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More than meets the eye: ESPN helps Library of Congress launch “Baseball Americana”

Part 5 of 5: Tireless Walter Johnson

EDITOR’S NOTE: Today, the Library of Congress opens its latest exhibit “Baseball Americana” with help from ESPN’s very own Statistics and Information Group (SIG). The exhibit will explore baseball’s roots, its changing traditions and the state of the game today. SIG collaborated with the Library on more than 100 artifacts to develop original content in the form of statistics, trivia questions and historical comparisons to offer new insights into America’s game for everyone, from rookies to the most die-hard baseball fans. With this entry, Front Row concludes a five-part series this week illustrating an artifact and providing some of the data SIG provided for the Library of Congress’ exhibit.

Walter Johnson

Walter Johnson baseball card (Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress)
  • In the three-season span from 1909-11, Johnson made 115 starts, went 63-55, and threw 101 complete games over 988 innings. He led MLB in starts, innings, complete games, and strikeouts over those three years.
  • From 1909-11, no pitcher completed more games than Johnson’s 101.
  • The last pitcher to throw that many complete games over three seasons was Hall-of-Famer Grover Cleveland Alexander (108) from 1915-17. Over the last three full seasons (2015-17), Corey Kluber led MLB with 12 complete games.