodgers relief corps, most notably contributing to the club’s pennant-winning drives in 1977 and 1978.  However, when he began to struggle during the first half of 1979, the team attempted to convert him into a starter.  The righty posted a fine 6-3 record in 14 starts but was battered to the tune of a 4.84 ERA.  Thus, to open the 1980 campaign, he was relocated back to the bullpen where his troubles continued as he registered a woeful 5.57 ERA before being sold to the Rangers.

Upon joining his new club, Hough rediscovered some of his form, producing a 3.96 ERA across 61 1/3 innings as a low-leverage reliever for Texas.  Pitching at a similar level as the Rangers mop-up man in 1981, Hough was given another shot at starting during the final month of the season and made the most of the opportunity, going 4-1 with a minuscule 1.83 ERA in five starts.  With his strong finish to 1981, Hough earned a spot in Texas’ starting rotation for 1982 and began the year in glorious fashion, earning a complete-game victory as the team’s Opening Day starter.  Finally getting the chance to become a full-time starter at age 34, the knuckleballer never looked back, cementing himself as a workhorse pitcher and beginning a seven-season run in which he threw an average of 252 innings.  Often taking the mound in front of uncompetitive Rangers clubs, Hough still managed to post a 111-95 record and 3.58 ERA over this stretch while winning at least 14 games each year.  In the process of accumulating a career-high 18 wins during the 1987 campaign, Hough notched his 94th victory as a member of the Rangers to pass Ferguson Jenkins and become the franchise’s all-time leader in wins.

While the 1980 acquisition of Hough drew little attention, the December 1988 free-agent signing of veteran righty Nolan Ryan created an ample amount of buzz around the Rangers and represented a pivotal turning point in the history of the franchise.  Nicknamed “The Ryan Express,” he was noted for attacking opposing hitters with his blazing fastball, a stark contrast to the soft-throwing of the knuckleballer Hough.  Set to turn 42 before the start of the 1989 season, Ryan was a year older than Hough and still going strong despite having thrown 4,500-plus innings over parts of 22 big league campaigns.  Already established as MLB’s all-time leader in strikeouts with an incredible 4,775 on his ledger, Ryan brought 273 career victories to Texas with designs on reaching the vaunted 300-win plateau.

Ryan initially broke into the majors with the New York Mets in 1966 and earned a World Series ring as a member of the team three years later.  However, he did not truly hit his stride until he was traded to the California Angels for the 1972 season.  Upon joining the Angels, Ryan worked with pitching coach Tom Morgan who focused on improving his delivery and enhancing his curveball to complement his fastball.  Ryan immediately benefitted from Morgan’s guidance, winning 19 games in 1972 while leading the AL with 329 strikeouts.  The righty continued dominating opposing batters in 1973, picking up 21 victories while setting a MLB record with an astounding 383 strikeouts.  Ryan’s banner 1973 included throwing a pair of no-hitters, becoming just the fourth pitcher to accomplish the feat multiple times in the same season.  The fireballer’s run of dominance carried into 1974 as he tossed a third no-hitter, paced the junior circuit with 367 strikeouts, and also reached the 20-win plateau for the second consecutive campaign despite pitching in front of a last-place Angels team.  However, Ryan’s eye-popping strikeout totals were tempered by control issues as he simultaneously became a perennial leader in walks.  Ryan added a fourth no-hitter while experiencing a down year in 1975 but came back to top the circuit in strikeouts during each of the next four seasons, the final of which saw the Angels franchise secure its first playoff appearance after capturing the AL West division title.  The righty then left the Halos to sign a lucrative free agent contract to pitch in his home state of Texas for the Houston Astros.

Despite turning in what was, by his standards, a mediocre performance during his initial campaign with the Astros, the club finished 1980 atop the NL West.  Thus, for the second year in a row, Ryan helped a franchise reach the postseason for the first time.  Houston returned to the playoffs during the following year with Ryan making a much more significant contribution as he accomplished a familiar feat by throwing his record fifth no-hitter while also achieving a new feat by leading the senior circuit with a microscopic 1.69 ERA.  Ryan spent seven additional seasons with the Astros, over which he produced an 84-79 win-loss mark and 3.24 ERA as the club generally hovered just above or below .500, save for the 1986 campaign when the team captured the NL West crown.  While pitching for Houston, Ryan managed to bring his wildness under better control and began relying less on his fastball after perfecting the changeup.  On April 27, 1983, he became MLB’s strikeout king, eclipsing the career mark of Walter Johnson who had stood as the all-time leader in the category for more than six decades.  In 1987, at age 40, Ryan claimed his second NL ERA title and also returned to the top of his respective league’s strikeout leaderboard for the first time since 1979.  The following season saw Ryan cap his nine-year stint with the Astros by once again pacing the senior loop in strikeouts.

While Ryan brought 273 career victories to the Rangers, his grizzled veteran colleague Hough entered 1989 with 164 wins.  On the opposite end of the pitching staff’s experience spectrum, 26-year-old southpaw Jamie Moyer looked to solidify himself as a member of the rotation after being acquired during the offseason as part of a nine-player trade with the Chicago Cubs for whom the young hurler had gone 28-34 with a 4.42 ERA over his initial three major league campaigns.  Possessing a below-average fastball, Moyer relied on changing speeds to remain effective.  In addition, the righty-lefty rookie combo of Kevin Brown and Kenny Rogers opened the 1989 season as 24-year-olds hoping to establish themselves on the Rangers roster, the former having earned a pair of wins during brief cups of coffee in 1986 and 1988 while the latter had yet to make his big league debut.  Selected by Texas with the fourth overall pick in the first round of the June 1986 Amateur Draft, Brown boasted a hard sinker that stymied opposing batters and caused them to hit the ball into the dirt.  By contrast, Rogers was considered a long shot to even make the majors, having been selected by the Rangers in the 39th round of the June 1982 Amateur Draft.  Rogers did not possess a standout pitch like Brown’s sinker, though he was able to make due with a decent repertoire that included a fastball, changeup, and curve.

Ryan pitched masterfully in 1989, going 16-10 with a 3.20 ERA while pacing the AL with 301 strikeouts—marking the tenth time in which he led his respective league in the category and the sixth occasion where he reached 300.  On August 22, he added to his already impressive list of milestones by recording his 5,000th strikeout.

After defying old age for so long, Hough finally started to slow down during 1989, seeing his ERA rise by more than a run over the previous year’s 3.32 figure while his inning total decreased by 70 as he concluded the campaign with a 10-13 record and 4.35 ERA across 182 frames.  Though the knuckleballer kicked off the season in style by hurling an Opening Day shutout versus the Detroit Tigers, he struggled to find his rhythm over the remainder of the year.  Always susceptible to giving up the long ball, Hough dubiously led the AL by allowing 28 home runs.


Moyer also began the campaign in grand fashion, earning victories in each of his initial three starts, only to drop his next five decisions before suffering a lat strain at the end of May that kept him on the sidelines until early September.  Upon his return, Moyer pitched poorly in four of his final five starts to finish the season at 4-9 with a 4.86 ERA.

Brown lived up to the promise of his first-round pick status, putting together a solid rookie effort, going 12-9 with a 3.35 ERA over 28 starts.  In contrast to his veteran rotation-mate Hough, Brown proved to be one of the toughest pitchers to take deep, yielding just 10 home runs across 191 innings.  Yet, despite turning in one of the 1989 season’s finest freshman performances, he did not factor into the AL Rookie of the Year vote, only drawing a pair of third-place tallies to classify sixth in the election.

Rogers made his own strong freshman showing, spending the entire campaign in the bullpen where he worked a set-up role and maintained a 2.93 ERA over 73 2/3 frames.  Like his rookie colleague Brown, he was stingy about surrendering the long ball, being victimized just twice during the season.

The Rangers finished 1989 with an 83-79 record and slotted fourth in the AL West, 16 games behind the division-champion Oakland Athletics.  This marked a 13-game improvement from the prior year for Texas and represented only the team’s second winning season since 1982.  Also, with Ryan attracting large crowds for his starts, the Rangers’ attendance at Arlington Stadium increased by nearly half a million from the previous campaign as the franchise drew over 2 million fans for the first time.

The quintet of Ryan, Hough, Moyer, Brown, and Rogers remained with Texas for 1990.  The now 43-year-old Ryan showed no signs of breaking down, posting a 13-9 record and 3.44 ERA while leading his respective league in strikeouts for the eleventh time in his career, racking up 232 across 204 innings.  Already the author of a MLB record five no-hitters, on June 11, the fireballer added a sixth masterpiece to his collection when he held the defending World Series champion Athletics hitless on the road in Oakland.  Ryan issued just a pair of walks and struck out 14 in the Rangers’ 5-0 victory, in the process eclipsing Cy Young as the oldest hurler to toss a no-hitter.  Later in the season, Ryan achieved another milestone when he defeated the Milwaukee Brewers on July 31 to become the twentieth member of the 300-win club.

Hough bounced back somewhat from his middling 1989, finishing 1990 with a 12-12 mark and 4.07 ERA over 218 2/3 frames.  However, he once again paced the loop in a dubious statistic, plunking an AL-high 11 batters.  Because his fluttering knuckleball occasionally got away from him, Hough had regularly ranked among the leaders in hit batters, topping the junior circuit once prior in 1987.


Moyer’s struggles compounded in 1990, as he lost his spot in the starting rotation before the season was even a month old and found himself relegated to a mop-up relief role.  Returning to the rotation at the end of July, the southpaw produced insufficient results and was sent back to the bullpen in September.  Moyer’s final line for 1990 saw him register an uneven 2-6 record and 4.66 ERA with only 10 of his 33 appearances coming as a starter.

Brown followed up his solid rookie campaign with a comparable sophomore offering, going 12-10 with a 3.60 ERA over 180 innings.  On June 20, the 25-year-old hurler spun his first career shutout, holding the Minnesota Twins to just four hits in the Rangers’ 8-0 victory.

Rogers remained in the bullpen during 1990, spending the bulk of the season as the club’s main relief specialist after closer Jeff Russell went down with an injury in late May.  Rogers chalked up a team-leading 15 saves while compiling a 10-6 record and 3.13 ERA across 69 appearances and 97 2/3 frames.  The young lefty’s campaign included making his first starts of his career: a rocky spot start in late April and a pair of excellent late September starts for his final two outings of the season.

The Rangers finished 1990 with an 83-79 record that was identical to the year before, this time moving up to third place in the AL West but a full 20 games in arrears to the division-winning Athletics.  For the second consecutive campaign, Arlington Stadium drew over 2 million fans as large crowds continued to come out to witness “The Ryan Express” in action.

During the offseason, the Rangers parted ways with Charlie Hough, allowing the knuckleballer to leave the team to sign a free agent deal with the Chicago White Sox.  Hough spent a pair of campaigns pitching in the Windy City, crossing the 200-win mark in late 1992.  The veteran hurler then migrated south to join the expansion Florida Marlins for the 1993 season.  Hough took the hill as the Opening Day starter in the Marlins’ inaugural game and remained with the club through the 1994 campaign, after which he finally retired at age 46, leaving baseball with 216 victories to his name, 139 of which he accrued while pitching for the Rangers.  With parts of 25 major league seasons under his belt, Hough stands as one of just 10 men to play that long.  Unlikely as it may have seemed in 1980 when he joined Texas as a struggling 32-year-old reliever, Hough continues to sit atop the franchise leaderboard in wins with no current Rangers hurler having amassed even half his victory total.  What’s more, Hough also ranks number one in a slew of other categories for the franchise including innings pitched, complete games, strikeouts, and pitcher WAR.

Nolan Ryan remained with the Rangers and continued to make a mockery of Father Time, putting together a fine 1991 effort in which he improved his win-loss mark to 12-6 while reducing his ERA to 2.91.  On May 1 of that year, the flame-throwing righty broke his own record by hurling a seventh no-hitter at age 44.  On this occasion, he victimized the Toronto Blue Jays at Arlington Stadium, racking up an astounding 16 strikeouts in the 3-0 victory.  Despite seeing a lighter workload in comparison to his prior two campaigns with Texas, Ryan still managed to accumulate 203 strikeouts across 173 innings—marking the 15th time he reached 200 strikeouts in a season.

However, he took a step backwards in 1992, posting a 5-9 record and 3.72 ERA.  Ryan’s performance continued to decline during a difficult 1993 campaign in which he was beset by a combination of knee, hip, and rib cage injuries that limited him to just 13 starts over which he went 5-5 with a 4.88 ERA.  In what proved to be his final start, on September 22, he suffered a UCL tear in his right elbow and decided to call it a career.  At long last closing the book on 27 major league seasons, Ryan retired with 324 career victories, a total that slotted him alongside Don Sutton for 12th-most all-time and has since been surpassed by only Roger Clemens and Greg Maddux.  Ryan left the game as the holder of dozens of records and, to this day, his 5,714 strikeouts is still 839 more than the total of second-place Randy Johnson and 2,347 ahead of the leading active pitcher Max Scherzer.  In 1999, Ryan was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame with 98.8% of the vote.

The conclusion of the 1990 campaign saw the Rangers cut ties with Jamie Moyer, releasing the beleaguered southpaw.  Moyer signed with the St. Louis Cardinals for 1991 where his difficulties persisted as he went 0-5 with a 5.74 ERA before being demoted to the franchise's Triple-A affiliate in late May, where he remained for the balance of the campaign.  He attempted to return to the Cubs for 1992 but failed to make the team out of spring training and spent the entire year pitching for the Detroit Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate Toledo Mud Hens.  Moyer signed with the Baltimore Orioles for 1993 and began the season back in the minors.  However, after going 6-0 with a 1.67 ERA, he earned the call-up to Baltimore in late May where he put together a solid rebound effort, registering a 12-9 record and 3.43 ERA.  The lefty experienced some degree of stability, remaining with the Orioles through 1995, though he suffered a downturn in performance each year.  Moyer then caught on with the Boston Red Sox for 1996 but soon found himself on the move yet again when he was swapped to the Seattle Mariners in late July.

After years of bouncing around, the journeyman hurler was able to gain his footing and became a steady presence in Seattle’s starting rotation.  Moyer spent the next decade with the Mariners, over which he posted an excellent 145-87 record.  Finally having perfected changing speeds, his run in Seattle included a pair of 20-win seasons, the latter of which came at age 40 in 2003.  Traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in August 2006, he helped the club secure the 2008 World Series title when he collected a team-high 16 victories.  Moyer toed the slab for the final time with the 2012 Colorado Rockies, retiring from the game just a few months shy of his 50th birthday, ranking 35th all-time with 269 wins, and having matched his former rotation-mate Charlie Hough by pitching for 25 major league seasons.

Kevin Brown slumped to a 9-12 record and 4.40 ERA for Texas during 1991 but came back strong the following year, going 21-11 with a 3.32 ERA, leading the AL in victories while also earning his first All-Star selection.  The sinkerballer put together a sound 1993 effort, only to flounder in 1994, after which he left the Rangers to sign a one-year free agent contract with the Orioles.  Following a solid campaign in Baltimore, he inked a deal to join the Florida Marlins for 1996 and immediately paid dividends, pacing the senior circuit with a dazzling 1.89 ERA and finishing runner-up for the NL Cy Young Award.  The 1997 season saw Brown turn in another brilliant campaign with the righty joining the ranks of his former rotation-mate Nolan Ryan by spinning a no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants on June 10.  Brown capped the year by winning the World Series championship as the Marlins outlasted the Cleveland Indians in a closely-contested Fall Classic.  With Florida’s championship club immediately being dismantled, he signed with the San Diego Padres for 1998 and pitched phenomenally, going 18-7 with a 2.38 ERA.  Brown’s sterling effort helped lead the Padres to the Fall Classic where they were ultimately defeated by the New York Yankees.

Eligible for free agency once again, the nomadic hurler joined his fifth team in six seasons, this time finally inking a long-term deal, signing baseball’s first nine-figure contract to be paid $105 million over seven years by the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Brown pitched well for Los Angeles, picking up his second NL ERA title in 2000, but missed ample time with injuries in both 2001 and 2002.  After failing to make the playoffs during each of the first five years of Brown’s contract, the Dodgers opted to trade the superstar pitcher, sending him to the Yankees.  Injuries and postseason failures sullied Brown’s time in the Bronx and at the conclusion of the 2005 campaign, he chose to retire.  During his 19-year career, Brown compiled an impressive 211-144 record with a 3.28 ERA which translated into an ERA+ of 127 that is better than the majority of the pitchers in the Hall of Fame.  However, in 2007, his name appeared in the Mitchell Report for purchasing human growth hormone, thus dooming his chances of being voted into Cooperstown.  Additionally, Brown’s stellar pitching was sometimes overshadowed by his reputation as one of baseball’s orneriest characters as he often developed poor relationships with the press and became notorious for violent outbursts.

Kenny Rogers opened the 1991 season as a member of the Rangers starting rotation but floundered in the role and returned to working set-up duties out of the bullpen in mid-June.  After remaining in the bullpen for all of 1992, he was given another crack at starting in 1993 and this time cemented his spot in the rotation with a respectable campaign in which he logged a 16-10 record and 4.10 ERA.  Rogers was aided by Rangers pitching coach Claude Osteen who helped hone the lefty’s skills by improving his curve and encouraging him to use his fastball more aggressively.  Rogers built on his promising 1993 showing, putting together similar results during the strike-shortened 1994 campaign.  A couple of weeks before the strike brought a halt to the season, he accomplished a feat that had even eluded Nolan Ryan when he became just the fourteenth AL/NL pitcher to throw a perfect game.  Rogers turned the trick on July 28 at Arlington Stadium against the California Angels, with his perfecto marking the first of its kind by a junior circuit southpaw.  He rode the momentum into 1995, earning his first All-Star selection while crafting a 17-7 record and 3.38 ERA.

The 1996 campaign saw Rogers and the Rangers each make their first postseasons—albeit on opposing sides as the hurler faced off against Texas in the ALDS, having departed the team via free agency at the conclusion of 1995 to sign a four-year contract with the Yankees.  Following a mediocre regular season performance, Rogers pitched poorly versus his former club in the ALDS, walking the only batter he faced in a Game Two relief outing before surrendering a pair of runs while lasting just two innings in his Game Four start.  Nevertheless, New York won each of these contests and took the ALDS in four games to eliminate the Rangers from the playoffs.  The lefty’s postseason struggles continued into the ALCS and Fall Classic but the end result still saw the Bronx Bombers repelling all challengers to claim the World Series championship.  More disappointments followed for Rogers as he was left off the Yankees’ 1997 playoff roster after putting together a lackluster regular season effort.  Shipped to the Oakland Athletics for 1998, he rebounded with an impressive campaign and finished out his contract by splitting 1999 between the A’s and the New York Mets.  Back on the free agent market, the hurler returned to his original team, signing on with the Rangers for 2000.  Rogers sandwiched a pair of respectable seasons around a difficult 2001, as the next three years saw him produce a 31-28 record and 4.64 ERA for Texas.

The southpaw then inked a one-year deal to join the Minnesota Twins for 2003 before making his way back to the Rangers for a third stint.  Rogers turned in some of his finest performances over the next two seasons with Texas, including picking up a career-high 18 victories in 2004.  Unfortunately, Rogers’ sharp mound work often took a backseat to his temper.  Like his former rotation-mate Kevin Brown, Rogers tarnished his reputation with violent outbursts and cultivated a poor relationship with the press.  Most famously, in 2005, Rogers earned a $50,000 fine and served a 13-game suspension for shoving a cameraman to the ground at Arlington Stadium.  Following the 2005 campaign, the mercurial hurler departed the Rangers for the final time, signing as a free agent with the Detroit Tigers.  Over the span of a dozen seasons spread across three tours of duty with the Rangers, Rogers accumulated 133 victories for the club, leaving him second all-time on the franchise wins list, just six behind Charlie Hough.  Rogers shined in his first season in Motown, crossing the 200-win mark while notching 17 victories en route to helping the Tigers capture the AL pennant.  He spent two more years with Detroit, retiring after the 2008 campaign with 20 big league seasons to his name, over which he posted a sturdy record of 219-156.  The latter stages of Rogers’ career saw him recognized for his defensive prowess as he collected five Gold Glove Awards, four of which were split between his second and third stints in Texas with his final one coming in his initial year in Detroit.


During the course of their lengthy and distinguished careers, the quintet of Nolan Ryan, Charlie Hough, Jamie Moyer, Kevin Brown, and Kenny Rogers combined to earn 1,239 victories.  Since the two seasons in which these five hurlers shared the Rangers pitching staff, no team has simultaneously housed more than four existing or future 200-game winners with the most recent instance being the 2006 Boston Red Sox where Jon Lester, Curt Schilling, Tim Wakefield, and David Wells plied their trade alongside each other.  The past few decades have seen pitcher usage change with starters tossing fewer innings and complete games becoming a rarity.  Consequently, starting pitchers’ win totals have also dropped, which has led to a much lower number of pitchers reaching 200 victories.  Thus, even the once semi-regular occurrence of having three existing or future 200-game winners pitching together on the same staff has become a thing of the past, as no team since the 2009 Red Sox, which featured John Smoltz along with aforementioned hurlers Lester and Wakefield, has boasted such a trio.

Going into the 2024 campaign, Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, Max Scherzer, and Clayton Kershaw represent the only active pitchers with 200 victories.  Respectively set to be ages 41, 40, 39, and 36 at the start of the 2024 season, Verlander, Greinke, Scherzer, and Kershaw are running out of opportunities to pitch alongside each other or with future 200-game winners.  Moreover, few active hurlers have a realistic shot at even approaching the 200-victory mark as slotting well behind Verlander, Greinke, Scherzer, and Kershaw in fifth-place on the active career wins list is Gerrit Cole who has 145 victories to his name.  At age 33, Cole is the only active hurler who is halfway to 200 wins with a decent chance at reaching the milestone.  The remaining pitchers who have 100 or more victories are older and less effective than he is and in most cases have suffered more injuries during their careers as well.  Thus, it is likely that Ryan, Hough, Moyer, Brown, and Rogers will stand alone as the sole quintet of existing or future 200-game winners to share the same pitching staff.

----by John Tuberty

Follow me on Twitter/X @BloggerTubbs

Stat links to main players mentioned: Nolan Ryan, Charlie Hough, Jamie Moyer, Kevin Brown, Kenny Rogers, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, Gerrit Cole, Jon Lester, Tim Wakefield, David Wells, Walter Johnson

All statistics are drawn from Baseball Reference and Stathead

Talmadge Boston, “Nolan Ryan,” SABR Biography Project

Justin Krueger, “Charlie Hough,” SABR Biography Project

Frederick C. Bush, “Jamie Moyer,” SABR Biography Project

Thomas E. Schott, “Kenny Rogers,” SABR Biography Project

Nick Aguilera, “2 no-nos in 1 year? These guys did it,”

Tim Kurkjian, “Good As It Gets,” Sports Illustrated, August 8, 1994, p.32-33. Accessed via SI Vault

Manny Randhawa, “The oldest pitchers to throw a no-hitter,”

Baseball Prospectus Nolan Ryan Player Card/Injury History

Tom Verducci, “Nasty Stuff That’s What Made Kevin Brown Worth $105 Million To The Dodgers. His Nasty Disposition Is Thrown In For Free,” Sports Illustrated, March 29, 1999, p.64-72.  Accessed via SI Vault

Jay Jaffe, “JAWS and the 2014 Hall of Fame ballot: Kenny Rogers,”

Marc Topkin, “Rogers left out of opening round,” Tampa Bay Times, October 30, 1997.

Peter Alfano, “Ryan’s Struggle to Glory,” The New York Times, May 2, 1983.

“Rookie Walton’s First Year Is Almost Perfect,” The Sporting News, November 20, 1989, p.44. Accessed via Paper of Record

George J. Mitchell, “Report to the Commissioner of Baseball of an Independent Investigation into the Illegal Use of Steroids and Other Performance Enhancing Substances by Players in Major League Baseball,” December 13, 2007, p.214-217.

Fivefold Cards of Nolan Ryan, Charlie Hough, Jamie Moyer, Kevin Brown, and Kenny Rogers: 1989 Topps/1989 Topps Traded, 1990 Topps, 1991 Topps, 1990 Fleer

Additional cards: Charlie Hough 1977 Topps, 1984 Fleer, 1986 Donruss; Nolan Ryan 1970 Topps, 1974 Topps, 1982 Topps; Charlie Hough 1992 Topps, Charlie Hough 1993 Topps, Nolan Ryan 1994 Topps, Jamie Moyer 1998 Pinnacle, Kevin Brown 1997 Fleer Ultra, Kenny Rogers 1994 Bowman

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Rod Carew’s Seven Batting Titles and the Players He Denied the Honor by Annually Capturing the Crown

2023 MLB Season Quick Hits: Ronald Acuña Jr., Luis Arraez, Freddie Freeman, Trea Turner, and More

The Oddly Productive 2023 Campaign of Sub-.200 Hitter Kyle Schwarber


  1. Wow. Great piece of baseball trivia. I tried looking up rotations for the A's... and couldn't find any. My least favorite baseball team (the Yankees) had that rotation of Clemens, Mussina, Wells, and Pettitte. Heck... they were close to having a rotation of four 250 win pitchers.

    1. Thank you for your kind words and comment, Fuji. For the A’s franchise you have to go all the way back to the early 20th century Philadelphia teams as the 1912 A’s had four existing or future 200-game winners in Eddie Plank, Charles Bender, Herb Pennock, and Stan Coveleski— each of whom were voted into the Hall of Fame for their pitching accomplishments. The 1912 A’s finished 3rd in the AL pennant race. Coveleski found himself back in the minors for 1913 while the trio of Plank, Bender, and Pennock remained intact through 1914, winning the 1913 World Series and 1914 AL pennant together. Coveleski returned to the majors in 1916 with the Cleveland Indians and posted a string of 20-win seasons, on his way to putting together a Hall of Fame career. Despite having great rotations in Oakland, no more than two future or existing 200-game winning pitchers have played together for the A’s since the trio of Plank, Bender, and Pennock. The most recent future or existing 200-game winning A’s pair to pitch together were Kenny Rogers and Tim Hudson in 1999.

    2. Whoa. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. I focused my search on those WS teams from the 70's and 80's... as well as The Big Three teams of the 2000's, but didn't even check 1999. And honestly didn't even check any dates before 1971. I think what's super cool about this is it made me appreciate the 200 game winners a tad bit more. I discovered a lot of great pitchers from those A's rosters that never reached 200 wins: Ken Holtzman, John Blue Moon Odom, Dave Stewart, Barry Zito, and Mark Mulder.

    3. I really enjoyed doing the research for this article and came across several interesting combinations of three of four 200-game winners pitching together on the same team. I love all those old A’s staffs from the 1970s, 1980s, and early 2000s. It’s too bad injuries kept several of those hurlers from reaching higher victory totals.