|Walter Johnson with his lightning fast ball set 76 pitching records from 1907-1927. How fast was Walter Johnson? During one game, after two straight fastballs down the heart of the plate, Cleveland SS, Ray Chapman merely walked out of the batters' box and went into the dugout.
In another game, umpire Billy Evans, when asked if the pitch was a curve or fastball, stated, "I never saw it, I had to close my eyes. I knew the ballplayers couldn't second guess me if they were closing their eyes too". Opposing batters called his pitches invisible, arriving with a swoosh and smashing into the catcher's mitt like a thunderclap. Walter Johnson was called 'the Big Train' because his fastball came roaring down the tracks.
In 21 seasons with the Washington Senators, ten in 2nd division, Johnson won 416 games, second only to Cy Young. His lifetime 2.17 ERA is seventh lowest in baseball history.
He recorded 110 career shutouts, the highest total in history, including 11 in 1913 when his ERA was a mere 1.09. He also lost a record 65 shutouts, 26 of them by the score of 1-0 and his teammates batted so poorly they were shutout in nearly 25% of his defeats. His 38 1-0 wins are by far the most in history.
Among his feats were 16 consecutive wins, 1912, a string of 56 straight scoreless innings and a 36-7 record in 1913, five wins, three of them shutouts in nine days in 1908. His records include 200 wins in his eight seasons, 300 wins in 14 seasons.
Walter Johnson was so dominating that he won 30 or more games twice and won 20 or more games in 12 different years, including every year from 1910-1919. His all-time strikeout record has now been broken, but Johnson relying solely on his fastball, still holds the record for the most times leading the league in strikeouts, 12.
Forget about Walter Johnson' numbers, what is most pleasing is that he was modest, decent, friendly with everyone, and across our nation was respected for values that Americans respected. His career stats: 417-279, pct .590, ERA 2.17, G 802, GS 666, GC 531, Shutouts 110, Saves 34, Innings 5,915, Hits 4,913, he Struckout 3,509 batters and walked 1,363. On base pct. .279, Opponents batting average .227.