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List of Major League Baseball annual strikeout leaders

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A shoulders-up picture of a smiling man in a white baseball uniform. He is wearing a dark-colored baseball cap on his head with a white block "W" on the front.
Walter Johnson holds the record with 12 different seasons that he was a strikeout leader, including 8 consecutive from 1912 through 1919. Johnson was one of the five charter members of the Baseball Hall of Fame.[1]

In baseball, the strikeout is a statistic used to evaluate pitchers. A pitcher earns a strikeout when he puts out the batter he is facing by throwing a ball through the strike zone, "defined as that area over homeplate (sic) the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap",[2] which is not put in play. Strikeouts are awarded in four situations: if the batter is put out on a third strike caught by the catcher (to "strike out swinging" or "strike out looking"); if the pitcher throws a third strike which is not caught with fewer than two outs; if the batter becomes a baserunner on an uncaught third strike; or if the batter bunts the ball into foul territory with two strikes.[3]

Major League Baseball recognizes the player or players in each league[a] with the most strikeouts each season. Jim Devlin led the National League in its inaugural season of 1876; he threw 122 strikeouts for the Louisville Grays.[4] The American League's first winner was Hall of Fame pitcher Cy Young, who captured the American League Triple Crown in 1901 by striking out 158 batters, along with leading the league in wins and earned run average.[5] Walter Johnson led the American League in strikeouts 12 times during his Hall of Fame career, most among all players.[6] He is followed by Nolan Ryan, who captured 11 titles between both leagues (9 American League and 2 National League).[7] Randy Johnson won nine strikeout titles, including five with his home state Arizona Diamondbacks.[8] Three players have won seven strikeout championships: Dazzy Vance, who leads the National League;[9] Bob Feller;[10] and Lefty Grove.[11] Grover Cleveland Alexander and Rube Waddell led their league six times,[12][13] and five-time winners include Steve Carlton,[14] Roger Clemens,[15] Sam McDowell,[16] Christy Mathewson,[17] Amos Rusie,[18] and Tom Seaver.[19]

There are several players with a claim to the single-season strikeout record. Among recognized major leagues, Matt Kilroy accumulated the highest single-season total, with 513 strikeouts for the Baltimore Orioles of the American Association in 1886.[20] However, his name does not appear on Major League Baseball's single-season leaders list,[21] since the American Association was independent of the constituent leagues that currently make up Major League Baseball.[22] Several other players with high totals, including 1886 American Association runner-up Toad Ramsey (499)[23] and 1884 Union Association leader Hugh Daily (483), do not appear either.[24] In the National League, Charles "Old Hoss" Radbourn struck out 441 batters for the Providence Grays;[25] however, the Providence franchise folded after the 1885 season and has no successor.[26] Therefore, Major League Baseball recognizes his runner-up from that season, Charlie Buffinton, as the record-holder with 417 strikeouts.[21] In the American League, Ryan leads with 383 strikeouts in 1973.[7] The largest margin of victory for a champion is 156 strikeouts, achieved in 1883 when Tim Keefe of the American Association's New York Metropolitans posted 359 against Bobby Mathews' 203.[27] The National League's largest margin was achieved in 1999, when Randy Johnson struck out 143 more batters than Kevin Brown.[28] Ryan's 1973 margin of 125 strikeouts over Bert Blyleven is the best American League victory.[29] Although ties for the championship are rare, they have occurred; Claude Passeau and Bucky Walters each struck out 137 National League batters in 1939,[30] and Tex Hughson and Bobo Newsom tied in the American League with 113 strikeouts each in 1942.[31] Their total is the lowest number of strikeouts accumulated to lead a league in Major League Baseball history.

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  • Bob Ryan: "Scribe: My Life in Sports" | Talks at Google

Transcription

MALE SPEAKER: So wow. How great is this? It is my enormous pleasure today to introduce Bob Ryan, author of "Scribe, My Life in Sports." He's a Jersey kid who made Boston his home and went on to cover sports here, nationally and around the world, playoffs and championships in virtually every college and pro sport plus the Olympics. He's been writing about sports, based on his book, pretty much since he could pick up a pen and pencil and had some paper in front of him-- professionally, since 1968, until his retirement a couple of years ago. Bob spent almost his entire career working for the "Globe" with a couple of years out working on air for Channel 5. But even if you never heard his voice on the air, you certainly heard it through his writing-- sometimes blunt, sometimes flowery, always opinionated and to the point. I'm a lifelong sports fan myself, and reading Bob's work has been one of the high points of every one of my days since I moved to Boston in the '70s. Please join me in welcoming the one and only Bob Ryan. [APPLAUSE] BOB RYAN: Well thank you. Thank you for coming. And on behalf of me, I want to thank me for allowing you to play hooky. [LAUGHTER] BOB RYAN: We're obviously going to get to questions, but I'll throw out some opening remarks. One of the questions-- the book has been out for a week. A week ago today was the publication date. I felt like it had a very long gestation period because the book was actually-- the send button on the original draft was hit on August 27, 2013. And at that point, I assumed it would be a spring release. And that would have been good, but any author will tell you he or she is very happy to have a fall release with the holidays coming up. So in that sense, I was very grateful that there was some sort of procrastination. But by the time the book came out, I felt like I had had the book by c-section. It was a long wait, and I was anxious to have it. And so that's the genesis there. One of the things I've been asked this week-- and I've done a lot of radio interviews, which is very, very nice-- is why did you decide to write the book? The actual truth is-- and I'm not being disingenuous when I say this. So of course, all along the way in my career I thought about writing a book. I think any author or writer with an ego and a little hint of pomposity thinks that maybe the world would just love to know all his or her thoughts about the career they've led. But I talked myself out of it. I really did, because I just came to the conclusion, you're flattering yourself. Better people than you have either not written books or have written books that didn't seem to have much traction. So that's a nice thought, but put it aside. Then about four years ago, an agent named Andrew Blowner, who was a Brown University graduate who had read during the Bird era, and had read me then and is a big basketball fan, a New Yorker, born and raised in Manhattan, came to me and identified himself-- he's a very prominent agent for people far beyond sports-- and came to me and identified himself as a fan of my work and said that he really thought I should do a book. And I explained to him that I'd already talked myself out of doing a book, but he persuaded me that there was some viability. I said, OK. I said, that's great, I appreciate that. But I'm not going to do anything until I am free and I'm officially retired. I want to be able to concentrate on this, and I'm planning on getting out after the London Olympics. So if you can sit around and wait for me to get done, then we'll talk. And he was very patient. And we had a couple of meetings. Lunches. Meetings-- we had lunches and a few beers in New York and in Boston over the years. And when I did get freed up after the London Olympics and officially retired from the "Globe" on a day-to-day basis, we got together. I got up a little proposal, he shopped it around, and in January of 2013, an editor in New York City named George Gibson from Bloomsbury took the book. It was really fortuitous because George Gibson and I had worked together 25 years ago on a previous book, a Celtics book that some of you might even be aware of or have seen. I can't even remember the long, pretentious title, but it was about the images-- iconic-- but it was all about pictures. Great photos from a tremendous photographer, the late Dick Raphael, and I could supply the text. It was much more of a picture book first and a print book second. There is plenty of print, but the pictures were the selling point. But George had edited that book. He worked up at Addison-Wesley in Reading at that time, and we had no contact in the ensuing years. None. Now, he has taken the book. So I'm in the hands of two people that believe in me, and believe me, as much or more than I do in myself with regard to this project. I wrote the book over the months of April to August of 2013 after about a six week period of actually researching myself. I had to go back and check out things and corroborate memories and check facts and remind myself of things. And it was very interesting. It was kind of fun. And then I got started writing and for the first time-- I'd written 11 previous books and all them, of course, as I was a full-time employee of the "Globe." And the other books all have to be crammed in on nights and weekends and vacations. And it's like a giant term paper hanging over your head. That's exactly what it's like. And they're not fun. And only a couple of them really involved a process that was even remotely pleasurable. Any author will tell you that the most time-- the great line that was uttered-- I don't know who said it. Someone, one of you here, you might know. Someone is credited with saying, "I don't like writing. I like having written." And most authors of any kind will relate to that. This book was not hard to write in that this was one of the few times it didn't feel as if were a giant term paper. One reason being I was going to be able to devote my full energies to it. I actually wrote on a schedule. I read about, what does John Updike do? What does Philip Roth do? What does Grisham and King do? What do they do? They actually sit down and write on a schedule. That's what they do. They get up in the morning, they have breakfast, they write. They have lunch, they go back, they write. Then they go on about their merry way. Never did that before. So I arranged a schedule for myself. Four days a week writing, and one day a week that I called Make Money Monday. Now, that was through my "ESPN, Around the Horn," if you're familiar with that, and maybe my Comcast, which is the studio up in Burlington. That's where I do the Comcast at night. I tried to consolidate them as often as possible to have one day where I could-- and which I do often, by the way, because of the logistics. I live 40 miles one way from Burlington. It's a shlep, believe me. I get sick of 128. I hate it. I'm so sick of looking at it, and I can't get rid of it. So I had Make Money Monday. And then I wrote Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and the occasional Saturday when my wife was out of town. And I actually stuck to it. It was the first time I had ever exhibited any kind of discipline. And not only that, I actually beat the deadline. Now, nobody does that, and I certainly had never done that. But the actual deadline-- deadlines, they give you a deadline and it's like a speed limit. If the speed limit's 65, we know you can go 70 safely. And you get a deadline in print at a publisher-- they'll give you a deadline, and they know it's going to be at least a month later. They know that. They build it in. It's like flight times. I actually made it because I had a self-imposed deadline, which was September 1, due to the fact that my wife and I have an annual little trek up to Maine. And I wanted to go up there with a clear mind and feeling good about myself and no pressure. So I did it. I got it done. I was amazed. I surprised myself. Now, of course, the editing process takes place from that. And George Gibson is a phenomenal editor. Brilliant guy. And he was able to help me shape-- take this from that original chapter and put it in that chapter. And without rearranging or writing any new words, I was able to re-craft the book-- he was able to help me shape the book into a coherent book. It is, as you'll see, it is not a chronological book. It wasn't intended to be. I never wanted it to be. It wasn't going to be a book-- I was born on February 21, 1946 and then right up to today. No, it's a thematic book. I thought I would break it up into different experiences in sports that I've covered, and so it's a thematic book. And it also has several personality profiles of prominent Celtics such as-- or Celtic-oriented people such as Red Auerbach, Dave Cowens, Larry Bird, and John Havlicek; a chapter on Chuck Daly, who I had a very interesting and fun relationship with from the time he was at BC 45 years ago; and Bob Knight. I mean, you can't go wrong writing about Bob Knight. Everybody's fascinated about Bob Knight. And so I had my own particular interesting up and down, up the graph, down the graph experience with Knight. And I was able to write about him. But George was able to craft this so that the first half is essentially, basically, kind of chronological. It takes me from birth to-- and the column-- it takes me from birth to the end of the '87, '88 Celtics season when I-- it was the last time I covered the team on a daily basis. In '89, I became a full time columnist and spent the last 25 years of my career writing columns, and then several features too, which I think are important to do. So the second half of the book is more thematic-- chapter on football, chapter on colleges, chapter on my life with television, both local and ESPN, chapter on golf, et cetera, et cetera, international basketball, the Olympics. And then tying it all together with a little personal look back about everything. And talking about my father, which is something I'd never done before, and it was very-- he died when I was 11. And this was really almost-- I won't go so far as to say cathartic, but it was more emotional than I expected it was going to be. So that's the logistics, if you have the remotest interest in how this thing was put together. The career, I'm proud of in the sense of I really did have two distinct halves. The first half was with a strong identity covering the Celtics. And I was very proud of that. And I loved it. I say in the book that if I could turn the clock back to January 1, 1980 and to January, 31, 1989, professionally I'd change nothing. The good, the bad, the in between, I'd do it all over again. And I might even backdate it to January 1, 1970. That's how much I enjoyed that aspect of covering the NBA-- being a beat man, traveling with the NBA essentially. Also there was a year of covering the Red Sox. A full year, '77. And that's a story you'll find out. I was in between Peter Gammons's stints at the "Globe." So the second half is more thematic and that's the deal. The highlight of the second half, which I [INAUDIBLE], is getting involved in the Olympics. Now, that's something that-- though growing up I had an interest in reading about the Olympics as far back as the '56 Olympics, reading about them in "Sports Illustrated," I never associated myself with covering them or thought that I would. I never gave it a whole lot of thought. And when I stumbled into them in '92, when I went to cover the Dream Team and did a couple of other pieces in addition to the basketball pieces, and fell in love with them-- I love the Olympics. When they're somewhere else-- we'll get to that. I know you're going to ask what I think about Boston and the Olympics. I mean, at least, I think you would. So I love the Olympics. I went to eleven of them in a row. And six were summer, five winter. And they provided me with a whole different perspective, so valuable. I used to look forward to getting away from our meat and potatoes stuff in the middle of winter for three weeks, going somewhere, hopefully going somewhere other than-- Salt Lake was good, but you want to go somewhere with the Olympics. You want to get out of the country and go somewhere and immerse yourself in the entire experience, come home kind of refreshed and jump back into your regular routine. And the same in the summer. And it was a great way to break up the winter and the summer in those Olympics. I really did fall in love with the Olympics, and there's quite a bit about the Olympics in there. So with that said, I'm hoping now you might have some questions, whether it's about the book, whether it's about sports, whether it's about the newspapers, whatever. I'm at your disposal. To anybody. AUDIENCE: We live in an instant gratification society, right? And even on your "Around the Horn" experience, you have 30 seconds to make your point or less, right? How do you think that that has changed and will continue to change the profession of journalism and writing? And what are writers going to have to do in order to keep future generations engaged to the point that they want to read a 200 page book? BOB RYAN: Oh boy. Thanks. I'll start with the first one before I can figure out how I can babble my way through the second one. One of the things that's happened-- and we have certain culprits, starting with talk radio-- is the lack of perspective and the demand for instance adjudication, instant judgment, instant assessment on everything. And it's certainly not a good thing. Consider that in 1979, when the first all 24-hour talk radio devoted to sports was WFAN, and that now, 35 years later, that is the number one radio format in America. It has surpassed country, which was the previous holder. There are more stations devoted to sports talk radio in America than any other format, which is stunning. In any big market there are multiple stations. We have a great example here. We finally had a competitor that challenged WEEI. Sports Hub 98.5 has done that, and now they're fighting back and forth over supremacy now. And they probably will for a long time. One of the things that sports radio has proven, sadly-- and hosts have to acknowledge it-- is that good is boring and bad has sizzle. Negativity trumps positivity by about a 10 to 1 margin. When a team is going well, the calls are repetitive and frequent, but when things aren't going well, stand back. We had exhibit A here after the Kansas City game with the Patriots. And Brady's fate, and the team's fate, and I mean there's nothing illegal about it. We had reasons to doubt them, and I did. I wanted to see them assemble an offensive line. We'll look into that later. Point being, it's back to the point here. Perspective has been lost. One sport that has really suffered from it is baseball, because baseball, with 162 games, you can have long lulls. You can have 10-game losing streaks and win a pennant. The best hitter is going to go 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. The best pitcher-- Clayton Kershaw anybody? The best pitcher can get lit up on certain occasions. That's the nature of the game. Baseball is not meant to be micromanaged on a daily basis. It's meant to be looked at with a little step back, whether it's a series or a week or month, and then we can make some proper judgments, because there's so many things that go into the ebb and flow of baseball season. Football, OK, once a week. There are only 16 games. It's totally understandable that a football game is completely micromanaged when there are only 16 of them. And therefore, if everyone has a disproportionate importance compared to 1 out of 162. That's kind of obvious. And the same goes for basketball and hockey. You need a little bit of perspective. That's been lost. And it's not encouraged anymore. And writers get swept up into it too. And so that's kind of answering your question. That's one of the negative by-products of where we are-- the focus on the day-to-day heat intensity of sports interest. Now, technology-- and we might as well get right to it. I mean, here I am at Google. Technology has been a two edged sword. Technology made my life a lot easier in so many ways than writing a story, sending a story. Writing this book, for the first time, because it was the first book-- I hadn't written a book in ten years. So it was the first post-iPad era for me. The first post-iPhone era for me with writing a book. And in contrast to all those other books, going back to 1972 when I wrote my first one, the process was enhanced by that little baby right there. Whenever I needed a fact or a spelling or whatever, a stat-- bingada, bingada, bingada-- right there. I loved that. It was fantastic, and it made my life easy. It's hard to imagine going back 40 years on a typewriter with carbon copy and hoping, if you needed to find out something and it wasn't instantly available in an encyclopedia, making a phone call and maybe two days later you get the information. That's where we were, writing stories in those days. Now you have the instant gratification of that. You used the word gratification. Yeah, instant gratification is demanded. And it's very dangerous. I do think what we went through here could be a mini course in a journalism school, to look at how Boston reacted to the first four games of the New England Patriots season. And I was guilty. I was asked on the air, on Comcast. Somebody might have even see it. After the Cincinnati game-- how do you think they're going to do? I said, they'll be seven and nine. And that's because I had no-- my mind couldn't wrap around the idea that they could reconstruct that offensive line, it was such a mess. And they did it in five nights, five days. I don't know how they did it. I still don't know how they did it. And suddenly with a line, Brady's Brady again. Isn't that nice? So there's a lot more of this aspects of this that we could talk about, but I just think that the ability to step back and accept that there is an ebb and flow-- but I said that the biggest sport casually in this is baseball. It's absolutely baseball, because baseball with 162 games, it just should not be micromanaged. Years ago, I suggested, knowing it would never be done, but I really thought it was the way to go. I really suggested to my sports editor that rather than cover every game with a game story that we should cover it by series. You should wait and you should provide information about what happened in the bare bones-- let's say you have a three-game series Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Friday and Saturday and Sunday, you go to the game, you assess all the information. Monday you have an overview piece about the weekend-- a series. But nobody's going to do that. Now, we have changed the nature of game stories. And they're being phased out. But not to the full extent that anybody would dare do what I suggest and wait until the series is over in baseball. And then weigh in on the import and the reality of the weekend, but I think it would be a great idea. Baseball. Yeah. AUDIENCE: So you've seen a lot of incredible games over your career and over your life. If you could go back and relive one game, what's the greatest game or series that you've ever personally witnessed? BOB RYAN: I'd have to go by sport. I really do. I can't pick one. I have to go by sport. I am associated with basketball more than anything and then maybe baseball. But it's just so hard. And then within basketball, there's the NBA and there's college. And I went to 29 Final Fours and lots of tournament games. I loved March. I used to try to cover-- get out there and be somewhere for the entire month when I was covering the tournament. But I have a fairly reasonable answer for sport by sport. For football, the easiest one by far, it's the snow game. It's the last game in the stadium, it's the Tuck Rule Game. And I immediately decried the Tuck Rule was an abomination under the Lord. And it's finally been adjudicated, but it benefited us. And I didn't mind it as much, though, even though it was an abomination under the Lord, that it was divine retribution for Sugar Bear Hamilton and Ben Dreith in 1976. And I was there for that in the Oakland Coliseum, as it was known then, OK? So you know the one I'm talking about. And they were the best team in football, as I realized that day. And they got screwed by the refs, and they didn't win in '76. So 25 years later, we finally got divine retribution. Now we're even with Oakland, OK? But it's a bad rule, and they got rid of. A fumble-- fact. I'm going to just digress very briefly. Because one of the things in sports that absolutely I am most mystified by, and I pose this question and never get an answer. At what point in football history did down by contact come into play? Because I guarantee you, in the '50s and '60s, we knew a fumble when we saw it, and you could fumble when that ball hit the ground. Well, I don't know when they put it in, but that's the rule. It takes weight off the referees, of course, makes it easy. Now with replay they can get it right every single time, because they can-- but a fumble's a fumble. To me, a fumble should be a ball is loose. When the ball was loose, the whistle doesn't blow until somebody gets it. Now, if in the course of trying to get it, you observe someone is guilty of a little bit too extra enthusiasm, like a knee in somebody's [GRUNT] or an elbow in their nose, OK, you call it. You drop the flag, give them 15, even if they get it. But why don't they-- I hate that. OK. Now, so the tuck-- Vinatieri's field goal in the snow. If not the greatest field goal ever, it's one of the two, because Pat Summerall kicked a very similar one for the Giants in '58 that everybody in my area-- I grew up in Jersey-- will remember. OK, that game. The import of it was [INAUDIBLE]. That was my football moment. Basketball. The triple overtime game with Phoenix in '76 still for me resonates. There's so much drama in that game. The Celtics played the best they had played in the entire playoffs in the first 14 minutes of that game. They got up by 22. Phoenix would not go away. No matter what they did, they could not get them to go away. And they finally come back and tied it up, and we had this historic three overtimes, including John Havlicek's miracle shot, followed by Gar Heard's miracle shot, followed by Ritchie Powers, a referee, getting attacked at mid court by a fan after the end of overtime, the time out that Silas called that Ritchie Powers wouldn't call. And then finally Glenn McDonnell coming deep, deep, deep, deep off the bench to win the game for them in this third overtime. That was my-- and then with Bird, there's a ten way tie. You know, Bird era. Come on. But the Heat game. You know, the game with the 97 degree Fahrenheit on Friday night. May 8, 1954. May 6. Or not May. June 6, 1984. Game five. That was a mind over matter such as I've never seen because-- we'll get to that. But that game, and game six in '86 against Houston, which was Bird's own choice, you'll read in the book, as his favorite game because he was "never more prepared." Isn't that interesting? Why would he say that? "Never more prepared" for a game. If you remember, game five was the Sichting-Ralph Sampson fight. And it was a lot of emotion attached to that series as we came home. And Larry assured the fans via the media, as he did so well in those days, everything's going to be OK. It was his version of Aaron Rodgers's R-E-L-A-X. It was OK back in '86. Then he went out and played the best all around game I ever saw him play. He was in every aspect of the game, including defense-- he was phenomenal. He was everywhere. OK. Baseball. It isn't one game. It's the totality of games four and five and eight in '04. They've lost game three 19 to 8. We've all buried them. I wrote-- I killed them. And we had to. I said, you wanted the Yankees? You've got the Red Sox. You happy now? Et cetera, et cetera. So we know how that one went in ninth inning. And the walk, the steal, the single. Then we get around. Papi hits a game-winning homer. The next night-- oh, and excuse me. Later that day-- see, the games ended on the same day, because the first went into after midnight, and the next one started at 5:00 PM. So game five starts at 5:00 PM here, goes extra innings, and the moment when Wakefield comes in-- remember the history of Wakefield the year before. And Wakefield comes in and guy gets on it. And Varitek's catching. And of course, he didn't catch him. It was the other guy who caught him. And he wild pitches him around to third base. And we're ready for the next one. And he finally strikes out Ruben Sierra [INAUDIBLE] inning and then Papi on a ten pitch at bat. Bloops one to center off Loaiza to win the game. The totality of the emotional experience of those two and the whole thing was my favorite baseball moment as a writer. As a fan, October 1, '67 still stands as a culmination of a fan experience for so many of us that year that it still is kind of over there. And finally hockey, though not my sport, I got on that moving train in '11, 2011, after the second series. Covered the Tampa Bay series and covered the finals, and that seventh game against the Lightning, 1-0. No penalties. And the coach, their coach, Boucher saying that it was like 60 minutes of overtime. And it was. It was tension-filled beyond belief. And then going out to Vancouver, getting down 0-2, finally winning and being there. So the game was that overtime game, but the Phoenix-- not [INAUDIBLE], that 1-0 game. But the whole experience was-- you know, that enabled me to be able to say I'd covered all four major championships, which is something not everybody gets to do. And I actually had covered all four major championships, in a seven year period too. College basketball-- I'll go one more. Villanova-Georgetown in kind of tie for first between Villanova-Georgetown in '85 and Duke-Kentucky. The 104-103 game. The Laettner shot. Because that is generally acclaimed to be the best college game ever played, and I would certainly concur. Certainly the best one I ever saw. Yes? AUDIENCE: So, Bob, I often listen to Bill Belichick answer questions. And it's extremely painful. BOB RYAN: I want to [INAUDIBLE]. AUDIENCE: I'm curious. If he's not the most frustrating athlete/coach to cover, who might be? BOB RYAN: No, he is for the beat people. And there's a big distinction between how the beat people react to him and how the columnists react to him. The beat people are so totally frustrated. They need information. They need to know that it was-- could you be more specific than a lower body injury? Could you be more specific than that, you know? They need to know things and they need a lot of things that they can't get from him. However, there is a misconception that he is always that way. He is not always that way. He is often that way. He's horrible on Sunday after the game. I really mean he shouldn't even bother. Don't even bring him out there, because win or lose, he's monotone and it's useless. He's a little bit better on Monday after he's seen the film, the tape. As it goes on, by Friday, when work's in and he's more relaxed and they've got all the job done, he's almost a raconteur. And if you push the right button on football theory or history, or-- you know, he doesn't mind hypotheticals. He doesn't mind talking history. He loves it. He has the largest private-- allegedly-- who knows? Who could disprove this? He's alleged to have the largest private collection of football books of anybody in the world. That if he sees a football book or he hears about one or a friend-- somebody, his kids, or his wife, they know to get it, add it to the collection. And he knows more about the Browns, like Paul Brown, than his son does, Mike, I mean, he really is a historian. He's not that bad at the end of the week, but he's terrible for the beat-- but even in his worst days, as a columnist, you can write the scene. So if Belichick's at it again, being monotone and being not forthcoming, you can write that and have some fun with it, you know. I mean, as a columnist, I never went away empty. Now, Parcells would come out almost the polar opposite because he was a raconteur every day, every day, for four years. I always said, I always wished that I had somebody or somebody had gotten annotated every-- transcribed every press conference he had, from the day he signed to the day he left, it would be a good football-- it would be a bestselling book. It would be a fabulous book. All the stuff that he talked about. He talked about Broadway. He talked about horse racing. He talked about baseball, talked about Bob Knight, talked about football. He was fabulous. But just the total opposite of Belichick. But for a columnist, I didn't mind Belichick. But you're absolutely right. He is the ultimate nightmare for a beat man. I've never encountered anybody close to that in all my years. No. AUDIENCE: What is the biggest rule change that you would like to see in either professional sports or college? BOB RYAN: The biggest rule change I'd like to see is, you should only need one foot in to catch a pass in the National Football League. I just can't believe you should be making people into Nureyev just to catch a pass. That's one foot in college. It would make life a lot easier for the referees. And I just don't think it's necessary. I don't see the point. One foot's in OK in basketball. One foot's in OK in baseball. You know, it doesn't matter in baseball. You catch the ball or you don't. But in football, why do they have to have two feet as opposed to college? I don't understand that. Baseball, it's not a rule. Well, it's a DH thing. Make up your mind, baseball. When we're playing inter-league virtually every day now because of the schedule, it's preposterous. I mean, the way it breaks-- and the way it's going to go-- they'll keep it. The Players Association will-- they'll lay under that bus. They'll never give up the DH, so give up and do it. I don't really have enough knowledge about hockey to do it. And basketball. Rule change? No, it's not. It's just interpretation. I mean, all this emphasis on flopping and the fines? Just referee better. I don't think it's that hard. I really don't. I've been watching this league close up for 45 years. I don't think it's-- I think competent referees, knowing who the players are, what their proclivities are-- you knew [INAUDIBLE] was going to flop. So let him lay there. You know? Every once in a great while, he might get run over legitimately. Too bad. That doesn't make up for the 500 times he get away with it, right? I mean, I don't see the problem that it's that big a deal that it should be a fine or that referees can't tell the difference. I just don't get it. I don't have a change-- but I mean, one foot in is-- that really-- and of course-- But I already mentioned the other thing. A fumble's a fumble, damn it. And so I mean, you just saw one the other day. Catch the ball, it falls down, ball pops out because you're at the ground. Why isn't that a fumble? Hold the damn ball. That drives me crazy too. So it's kind of a tie in football. AUDIENCE: So you mentioned Parcells as a great example of somebody who gave really good press conferences. And the Jets have another one, but their fortunes seem to be going in opposite directions. So the question really is, is it just that the Jets had better players and have worse players now? Or has society changed? Has the glare of the spotlight on coaches changed such that it is, in fact, not possible for a coach to survive for five years and yet be as open and loquacious as Parcells? BOB RYAN: Well, the cycles have diminished. No question. I'm trying think-- who is the longest tenured-- Belichick has got to be, right? The longest tenured-- who is second? Anybody know? I have no idea. AUDIENCE: Marvin Lewis. BOB RYAN: Who is? AUDIENCE: Marvin Lewis. One year. BOB RYAN: Marvin Lewis is second what, eight or nine? AUDIENCE: No, one year less. BOB RYAN: One year less? He's been there that long? Wow, I didn't realize that. AUDIENCE: He was hired out of Baltimore-- BOB RYAN: All right. Red Auerbach identified this, believe it or not, 30 years ago, that cycles were shortening. Even then, he saw this coming. This "you need the new voice," whatever it is. Coaches get burned out. The players tune you out, et cetera. But now that's not the reason. It's the instant gratification of the owners. As soon as an owner-- some owners. There are these impetuous owners. They've spent-- they're a new breed compared to the old guys. You know, the Ralph Wilsons as opposed to the Snyders. You know, Snyder comes in, and he's spent all this money for the Redskins. And he wants now. Ralph Wilson came into the NFL when you paid $25,000 as an entry fee in 1960. That's what it was. And dies at 94 several months ago as the owner of a-- sitting on a goldmine. But it look 54 years for that goldmine to accumulate for him. But other guys come in, and they want instant gratification. And especially if someone has an immediate success, they say, why can't we have it? How come he has it? And that's true in football, baseball, basketball. It's so true in all of them. There's no question. That's the big change. It's not so much that the players are tuning out the coaches. So coaches are casualties. They don't get it-- they become casualties with some of these impetuous owners. And if there's a majority of those kind of new breed owners, if you will-- nouveau riche-- whether it's from technology or whatever it's from, then you get these coaching casualties. Say this town. I mean, you really should applaud the Celtics ownership, because Doc Rivers lost 18 games in a row in 2006-- or that team did. Team lost 18 in a row in the 2006-2007 season. Now, there were mitigating circumstances that I think we-- the press knew. Pierce was hurt. Missed most of them. They would have won a few with him, but they lost 18 in a row. Doc didn't go anywhere. He was around the next year to win a championship, thanks to Danny's manipulations on that draft day. These people have shown remarkable patience I think, in the long way, and they believe in Danny. So I applaud them. But that's it to me. It's very simple. They're just impetuous, impetuous owners. I mean, they have huge investments. And some of them have [? debt ?] service. And they really have strong concerns. And the coaches-- [INAUDIBLE]. It's easier to fire one coach than fill in a blank. Twelve players in basketball, 18 in hockey. Or 23, whatever the roster is. 53 in football and baseball 25. So that's what they do. AUDIENCE: On the topic of the Celtics, you covered them day-to-day during a pretty great time to be doing that I would imagine. Could you talk a little bit about how the Celtics' relationship with this city has transformed over the last 20 years or so as it's been more up and down and they haven't been that consistently great team that they were? And one quick follow up. Where do you think that my favorite player, Paul Pierce, ranks in the history of Celtics' greats? BOB RYAN: I think I've been here long enough to size up the ongoing dynamics, OK? It was, up until a very, very recent time, the last decade but even more recently, the Red Sox were number one. And then we could start-- and everybody else was fighting for the two, three, and four spots. And in the winter, it was always a Bruins town. And the only time the Celtics reigned supreme, ultimately, was during the Bird era. Even during the Havlicek-Cowens era, that was the big bad Bruins they were up against. And they weren't winning that battle at all, even though they won two championships. The Bruins did as well in that era. And so now, the Patriots are number one, and whether the Red Sox are one or two is a subject of debate. But who can argue that the consuming passion now, number one overall is the Patriots? And that's an amazing transformation because in 1993, when Parcells came, they were fourth and so distant a fourth, it wasn't even an argument. But in the winter, let's be honest, it's a hockey town at the core. It's still the greatest hockey town in America. Strong high school hockey, the college situation, the ability to have a Beanpot. No other city could have one. To have those four schools within three mile radius play that tournament. There's no other city that comes close to that. But we are a hockey culture in the winter still. We've never been a pure basketball culture. Never. In the Russell era, they were lucky to draw 7,000 to 8,000 a night in the regular season. And then they would fill the house in the playoffs. And then in the Cowens-Havlicek era, they maybe got it up to 12,000, 13,000, but never consistently sold out. Bird era, yes, they reigned supreme thanks to Larry. And now they've fallen back. I saw a survey the other day. What's your favorite team? And Patriots were one, Red Sox were two, Bruins were three, and the Celtics had 6%. That make sense to me. I'm a basketball guy, though it pained me. I write about this in the book. I was an impetuous little brat in the early '70s. I was always whining about the Bruins, believe me, and now people couldn't officiate the Celtics. I mention that. Paul Pierce. Well, let's start with this. I've said this-- the first time I said it was in 2002 after that game in Indiana when he got 40 points with 20 free throws. And I said, kids, don't try this at home. You know, this is only one guy can do-- he is the greatest individual scoring machine in Celtics history. Not the best player. He's not Bird, he's not Havlicek. But definitely the best guy with the most ability-- varied ability to get the ball in the basket. Nobody more than Pierce. He's a three point shooter. He's a great driver. He's a great finisher on the break. He has all these up fakes and tricks that go right back to the '50s and '60s. He and Manu Ginobili are the two most throwback guys in the league to the '50s and '60s with the modern ability to shoot threes. Don't foul them. He goes to the line and he fouls. He was an excellent rebounder for a guard. Excellent rebounder. And he was a terrific player. We got a Mount Rushmore of Celtics, which you can't argue, OK? Which is Russell, Cousy, Bird, and Havlicek. But if you want to go to a five man, now the fun starts because you've got three candidates for the fifth, and he's one of them along with McHale and Cowens. And Sam Jones right on the rail, believe me. But I'm a big booster of his in this regard, and to me I think that's pretty high praise. I can't put them on the Rushmore when Rushmore means four. You can't get there, but he might be the next one up. And I always say this-- people forget-- Paul Pierce came literally that close to dying. If the knife goes into that chest that far apart the other way, he's dead. And I thought that he came back so fast from that. I thought it was-- I was in awe that he was able to function after that as well as he did. And we watched him grow, and I think he became a real leader. Now, he had that one horrible moment in Indianapolis with the gauze on the face that looked like the troops at Valley Forge that night. That was-- I don't know what got over him that night. I have no idea what he was thinking about. That was his one aberrational moment. Other than that, I think he was a great Celtic. AUDIENCE: So what's one thing that you knew was going to happen? That you called right from the beginning and then it didn't happen. The worst thing that you've swung and missed on. BOB RYAN: Well, I thought when Jim Rice hit the ball in October 1, 1978, a ball was going out of the ballpark, but that was wrong. So we won't go there. I don't know. I really don't. I mean, they had a player named Garfield Smith in 1969 that I really thought my first year that-- second year, second year-- that I really thought was going to be a really, really good player. He was a good rebounder. Turned out to be an utter bust. And he's immortalized. He did something that won't be exceeded. It can only be matched. And this is the gospel truth that he did this. He had the famous free throw air ball hat trick in Phoenix. He missed the rim on all three. All three. He was 6 for 31 lifetime free throw shooting. You can look it up. I kind of blew it on him. But other than that, I'm just trying to think. You know, I mean, ball players-- Red Sox players come and you think some of them are going to be good and great, and they don't turn out to be very good. Honestly, I'm not trying to-- I don't have an answer to that. Garfield Smith jumps out at me, but I was young then. I developed more perspective. AUDIENCE: One more quick question. So Boston and New England in general have so many iconic sports figures, from Tom Brady all the way down to Russell and everybody else. If you had to pick one person to represent Boston sports, who is it? And why do you choose Larry Bird? BOB RYAN: I'm just trying to think about-- that question is a different one in the slant to it? Representing the city, I might go Havlicek over-- I might go Havlicek as a representative. You know, scrub him up, bring him home to mother. No problems. That kind of thing. Larry had some rough edges, though I love Larry. And Larry grew to love Boston. But when you stand up there in front of thousands of people at City Hall and you utter the S word in regard to Moses, you know, that's a little bit the lack of polish, as we say. Everybody loved it, of course. Bobby Orr is still the most revered figure in my time in Boston. As of 50 years I've been here-- post-date Ted Williams. That whole other worship of Ted of the elder generation is something else, you know? So in my time, the 50 years I've been here since I set foot in BC in 1964, the most revered athlete I think is still Bobby Orr. And rightly so because he's the greatest hockey player that ever lived. Period. And so there-- and it's just the fact that he ended at age 30. Today, if he came along, that first knee scope would've been done and he would've been fine. But that's true of a lot of guys in history. We know that. But it's very, very true of Orr. I'd have to settle him. He never made a misstep in public. He represented-- to this day, he just exudes class and positivity and everything else. AUDIENCE: So him over Tom Brady? BOB RYAN: Brady's fine. Brady-- there's nothing-- Brady hasn't done anything wrong. I would say that people-- this isn't going outside. I mean, I don't want this misinterpreted. OK? I mean, I'm going to have to be very careful. Somebody's-- I got the good guy over here and the bad guy over here telling me don't do this. But please understand what I'm saying. If he hadn't married the most successful model in the world-- if he had married, if not necessarily the girl next door, but a regular person-- he always dated celebrities. That was always the case. That's the only thing. To some people, that might put them off a little bit, you know? But I mean, other guys think it's fantastic that he never dated anything but celebrities. His money literally is tip money in their family account. It's the discretionary fund money. It's all it is. They can go anywhere they want in the world. He can pay for it out of his-- it makes him feel good that he can help out. You know I'm right. That must be funny. And the other thing is, the houses they build. It's like Jeter. What does Jeter need with that monstrosity down there, that they have already nicknamed St. Jetersburg in West Coast of Florida. I don't know. Anyway, Brady would be a fine representative. He always says the right thing. He's a bright guy. But I'm going to stick with Orr. AUDIENCE: A couple of things. Quarterbacks. Are they management or are they labor, and how much should they be standing up for the rest? And this is not a new topic, right? I mean, even in the '90s they had this whole QB club thing where they tried to split off from the players union in terms of making their own money. BOB RYAN: So who are you saying about-- is who management? AUDIENCE: Quarterbacks. How much should they stand with the players, and how much should they stand with the team when it comes to, for example, negotiations? BOB RYAN: Well, I used to kid, and it's probably a good rule of thumb. Never trust an owner any farther than you can throw the building or the stadium. I mean, for the most part. None of them are purely altruistic. They're all in it-- they want to make some money anymore. There's no doubt about it. But some are more willing to lose more money than others. You have to sympathize. Once again, in sports-- in a sport like football, with the short career life, the danger of injury, the idea of, yeah, your career could end at any-- look what happened Sunday. Ridley and Mayo out for the year on one play. Not cumulative. You have to have some sympathy for the players. The pendulum-- this is so analogous to real life labor management going back to Samuel Gompers and John L. Lewis and the whole labor movement in America going back to the late 19th century and Sinclair Lewis and the whole thing. I mean, you had the management, and you had the oppressed workers. I had to laugh when Marvin Miller did say, as he did say when he took over, that the baseball writers were the most oppressed workers he had ever represented. And he was an economist who represented all kinds of union people. But remember this. Marvin Miller took over in 1966. You know what the-- show of hands. Anybody know? What do you think the minimum salary in baseball was in 1966? Minimum salary by the virtue of their collective bargaining agreement. 1966. We had indoor plumbing, remember. Color TV. The whole bit. AUDIENCE: $50? BOB RYAN: $6,000. And they had, of course, no free agency. No rights. The reserve clause bound them forever. The whole thing. Things had to improve. It was arbitration that did it. It was Peter Seitz the arbitrator that overturned the Messersmith case. That's the big seminal moment that changed everything. As much as Marvin Miller was a strident defender of the union rights, that arbitrator Peter Seitz is the one who actually is the person that they should all be thanking today for the way the world is now. So owners didn't do it willingly. They fought every change every step of the way. There were two guys-- believe it or not, they were very interesting because they're very distinctly different out there, outsides people. The two owners who were so far away from their mainstream of all other owners during their time, and they did overlap to a degree. Bill Veeck and Charlie Finley, both of whom at different times advocated total free agency, thinking that it would all settle itself. OK, and that was, oh my god, aghast. They were always ahead of their time and always iconoclastic. So by and large, you've got to go players. Yeah. Because there's an awful lot owners that still-- I mean, it's just the nature of the beast. That's all. AUDIENCE: Why didn't you list Wellington Mara in that list of owners as the guy who said, "We're going to share all revenue nationally in our sport as opposed to other sports?" BOB RYAN: What about Wellington Mara? I'm sorry? AUDIENCE: As an owner who is so different from the rest. BOB RYAN: Well, the Mara family is invested in football for eight decades. OK? Tim Mara got the team back in the '30s. It's like the Rooneys. The Rooneys are the dynasty. Whether or not Art Rooney actually won the team in a poker game is part of the apocryphal story. It wasn't quite that, but it was something close to that. And now the Rooneys are still there. His grandsons are still running the team. There's some wonderful owners-- the Griffiths in baseball were the last people I remember who-- well, I don't know. It's true of Rooney and Mara. They make their living from the team as opposed to-- the Griffiths were the last ones in baseball. And of course, they were always accused of being penny pinching, you know. But I think the Maras are considered to be excellent owners as owners go. AUDIENCE: I guess the point was that, I think he was the one who said that we're going to share national revenue, which was against, for example, what baseball did and perhaps as the single decision that causes the success of football. The flat salary cap and shared national revenue on TV. BOB RYAN: I mean, I think the Maras are high on the list of good-- I think Kraft-- hey, you know-- I think Kraft has by and large been a great owner for the fans. I'm well aware of his business issues. I know his litigation forever. I'm well aware of all that. And I know he has a tremendous ego. And I know he wants to walk down the street and have people say, hi, Mr. Kraft, thank you so much for everything you've done for us and all that. He does. I know he does. But he's been a pretty damn good owner. And he got that stadium built. And yeah, it wasn't completely without the help of the public, but it wasn't as much public aid as other stadiums and other arenas in other cities. By and large, we're pretty lucky. But in general terms, look, this is a capitalist society. We have a system in which the ownership owns and the labor works, but still owners will get away with everything they can get away with. And if they weren't forced into it kicking and screaming at times. Now, watch out for the next-- in two years when the NBA association can opt out of the agreement now that they've got this whopping new TV contract. And if the owners didn't realize that was going to be a byproduct of this, then they are rather foolish. But I'm sure they do. So be prepared for a delay in the start of the 2016-17 season, I think. I'm telling you right now, [INAUDIBLE] we know that. Anybody else? Yes? AUDIENCE: I do want to get your opinion on the Boston Olympics. BOB RYAN: OK, good. I love the Olympics. I think Boston would be a tremendous site. I can just imagine-- what you need for a successful Olympics, over and above the venues, is gathering places and places for people to go in the off hours. Picture the Commonwealth Mall from Kenmore Square up to the Garden as people from all over the world strolling. Maybe there'd be kiosks, whatever. Temporary kiosks, it would have to be. Picture City Hall Plaza. Picture the waterfront as it is getting more and more transformed into something really nice by 2024. There's lots-- I think it'd be fantastic. Then take a trip to Beijing or Athens and look at the stadium sitting there doing nothing. And ask Athens how they feel about it now. Ask Beijing. I mean, if Bill Gates or Warren Buffett wants to write a check for us for the billions that would take, OK. But the logistics are daunting. I can't believe what I'm hearing from people. They have to build a stadium. They're not going to use Foxborough. They have to build-- where would they put-- and what happens afterward? The Patriots aren't moving there. Who's going to play there? The Revolution? No. The Red Sox? No. Eastie versus Southie on Thanksgiving Day? Is that it? What? Here's the things that always happen. The Velodrome sits there and nobody knows what to do with the Velodrome. The swimming pool is oversized and gigantic, sits there, and nobody knows what to do with the swimming pool. The Chinese don't even know what to do with the stadium. The birds nest stadium. They don't having to do with it. The reality-- look at what's happening with the Winter Olympics. We have two autocratic countries left. Oslo opted out. We've got Kazakhstan, and we've got Beijing. Winter Olympics in Beijing. They're talking about hundreds of miles away for skiing events and everything. But they seem to be the only countries now that are willing to absorb all the costs and do what they have to do. I mean, they displaced how many hundreds of thousands of people in Beijing? We'll never know. I love being there, but I always-- but I think it's preposterous. I don't know what they are smoking or drinking or-- I have no idea if they've ever really thought this out fully. This guy John [INAUDIBLE]. And also, do you like the idea that the guy that's the [? protagonist ?] just happens to be in construction? I mean, seriously. I mean, this isn't even-- he's not hiding anything. He's this construction guy. He would profit enormously from this. No. The answer is no. OK? No. And I'm worried about the future of the Olympics because the 2022 thing is scary. That that's all we've got left, and nobody-- I was hoping Oslo would say yes, but they're smart people and they said no. And it may have to just run its course, the Olympics as we know it. But I do love them. I would recommend if you can get to Rio, it's an amazing take. I love the take, as we say. Yes. AUDIENCE: This will be the last one from me, I promise. So I wrote an op piece about-- we were putting up a statue for Bill Russell. And it talked a lot about the history of racism in Boston and how that has affected the NBA. And you were a huge advocate for the NBA back in the day when they couldn't fill the house up because of the Bruins who were in large part a white team. Do you think that racism has played that kind of pivotal role? What's your opinion on that and how it's affected the history and the future of the NBA here in Boston? BOB RYAN: There was no question that when Dave Cowens came, suddenly sprung up a fan base that had not patronized them. Spent money to see them. He certainly became a very popular player, and I don't think there's any accident that the Celtics started to acquire a sounder, stronger, wider fanbase because the new exciting player happened to be white. Ridiculous. I don't think it's any accident that-- and I remember, I actually wrote this once about the-- in the Bird-McHale era, that the greatest cheers in the building are when McHale blocks the shot of a big black star, specifically Dr. J. It's foolish to deny that impulse. I think we've evolved and we're much better. The Red Sox thing, the history is shameful. The Yawkey history is shameful. And right into the '70s, the players who will tell you how much they did not like Boston-- Reggie Smith was the most outspoken one of all. It got better and better. And Mo Vaughan would tell you totally the opposite now, because he came up in the '80s-- in the '90s, excuse me. We've evolved to a degree. The whole busing thing. Boston's national image was horrible. There were players, and there may still be some left for all I know, who had things written in their contract in baseball they couldn't be traded here. This was one of the cities they didn't want to come to, black players. But the NBA being-- the composition of the NBA being whatever percentage it is black is a whole different matter now. Everybody's is used to the idea that the odds are that 8 or 9 or 10 of the players on the court at any given time are going to be black. And people are used to that who love basketball. But we had a bad history here, no question about it. The Red Sox were shameful. We all know the history. The last black player and all the other stuff I just cited. But I'm sure it affected people. But I think this fortunately younger generation did not bring-- did not carry over the prejudices of their elders here. I think that was-- I remember going back to the book, "The Greening of America." That book was very popular. It talked about how the younger generation would evolve. And I think, in that case, in this city, racial relations have evolved better because the younger generation shed the prejudices of their parents. Just an observation. AUDIENCE: On the racism thing, recently with the Clippers and actually more interestingly the Hawks, what's going on here? Especially for the Hawks, for what seemed like a somewhat racist but somewhat innocuous thing, he just quietly disappeared. I mean, has the pendulum swung all the way to the other side where now-- BOB RYAN: Well, in general terms, a lot of pendulum has swung a long way. Things that could be said and written 25 years ago, you can't do it now. You cannot do it. I'll give you an example-- Oh, the Hawks thing. We're talking about the owner saying that they-- the black fans-- they wanted a season ticket holding white population because the black fans don't buy season tickets. And they scared away the white fans. And the music scared away the white fans. I mean, oh my God, you know. That was hard to read. It really was. Accompanied by the scouting report. Talking about Luol Deng that there's too much African in this game. Oh boy. Just when you think you're beyond all this, this thing rears its head. My opinion on Atlanta, by the way, is that isn't the real issue. The issue is that it's just a lousy sports town. And they've been there 46 years, and they've never gotten to the finals. And people are just never come and adopted that team the way they could or should. I was going to say something about-- oh, hell, I forgot about it. I'm sorry. I was going to play off that. Oh, yeah, 25 years ago or more. 30, I don't know. Maybe more. I was writing a piece that was common to-- these things were very common. And I wrote one for Inside Sport magazine. And it was about the all-black black team, the all-white white team, the all-black white team, and the all-white black team. Guys who played-- the guys who have the funkiest games, the all-black black team. The all white team, guys who had the whitest game, and then the crossover players. You couldn't print that now. You could not get that in print now. Nobody-- you could not do it. The players all got it. They always got it. It's still truth in the NBA that the white man's disease is the best ongoing joke in the NBA. Woe be to the black player who has the white man's disease. He's going to get razzed by his team forever, et cetera. But the public-- but you can't even do that anymore and not have some special interest group jumping all over you. You can't even do that anymore, even though the league is perfectly tuned to the idea that the NBA is the only element-- maybe not the only, but one of the most prominent areas of our society where the fact of the matter is that the white man is judged to be inferior by definition and has to prove himself. And everybody in the league knows it at every level, but you can't say that in public anymore. So yeah. We've gone-- we're in such a PC frightening world, and humorless world, and special interest world. And I speak as a left of center person, trust me, but I get a little bit frustrated. I mean, with some of this nonsense. I couldn't write that story today, it's too bad. It was a pretty good story. Well, we've gone through our hour. I am not going anywhere. You may have to. So I mean, I've got plenty of time if anybody wants to linger. But thank you for coming. I really appreciate it. Let me just say one thing about the book. Nobody asked me a question, so I'm going to give you my little-- what I hope you take away from the book is that I am somebody who was almost programmed to do what I did by virtue of my background. And that I enjoyed it and I still like it. And though you hear about how many writers get jaded and cynical and they don't care about who wins and loses and they only write about people and all that stuff, I'm not that guy. And I still love the sports, the games. People talk about writing about people. Well, we wouldn't care about these people if it weren't for the game. The core of it is that all these people are involved in playing a game, no matter what the game is. And so I just would try to reflect that I'm really grateful and happy and lucky that I got to do it. And I hope I can share that enthusiasm with you throughout by reading the book. So thank you very much for your attention and coming and thank you for having me. [APPLAUSE]

Contents

Key

Year Links to the corresponding "year in baseball" or "Major League Baseball season" article
Leader Player with the highest number of strikeouts in the league
K Number of strikeouts[b]
Runner-up Player with the second-best strikeout total in the league
League Denoted only for players outside of the modern major leagues
Hall of Fame Member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

National League

A shoulders-up photograph of a dark-haired man with a thick mustache. He is wearing a dark suit with a dark-patterned tie.
Tommy Bond won the triple crown in 1877, leading the National League in wins, strikeouts, and earned run average.
A man in a baseball cap and V-neck buttoned sweater looks to the left of the image. His sweater and his hat both display the letter "P" in block type, and he holds a baseball bat over his shoulder with both hands.
Grover Cleveland Alexander led the National League in strikeouts six times in nine seasons.
A seated man in a white baseball cap and white baseball uniform shown from the chest up. He is looking to the left of the image. He has a small mustache, and his jersey reads "NEW YORK" in dark block type, partially obscured by a short tie worn around his neck under the collar of his jersey.
Amos Rusie led the National League in strikeouts a total of five times with two different teams.
A dark-haired man wearing a black sweater and crownless baseball cap looks into the camera. His hair hangs down over his right side of his forehead, and he has a slight smirk on his face.
From 1903 to 1908, Christy Mathewson led the National League in strikeouts in five of six years.
A black-and-white photograph of a smiling man from the chest up; he is wearing a white baseball jersey and dark-colored baseball cap
Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax led the National League in strikeouts four times before retiring at the age of 30.
A man in a red baseball pullover and red baseball cap with a white "C" on the front signs a baseball with his right hand.
Aaron Harang defeated Jake Peavy for the strikeout title in 2006 by one strikeout.
A man in a white baseball jersey reading "Padres" across the chest and wearing a navy blue baseball cap throws a baseball with his right hand from a dirt mound on a grass field.
Jake Peavy's 240 strikeouts in 2007 led all National League pitchers; his 2007 season marks the most recent pitching triple crown.[32]
A man in a gray baseball uniform and black baseball cap throws a baseball with his right hand from a dirt mound on a grass field.
Tim Lincecum led the National League in strikeouts in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Year Leader K Team Runner-up K Ref
1876 Jim Devlin 122 Louisville Grays George Bradley 103 [33]
1877 Tommy Bond 170 Boston Red Caps Jim Devlin 141 [34]
1878 Tommy Bond 182 Boston Red Caps Will White 169 [35]
1879 John Montgomery WardHall of Fame 239 Providence Grays Will White 232 [36]
1880 Larry Corcoran 268 Chicago White Stockings Jim McCormick 260 [37]
1881 George Derby 212 Detroit Wolverines Jim McCormick 178 [38]
1882 Charles RadbournHall of Fame 201 Cleveland Spiders Jim McCormick 200 [39]
1883 Jim Whitney 345 Boston Beaneaters Charles RadbournHall of Fame 315 [40]
1884 Charles RadbournHall of Fame 441 Providence Grays Charlie Buffinton 417 [41]
1885 John ClarksonHall of Fame 308 Chicago White Stockings Mickey WelchHall of Fame 258 [42]
1886 Lady Baldwin 323 Detroit Wolverines John ClarksonHall of Fame 313 [43]
1887 John ClarksonHall of Fame 237 Chicago White Stockings Tim KeefeHall of Fame 189 [44]
1888 Tim KeefeHall of Fame 335 New York Giants John ClarksonHall of Fame 223 [45]
1889 John ClarksonHall of Fame 284 Boston Beaneaters Tim KeefeHall of Fame 225 [46]
1890 Amos RusieHall of Fame 341 New York Giants Bill Hutchinson 289 [47]
1891 Amos RusieHall of Fame 337 New York Giants Bill Hutchinson 261 [48]
1892 Bill Hutchinson 314 Chicago White Stockings
Amos RusieHall of Fame 304 [49]
1893 Amos RusieHall of Fame 208 New York Giants Brickyard Kennedy 107 [50]
1894 Amos RusieHall of Fame 195 New York Giants Ted Breitenstein 140 [51]
1895 Amos RusieHall of Fame 201 Cleveland Spiders Kid NicholsHall of Fame 148 [52]
1896 Cy YoungHall of Fame 140 Cleveland Spiders Pink Hawley 137 [53]
1897 Doc McJames
Cy Seymour
156 Washington Senators
New York Giants
Joe Corbett 149 [54]
1898 Cy Seymour 239 New York Giants Doc McJames 178 [55]
1899 Noodles Hahn 145 Cincinnati Reds Cy Seymour 142 [56]
1900 Noodles Hahn 132 Cincinnati Reds Rube WaddellHall of Fame 130 [57]
1901 Noodles Hahn 239 Cincinnati Reds Bill Donovan 226 [58]
1902 Vic WillisHall of Fame 225 Boston Beaneaters Doc White 185 [59]
1903 Christy MathewsonHall of Fame 267 New York Giants Joe McGinnityHall of Fame 171 [60]
1904 Christy MathewsonHall of Fame 212 New York Giants Vic WillisHall of Fame 196 [61]
1905 Christy MathewsonHall of Fame 206 New York Giants Red Ames 198 [62]
1906 Fred Beebe 171 Chicago Cubs
St. Louis Cardinals
Francis "Big Jeff" Pfeffer 158 [63]
1907 Christy MathewsonHall of Fame 178 New York Giants Bob Ewing 147 [64]
1908 Christy MathewsonHall of Fame 259 New York Giants Nap Rucker 199 [65]
1909 Orval Overall 205 Chicago Cubs Nap Rucker 201 [66]
1910 Earl Moore 185 Philadelphia Phillies Christy MathewsonHall of Fame 184 [67]
1911 Rube MarquardHall of Fame 237 New York Giants Grover Cleveland AlexanderHall of Fame 227 [68]
1912 Grover Cleveland AlexanderHall of Fame 195 Philadelphia Phillies Claude Hendrix 176 [69]
1913 Tom Seaton 168 Philadelphia Phillies Jeff Tesreau 167 [70]
1914 Grover Cleveland AlexanderHall of Fame 214 Philadelphia Phillies Jeff Tesreau 189 [71]
1915 Grover Cleveland AlexanderHall of Fame 241 Philadelphia Phillies Jeff Tesreau 176 [72]
1916 Grover Cleveland AlexanderHall of Fame 167 Philadelphia Phillies Larry Cheney 166 [73]
1917 Grover Cleveland AlexanderHall of Fame 200 Philadelphia Phillies Hippo Vaughn 195 [74]
1918 Hippo Vaughn 148 Chicago Cubs Wilbur Cooper 117 [75]
1919 Hippo Vaughn 141 Chicago Cubs Hod Eller 137 [76]
1920 Grover Cleveland AlexanderHall of Fame 173 Chicago Cubs Burleigh GrimesHall of Fame
Hippo Vaughn
131 [77]
1921 Burleigh Grimes 136 Brooklyn Robins Wilbur Cooper 134 [78]
1922 Dazzy VanceHall of Fame 134 Brooklyn Robins Wilbur Cooper 129 [79]
1923 Dazzy VanceHall of Fame 197 Brooklyn Robins Dolf Luque 151 [80]
1924 Dazzy VanceHall of Fame 262 Brooklyn Robins Burleigh GrimesHall of Fame 135 [81]
1925 Dazzy VanceHall of Fame 221 Brooklyn Robins Dolf Luque 140 [82]
1926 Dazzy VanceHall of Fame 140 Brooklyn Robins Charlie Root 127 [83]
1927 Dazzy VanceHall of Fame 184 Brooklyn Robins Charlie Root 145 [84]
1928 Dazzy VanceHall of Fame 200 Brooklyn Robins Pat Malone 155 [85]
1929 Pat Malone 166 Chicago Cubs Watty Clark 140 [86]
1930 Bill Hallahan 177 St. Louis Cardinals Dazzy VanceHall of Fame 173 [87]
1931 Bill Hallahan 159 St. Louis Cardinals Carl HubbellHall of Fame 155 [88]
1932 Dizzy DeanHall of Fame 191 St. Louis Cardinals Carl HubbellHall of Fame 137 [89]
1933 Dizzy DeanHall of Fame 199 St. Louis Cardinals Carl HubbellHall of Fame 156 [90]
1934 Dizzy DeanHall of Fame 195 St. Louis Cardinals Van Mungo 184 [91]
1935 Dizzy DeanHall of Fame 190 St. Louis Cardinals Carl HubbellHall of Fame 150 [92]
1936 Van Mungo 238 Brooklyn Dodgers Dizzy DeanHall of Fame 195 [93]
1937 Carl HubbellHall of Fame 159 New York Giants Lee Grissom 149 [94]
1938 Clay Bryant 135 Chicago Cubs Paul Derringer 132 [95]
1939 Passeau, Claude; Walters, BuckyClaude Passeau[c]
Bucky Walters[c]
137 Cincinnati Reds
Philadelphia Phillies
Chicago Cubs
Mort Cooper 130 [30]
1940 Kirby Higbe 137 Philadelphia Phillies Claude Passeau
Whit Wyatt
124 [96]
1941 Johnny Vander Meer 202 Cincinnati Reds Whit Wyatt 176 [97]
1942 Johnny Vander Meer 186 Cincinnati Reds Mort Cooper 152 [98]
1943 Johnny Vander Meer 174 Cincinnati Reds Mort Cooper 141 [99]
1944 Bill Voiselle 161 New York Giants Max Lanier 141 [100]
1945 Preacher Roe 148 Pittsburgh Pirates Hal Gregg 139 [101]
1946 Johnny Schmitz 135 Chicago Cubs Kirby Higbe 134 [102]
1947 Ewell Blackwell 193 Cincinnati Reds Ralph Branca 148 [103]
1948 Harry Brecheen 149 St. Louis Cardinals Rex Barney 138 [104]
1949 Warren SpahnHall of Fame 151 Boston Braves Don Newcombe 149 [105]
1950 Warren SpahnHall of Fame 191 Boston Braves Ewell Blackwell 188 [106]
1951 Don Newcombe
Warren SpahnHall of Fame
164 Brooklyn Dodgers
Boston Braves
Sal Maglie 146 [107]
1952 Warren SpahnHall of Fame 183 Boston Braves Bob Rush 157 [108]
1953 Robin RobertsHall of Fame 198 Philadelphia Phillies Carl Erskine 187 [109]
1954 Robin RobertsHall of Fame 185 Philadelphia Phillies Harvey Haddix 184 [110]
1955 Sam Jones 198 Chicago Cubs Robin RobertsHall of Fame 160 [111]
1956 Sam Jones 176 Chicago Cubs Harvey Haddix 170 [112]
1957 Jack Sanford 188 Philadelphia Phillies Moe Drabowsky
Dick Drott
170 [113]
1958 Sam Jones 225 Chicago Cubs Warren SpahnHall of Fame 150 [114]
1959 Don DrysdaleHall of Fame 242 Los Angeles Dodgers Sam Jones 209 [115]
1960 Don DrysdaleHall of Fame 246 Los Angeles Dodgers Sandy KoufaxHall of Fame 197 [116]
1961 Sandy KoufaxHall of Fame 269 Los Angeles Dodgers Stan Williams 205 [117]
1962 Don DrysdaleHall of Fame 232 Los Angeles Dodgers Sandy KoufaxHall of Fame 219 [118]
1963 Sandy KoufaxHall of Fame 306 Los Angeles Dodgers Jim Maloney 265 [119]
1964 Bob Veale 250 Pittsburgh Pirates Bob GibsonHall of Fame 245 [120]
1965 Sandy KoufaxHall of Fame 382 Los Angeles Dodgers Bob Veale 276 [121]
1966 Sandy KoufaxHall of Fame 317 Los Angeles Dodgers Jim BunningHall of Fame 252 [122]
1967 Jim BunningHall of Fame 253 Philadelphia Phillies Ferguson JenkinsHall of Fame 236 [123]
1968 Bob GibsonHall of Fame 268 St. Louis Cardinals Ferguson JenkinsHall of Fame 260 [124]
1969 Ferguson JenkinsHall of Fame 273 Chicago Cubs Bob GibsonHall of Fame 269 [125]
1970 Tom SeaverHall of Fame 283 New York Mets Bob GibsonHall of Fame
Ferguson JenkinsHall of Fame
274 [126]
1971 Tom SeaverHall of Fame 289 New York Mets Ferguson JenkinsHall of Fame 263 [127]
1972 Steve CarltonHall of Fame 310 Philadelphia Phillies Tom SeaverHall of Fame 249 [128]
1973 Tom SeaverHall of Fame 251 New York Mets Steve CarltonHall of Fame 223 [129]
1974 Steve CarltonHall of Fame 240 Philadelphia Phillies Andy Messersmith 221 [130]
1975 Tom SeaverHall of Fame 243 New York Mets John Montefusco 215 [131]
1976 Tom SeaverHall of Fame 235 New York Mets J. R. Richard 214 [132]
1977 Phil NiekroHall of Fame 262 Atlanta Braves J. R. Richard 214 [133]
1978 J. R. Richard 303 Houston Astros Phil NiekroHall of Fame 248 [134]
1979 J. R. Richard 313 Houston Astros Steve CarltonHall of Fame 213 [135]
1980 Steve CarltonHall of Fame 286 Philadelphia Phillies Nolan RyanHall of Fame 200 [136]
1981 Fernando Valenzuela 180 Los Angeles Dodgers Steve CarltonHall of Fame 179 [137]
1982 Steve CarltonHall of Fame 286 Philadelphia Phillies Mario Soto 274 [138]
1983 Steve CarltonHall of Fame 275 Philadelphia Phillies Mario Soto 242 [139]
1984 Dwight Gooden 276 New York Mets Fernando Valenzuela 240 [140]
1985 Dwight Gooden 268 New York Mets Mario Soto 214 [141]
1986 Mike Scott 306 Houston Astros Fernando Valenzuela 242 [142]
1987 Nolan RyanHall of Fame 270 Houston Astros Mike Scott 233 [143]
1988 Nolan RyanHall of Fame 228 Houston Astros David Cone 213 [144]
1989 José DeLeón 201 St. Louis Cardinals Tim Belcher 200 [145]
1990 David Cone 233 New York Mets Dwight Gooden
Ramón Martínez
223 [146]
1991 David Cone 241 New York Mets Greg Maddux 198 [147]
1992 John Smoltz 215 Atlanta Braves David Cone 214 [148]
1993 José Rijo 227 Cincinnati Reds John Smoltz 208 [149]
1994 Andy Benes 189 San Diego Padres José Rijo 171 [150]
1995 Hideo Nomo 236 Los Angeles Dodgers John Smoltz 193 [151]
1996 John Smoltz 276 Atlanta Braves Hideo Nomo 234 [152]
1997 Curt Schilling 319 Philadelphia Phillies Pedro Martínez 305 [153]
1998 Curt Schilling 300 Philadelphia Phillies Kevin Brown 257 [154]
1999 Randy Johnson 364 Arizona Diamondbacks Kevin Brown 221 [28]
2000 Randy Johnson 347 Arizona Diamondbacks Chan Ho Park 217 [155]
2001 Randy Johnson 372 Arizona Diamondbacks Curt Schilling 293 [156]
2002 Randy Johnson 334 Arizona Diamondbacks Curt Schilling 316 [157]
2003 Kerry Wood 266 Chicago Cubs Mark Prior 245 [158]
2004 Randy Johnson 290 Arizona Diamondbacks Ben Sheets 264 [159]
2005 Jake Peavy 216 San Diego Padres Chris Carpenter 213 [160]
2006 Aaron Harang 216 Cincinnati Reds Jake Peavy 215 [161]
2007 Jake Peavy 240 San Diego Padres Aaron Harang 218 [162]
2008 Tim Lincecum 265 San Francisco Giants Dan Haren
Johan Santana
Edinson Vólquez
206 [163]
2009 Tim Lincecum 261 San Francisco Giants Javier Vázquez 238 [164]
2010 Tim Lincecum 231 San Francisco Giants Roy Halladay 219 [165]
2011 Clayton Kershaw 248 Los Angeles Dodgers Cliff Lee 238 [166]
2012 R.A. Dickey 230 New York Mets Clayton Kershaw 229 [167]
2013 Clayton Kershaw 232 Los Angeles Dodgers Cliff Lee 222 [168]
2014 Johnny Cueto
Stephen Strasburg
242 Cincinnati Reds
Washington Nationals
Clayton Kershaw 239 [169]
2015 Clayton Kershaw 301 Los Angeles Dodgers Max Scherzer 276 [170]
2016 Max Scherzer 284 Washington Nationals José Fernández 253 [171]
2017 Max Scherzer 268 Washington Nationals Jacob deGrom 239 [172]
2018 Max Scherzer 300 Washington Nationals Jacob deGrom 269 [173]

American League

A man in a Victorian suit and bowtie is shown from chest level up. He has dark wavy hair and is looking to the left of the image.
Rube Waddell led the American League in strikeouts for six consecutive seasons (1902–1907).
A man wearing a sweater over his right arm looks into the camera; he is wearing a light-colored baseball cap with a "C" on the front atop his head.
In 1908 and 1911, Ed Walsh was the American League strikeout champion.
A smiling young man wearing a baseball cap with an Old English "D" on the front looks to the right of the image.
In 1959 and 1960, Jim Bunning led the American League in strikeouts; he finished in second place four times.
A man in a white baseball uniform with orange and red stripes across the chest throws a baseball with his right hand from a dirt mound on a grass field.
Nolan Ryan has 5,714 career strikeouts, the most in Major League history. His 11 seasons as a strikeout leader – second only to the 12 of Walter Johnson – includes nine seasons, between 1972 and 1990, as the American League strikeout leader.[174]
A brown-skinned man with a dark goatee and wearing a gray pinstriped baseball uniform throws a baseball from a dirt mound with his left hand.
Three-time strikeout champion Johan Santana won the American League's last pitching triple crown in 2006.[175]
A man in a gray baseball uniform reading "Rays" across the chest throws a baseball with his left hand from a dirt mound.
Scott Kazmir's 239 strikeouts led the American League in 2007.
A man in a white baseball uniform reading "Jays" across the chest, dark baseball cap, and black baseball glove stands on a dirt mound in a grass field.
A. J. Burnett won the American League strikeout title in 2008.
A light-skinned man with a goatee and wearing a white baseball uniform looks over his left shoulder while holding his right hand inside his black baseball glove.
Justin Verlander also led the American League in wins and innings pitched in 2009.[176]
Year Leader K Team Runner-up K Ref
1901 Cy YoungHall of Fame 158 Boston Americans Roy Patterson 127 [177]
1902 Rube WaddellHall of Fame 210 Philadelphia Athletics Cy YoungHall of Fame 160 [178]
1903 Rube WaddellHall of Fame 302 Philadelphia Athletics Bill Donovan 187 [179]
1904 Rube WaddellHall of Fame 349 Philadelphia Athletics Jack ChesbroHall of Fame 239 [180]
1905 Rube WaddellHall of Fame 287 Philadelphia Athletics Eddie PlankHall of Fame
Cy YoungHall of Fame
210 [181]
1906 Rube WaddellHall of Fame 196 Philadelphia Athletics Cy Falkenberg 178 [182]
1907 Rube WaddellHall of Fame 232 Philadelphia Athletics Ed WalshHall of Fame 206 [183]
1908 Ed WalshHall of Fame 269 Chicago White Sox Rube WaddellHall of Fame 232 [184]
1909 Frank Smith 177 Chicago White Sox Walter JohnsonHall of Fame 164 [185]
1910 Walter JohnsonHall of Fame 313 Washington Senators Ed WalshHall of Fame 258 [186]
1911 Ed WalshHall of Fame 255 Chicago White Sox Joe Wood 231 [187]
1912 Walter JohnsonHall of Fame 303 Washington Senators Joe Wood 258 [188]
1913 Walter JohnsonHall of Fame 243 Washington Senators Cy Falkenberg
Vean Gregg
166 [189]
1914 Walter JohnsonHall of Fame 225 Washington Senators Willie Mitchell 179 [190]
1915 Walter JohnsonHall of Fame 203 Washington Senators Red FaberHall of Fame 182 [191]
1916 Walter JohnsonHall of Fame 228 Washington Senators Elmer Myers 182 [192]
1917 Walter JohnsonHall of Fame 188 Washington Senators Eddie Cicotte 150 [193]
1918 Walter JohnsonHall of Fame 162 Washington Senators Jim Shaw 129 [194]
1919 Walter JohnsonHall of Fame 147 Washington Senators Jim Shaw 128 [195]
1920 Stan CoveleskiHall of Fame 133 Cleveland Indians Lefty Williams 128 [196]
1921 Walter JohnsonHall of Fame 143 Washington Senators Urban Shocker 132 [197]
1922 Urban Shocker 149 St. Louis Browns Red FaberHall of Fame 148 [198]
1923 Walter JohnsonHall of Fame 130 Washington Senators Joe Bush
Bob Shawkey
125 [199]
1924 Walter JohnsonHall of Fame 158 Washington Senators Howard Ehmke 119 [200]
1925 Lefty GroveHall of Fame 116 Philadelphia Athletics Walter JohnsonHall of Fame 108 [201]
1926 Lefty GroveHall of Fame 194 Philadelphia Athletics George Uhle 159 [202]
1927 Lefty GroveHall of Fame 174 Philadelphia Athletics Rube Walberg 136 [203]
1928 Lefty GroveHall of Fame 183 Philadelphia Athletics George Pipgras 139 [204]
1929 Lefty GroveHall of Fame 170 Philadelphia Athletics George Earnshaw 149 [205]
1930 Lefty GroveHall of Fame 209 Philadelphia Athletics George Earnshaw 193 [206]
1931 Lefty GroveHall of Fame 175 Philadelphia Athletics George Earnshaw 152 [207]
1932 Red RuffingHall of Fame 190 New York Yankees Lefty GroveHall of Fame 188 [208]
1933 Lefty GomezHall of Fame 163 New York Yankees Bump Hadley 149 [209]
1934 Lefty GomezHall of Fame 158 New York Yankees Tommy Bridges 151 [210]
1935 Tommy Bridges 163 Detroit Tigers Schoolboy Rowe 140 [211]
1936 Tommy Bridges 175 Detroit Tigers Johnny Allen 165 [212]
1937 Lefty GomezHall of Fame 194 New York Yankees Bobo Newsom 166 [213]
1938 Bob FellerHall of Fame 240 Cleveland Indians Bobo Newsom 226 [214]
1939 Bob FellerHall of Fame 246 Cleveland Indians Bobo Newsom 192 [215]
1940 Bob FellerHall of Fame 261 Cleveland Indians Bobo Newsom 164 [216]
1941 Bob FellerHall of Fame 260 Cleveland Indians Bobo Newsom 175 [217]
1942 Tex Hughson
Bobo Newsom
113 Boston Red Sox
Washington Senators
Al Benton
Phil Marchildon
110 [31]
1943 Allie Reynolds 151 Cleveland Indians Hal NewhouserHall of Fame 144 [218]
1944 Hal NewhouserHall of Fame 187 Detroit Tigers Dizzy Trout 144 [219]
1945 Hal NewhouserHall of Fame 212 Detroit Tigers Nels Potter 129 [220]
1946 Bob FellerHall of Fame 348 Cleveland Indians Hal NewhouserHall of Fame 275 [221]
1947 Bob FellerHall of Fame 196 Cleveland Indians Hal NewhouserHall of Fame 176 [222]
1948 Bob FellerHall of Fame 164 Cleveland Indians Bob LemonHall of Fame 147 [223]
1949 Virgil Trucks 153 Detroit Tigers Hal NewhouserHall of Fame 144 [224]
1950 Bob LemonHall of Fame 170 Cleveland Indians Allie Reynolds 160 [225]
1951 Vic Raschi 164 New York Yankees Early WynnHall of Fame 133 [226]
1952 Allie Reynolds 160 New York Yankees Early WynnHall of Fame 153 [227]
1953 Billy Pierce 186 Chicago White Sox Virgil Trucks 149 [228]
1954 Bob Turley 185 Baltimore Orioles Early WynnHall of Fame 155 [229]
1955 Herb Score 245 Cleveland Indians Bob Turley 210 [230]
1956 Herb Score 263 Cleveland Indians Billy Pierce 192 [231]
1957 Early WynnHall of Fame 184 Cleveland Indians Jim BunningHall of Fame 182 [232]
1958 Early WynnHall of Fame 179 Chicago White Sox Jim BunningHall of Fame 177 [233]
1959 Jim BunningHall of Fame 201 Detroit Tigers Camilo Pascual 185 [234]
1960 Jim BunningHall of Fame 201 Detroit Tigers Pedro Ramos 160 [235]
1961 Camilo Pascual 221 Minnesota Twins Whitey FordHall of Fame 209 [236]
1962 Camilo Pascual 206 Minnesota Twins Jim BunningHall of Fame 184 [237]
1963 Camilo Pascual 202 Minnesota Twins Jim BunningHall of Fame 196 [238]
1964 Al Downing 217 New York Yankees Camilo Pascual 213 [239]
1965 Sam McDowell 325 Cleveland Indians Mickey Lolich 226 [240]
1966 Sam McDowell 225 Cleveland Indians Jim Kaat 205 [241]
1967 Jim Lonborg 246 Boston Red Sox Sam McDowell 236 [242]
1968 Sam McDowell 283 Cleveland Indians Denny McLain 280 [243]
1969 Sam McDowell 279 Cleveland Indians Mickey Lolich 271 [244]
1970 Sam McDowell 304 Cleveland Indians Mickey Lolich 230 [245]
1971 Mickey Lolich 308 Detroit Tigers Vida Blue 301 [246]
1972 Nolan RyanHall of Fame 329 California Angels Mickey Lolich 250 [247]
1973 Nolan RyanHall of Fame 383 California Angels Bert BlylevenHall of Fame 258 [29]
1974 Nolan RyanHall of Fame 367 California Angels Bert BlylevenHall of Fame 249 [248]
1975 Frank Tanana 269 California Angels Bert BlylevenHall of Fame
Gaylord PerryHall of Fame
233 [249]
1976 Nolan RyanHall of Fame 327 California Angels Frank Tanana 261 [250]
1977 Nolan RyanHall of Fame 341 California Angels Dennis Leonard 244 [251]
1978 Nolan RyanHall of Fame 260 California Angels Ron Guidry 248 [252]
1979 Nolan RyanHall of Fame 223 California Angels Ron Guidry 201 [253]
1980 Len Barker 187 Cleveland Indians Mike Norris 180 [254]
1981 Len Barker 127 Cleveland Indians Britt Burns 108 [255]
1982 Floyd Bannister 209 Seattle Mariners Len Barker 187 [256]
1983 Jack MorrisHall of Fame 232 Detroit Tigers Floyd Bannister 193 [257]
1984 Mark Langston 204 Seattle Mariners Dave Stieb 198 [258]
1985 Bert BlylevenHall of Fame 206 Cleveland Indians
Minnesota Twins
Floyd Bannister 198 [259]
1986 Mark Langston 245 Seattle Mariners Roger Clemens 238 [260]
1987 Mark Langston 262 Seattle Mariners Roger Clemens 256 [261]
1988 Roger Clemens 291 Boston Red Sox Mark Langston 235 [262]
1989 Nolan RyanHall of Fame 301 Texas Rangers Roger Clemens 230 [263]
1990 Nolan RyanHall of Fame 232 Texas Rangers Bobby Witt 221 [264]
1991 Roger Clemens 241 Boston Red Sox Randy Johnson 228 [265]
1992 Randy Johnson 241 Seattle Mariners Mélido Pérez 218 [266]
1993 Randy Johnson 308 Seattle Mariners Mark Langston 196 [267]
1994 Randy Johnson 204 Seattle Mariners Roger Clemens 168 [268]
1995 Randy Johnson 294 Seattle Mariners Todd Stottlemyre 205 [269]
1996 Roger Clemens 257 Boston Red Sox Chuck Finley 215 [270]
1997 Roger Clemens 292 Toronto Blue Jays Randy Johnson 291 [271]
1998 Roger Clemens 271 Toronto Blue Jays Pedro Martínez 251 [272]
1999 Pedro Martínez 313 Boston Red Sox Chuck Finley 200 [273]
2000 Pedro Martínez 284 Boston Red Sox Bartolo Colón 212 [274]
2001 Hideo Nomo 220 Boston Red Sox Mike Mussina 214 [275]
2002 Pedro Martínez 239 Boston Red Sox Roger Clemens 192 [276]
2003 Esteban Loaiza 207 Chicago White Sox Pedro Martínez 206 [277]
2004 Johan Santana 265 Minnesota Twins Pedro Martínez 227 [278]
2005 Johan Santana 238 Minnesota Twins Randy Johnson 211 [279]
2006 Johan Santana 245 Minnesota Twins Jeremy Bonderman 202 [175]
2007 Scott Kazmir 239 Tampa Bay Devil Rays Johan Santana 235 [280]
2008 A. J. Burnett 231 Toronto Blue Jays Ervin Santana 214 [281]
2009 Justin Verlander 269 Detroit Tigers Zack Greinke 242 [282]
2010 Jered Weaver 233 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Félix Hernández 232 [283]
2011 Justin Verlander 250 Detroit Tigers CC Sabathia 230 [284]
2012 Justin Verlander 239 Detroit Tigers Max Scherzer 231 [285]
2013 Yu Darvish 277 Texas Rangers Max Scherzer 240 [286]
2014 David Price 271 Tampa Bay Rays
Detroit Tigers
Corey Kluber 269 [287]
2015 Chris Sale 274 Chicago White Sox Chris Archer 252 [288]
2016 Justin Verlander 254 Detroit Tigers Chris Archer
Chris Sale
233 [289]
2017 Chris Sale 308 Boston Red Sox Corey Kluber 265 [290]
2018 Justin Verlander 290 Houston Astros Gerrit Cole 276 [291]

Other major leagues

A baseball card of a man in a dark baseball uniform wearing a matching baseball cap and holding his hands in the air in front of his chest.
Matt Kilroy's 513 strikeouts in 1886 is the most in a single season by a pitcher among modern recognized major leagues.
Year Leader K Team League Runner-up K Ref
1882 Tony Mullane 170 Louisville Eclipse American Association Harry Salisbury 135 [292]
1883 Tim KeefeHall of Fame 359 New York Metropolitans American Association Bobby Mathews 203 [27]
1884 Guy Hecker 385 Louisville Eclipse American Association Hardie Henderson 346 [293]
1884 Hugh Daily 483 Chicago Browns
Washington Nationals
Union Association Bill Sweeney 374 [294]
1885 Ed Morris 298 Pittsburgh Alleghenys American Association Bobby Mathews 286 [295]
1886 Matt Kilroy 513 Baltimore Orioles American Association Toad Ramsey 499 [296]
1887 Toad Ramsey 355 Louisville Eclipse American Association Matt Kilroy 217 [297]
1888 Ed Seward 272 Philadelphia Athletics American Association Silver King 258 [298]
1889 Mark Baldwin 368 Columbus Solons American Association Matt Kilroy 217 [299]
1890 Sadie McMahon 291 Philadelphia Athletics
Baltimore Orioles
American Association Jack Stivetts 289 [300]
1890 Mark Baldwin 206 Chicago Pirates Players' League Silver King 185 [301]
1891 Jack Stivetts 259 St. Louis Browns American Association Phil Knell 228 [302]
1914 Cy Falkenberg 236 Indianapolis Hoosiers Federal League Earl Moseley 205 [303]
1915 Dave Davenport 229 St. Louis Terriers Federal League Al Schulz 160 [304]

Footnotes

References

General
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  • "Yearly League Leaders & Records for Strikeouts". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
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