The Last 300 Game Winner
As an impressionable young baseball fan, someone game me a book entitled "The 500 Club". It had a page devoted to every player in Major League Baseball history who had hit 500 or more home runs in their career.
This was the early 80s when there was two members of the 700 club, one member of the 600 club and far fewer members of the 500 club than we have today. The 500 Club used to be a much bigger deal.
This was the start of my fascination with baseball statistics. I had to know who held the Blue Jays single season and career records for every offensive, defensive and pitching category. This was before the Interweb, so gathering this data wasn't easy, but it was worth it.
The great milestone for starting pitchers was 300 wins. That was the magic mark. Only 23 players have ever done it, but Randy Johnson is sitting on 295 career wins. Randy Johnson will join The 300 Club this season, and Randy Johnson will be the very last player to reach this mark. There will never again be a 300 game winner in Major League baseball.
Our greatest pitcher this past decade has been Roy Halladay, who I consider to be the 2nd greatest starter in Blue Jays history. Halladay is a throwback, finishing games and winning at about a .700 clip. Roy Halladay only has 131 wins to date and won't get close to 300 in his career.
There are relief specialists, five man rotations and pitch counts to blame, but the 300 game winner will go the way of the do-do bird. After former Expo Randy Johnson gets there, that is.
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