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Saturday, November 26, 2022

The Pirates and Acquiring Veteran Pitchers

From a combination of my “This Date” article posted today about pitcher Jouett Meekin and my article about Tim Wakefield and what pitchers won the most games after the they left the Pirates, I decided to figure out which pitchers won the most games prior to putting on a Pirates uniform for the first time. The list goes 26 deep for a reason as you will see and the players are as follows:

1. Jim McCormick 252

2. Luis Tiant 225

3. Pud Galvin* 222

4. Gus Weyhing 216

5. Waite Hoyt* 195

6. Jim Bunning* 192

7. Bullet Joe Bush 188

8. Brickyard Kennedy 178

9. Guy Hecker 173

10.Danny Darwin 155

11. Jeff Pfeffer 153

12t. Jouett Meekin 152

12t. Guy Bush 152

14. Vic Willis* 151

15. Silver King 143

16t. Joe Coleman 142

16t. Harry Gumbert 142

18t. Sam McDowell 139

18t. Rick Reuschel 139

20. Ramon Martinez 135

21. Adonis Terry 126

22. Danny MacFayden 125

23. Jim Bagby 124

24t. Bert Blyleven* 122

24t. Chan Ho Park 122

26. AJ Burnett 121

Not surprisingly, a lot of these guys were near the end of their career. Galvin still had 143 wins left in him and Blyleven had 165 but guys like Martinez, Meekin and Coleman all had no wins after joining the Pirates. The leader, Jim McCormick, went 13-23 in his only season with Pittsburgh during the team’s first year in the NL. The leader among this group with wins as a member of the Pirates?  Galvin with 126 followed by Vic Willis with 89 over just four seasons, all 20 win seasons. Then for third place it drops all the way down to Waite Hoyt with 35 followed closely by Blyleven with 34. That means the top four win leaders among this group were all Hall of Famers.

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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