Tom Glavine's 200 wins put him in elite company
By Jeff Quagliata, CNNSI.com
Tom Glavine reached a milestone with his 200th victory Sunday. As impressive as 200 wins sounds -- only 96 pitchers have reached that mark -- it doesn't tell the whole story.
Glavine became the 21st left-handed pitcher to win 200 games.
In an era of unprecedented player movement, Glavine is the first player since the Phillies' Steve Carlton in 1983 to win 200 games for the same team. Even Carlton changed teams before that, winning 77 games with the Cardinals from 1965-1971.
You have to go back even further, to Phil Niekro in 1979, to find a player who won 200 games with the team he started his big league career with. Niekro would leave the Braves for the Big Apple in 1983 after compiling 268 wins with the Braves (Milwaukee and Atlanta).
In all, 24 players have won 200 games with their first ballclub. Thirteen of those players played their whole careers with those teams. A notable exception is Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson, who won 372 games with the New York Giants before winning one game with the Reds in 1916.
Warren Spahn won 356 games with the Boston and Milwaukee Braves before playing out his last season with the Mets and Giants in 1964. On the flip side, Jesse Haines pitched in one game for Cincinnati in 1918 before joining the Cardinals and winning 210 games from 1920-37. Cubs pitcher Charlie Root was 0-4 with the St. Louis Browns in 1923. He would go on to win 201 games, all with the Cubs, from 1926-41.
To find a pitcher who won 200 games for his first team and ended up staying with that team his whole career, you have to go back to Jim Palmer in 1978. Palmer won 268 games for the Orioles between 1965 and 1984.
But Palmer was right-handed, so who was the last lefty to win 200 games for his first club and finish his career with said team?
The Yankees' Whitey Ford, in 1964. Ford won 236 games for the Yankees from 1950-1967, missing 1951-52 because of the Korean War.
Glavine may or may not finish his career with the Braves, but, for now, he is on a very short list.
The next closest active pitcher to 200 wins with the same team was Chuck Finley, who won 165 games with the Angels from 1986-1999 but is now with Cleveland.
That leaves Glavine's teammate, John Smoltz, as the next in line. Smoltz won 157 games with the Braves from 1988-99 but has been injured this whole season.
After that, there is Mike Mussina with 142 wins in an Orioles uniform, but he is intent on testing free agency this offseason and a return to Baltimore does not seem likely.