Cover image for The great shutout pitchers : twenty profiles of a vanishing breed
The great shutout pitchers : twenty profiles of a vanishing breed
MacKay, Joe, 1936-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., [2004]

Physical Description:
x, 229 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV865.A1 M22 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Throughout baseball's long history, only twenty pitchers have thrown fifty or more complete game shutouts. In all probability, the author contends, this list of baseball elite has likely seen its last inductee, as the emergence of relief pitchers and the increasing brevity of playing careers have changed the game considerably. The twenty players are Walter Johnson, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Christy Mathewson, Cy Young, Eddie Plank, Warren Spahn, Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Bert Blyleven, Don Sutton, Ed Walsh, Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton, Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown, Jim Palmer, Gaylord Perry, Juan Marichal, Rube Waddell, Vic Willis, and Pud Galvin. All but Blyleven are members of the Hall of Fame. The author presents anecdotal information about each of the pitchers, paying special attention to their shutout games, and also covers other significant games in their careers.

Author Notes

Retired teacher Joe MacKay is a member of The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). He lives in Shirley, New York

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6 Up-A detailed examination of the careers of 20 pitchers who recorded 50 or more complete game shutouts. All except Bert Blyleven have won places in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Ten players hail from baseball's "dead ball" era, prior to 1920; they include Walter Johnson, Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, and Grover Cleveland Alexander. Among the more recent players are Warren Spahn, Bob Gibson, Juan Marichal, Tom Seaver, and Nolan Ryan. Baseball fans will find many fascinating anecdotes in these accounts. For example, the great lefthander, Spahn, gave Willie Mays his first hit in the majors: a home run. Unfortunately, MacKay's writing style is awkward and often riddled with clich?s: "His strong achievement was the advent of greatness waiting to be fulfilled." At times, the abundance of details feels both cumbersome and muddled. Jeff Kisseloff's Who Is Baseball's Greatest Pitcher? (Cricket, 2003) is much more accessible for young readers: it has clear, lively writing and a good overall perspective on the history of the game.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
The Greatest of Them All: Walter Johnsonp. 5
A Winner Wherever He Went: Grover Cleveland Alexanderp. 17
A True Baseball Idol: Christy Mathewsonp. 27
So Great They Named an Award After Him: Cy Youngp. 39
The First Great Left-Hander: Eddie Plankp. 51
The Greatest Left-Hander Ever: Warren Spahnp. 62
The Franchise: Tom Seaverp. 74
Mr. No-Hitter: Nolan Ryanp. 86
A Class Act: Bert Blylevenp. 98
A Quiet and Consistent Performer: Don Suttonp. 110
King of the Spitballers:cEd Walshp. 123
The Intimidator:cBob Gibsonp. 135
Mr. Lefty:cSteve Carltonp. 147
The Mainstay of the Cubs:cMordecai "Three Finger" Brownp. 158
From Oblivion to Greatness:cJim Palmerp. 170
The Master of Deception:cGaylord Perryp. 177
The Dominican Dandy:cJuan Marichalp. 187
The Man-Child of Major League Baseball: Rube Waddellp. 196
Ultimate Recognition at Long Last: Vic Willisp. 208
The "Little Engine That Could": Jim Galvinp. 216
Indexp. 227