Who are the players with the most MLB wins in history? What is the highest record set by a player for the most MLB wins?
The MLB has a long history as it is the oldest major sports league in the world. During all those periods, it has seen some of the greatest players of the era.
Those players set a standard and record for the newcomers in the coming future. Today we are discussing 20 players and the records they have set for the most MLB wins.
Almost all of the pitchers in this list are the Hall of Famers. Some of the players date long back, where the game rules were not the same as now. However, the record they hold qualifies them to be on our of most MLB wins of all time.
So without further ado, let’s go through the list of the 20 most MLB wins of all time.
20 Most MLB Wins of all Time
Before we go through the details of the 20 most MLB wins, let us take a quick overview of the list.
We have prepared this list from the trusted source BaseballReference.
|20. Mickey Welch
|19. Old Hoss Radbourn
|18. Tom Seaver
|17. Gaylord Perry
|16. Phil Niekro
|15. Don Sutton
|14. Nolan Ryan
|13. Eddie Plank
|12. John Clarkson
|11. Steve Carlton
|10. Tim Keefe
|9. Roger Clemens
|8. Greg Maddux
|7. Kid Nicholas
|6. Warren Spahn
|5. Pud Galvin
|4. Christy Mathewson
|3. Pete Alexander
|2. Walter Johnson
|1. Cy Young
20. Mickey Welch
- Wins: 307
- Inducted to the Hall of Fame: 1973
Mickey Welch was an MLB pitcher who dominated the National League in the 1880s. Nicknamed “Smiling Mickey,” he was born on 4th July, 1859, in Brooklyn, New York. He was a 5-feet-8 and 160-pound undersized right-handed pitcher.
Welch started his professional journey with Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1877. But his primary team was the New York Giants (then Gothams’), for whom he won the inaugural NL game in 1883.
Moreover, he even holds the franchise’s record. He was the only third pitcher in the big league to record 300 wins when he departed the major league in early 1892.
Although Mickey was small, he made it up with his athleticism. He played in 13 seasons in the major leagues, in which ten were with the New York Giants. Welch posted 20 or more wins nine times; seven of those were in succession.
Welch died at the age of 82 in 1941. However, it was only in 1973 he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Even long after death, smiling Mickey Welch is still very much alive in the history of the Major League game as one of the best there could be.
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19. Old Hoss Radbourn
- Wins: 309
- Inducted to the Hall of Fame: 1939
Old Hoss Radbourn was born on 11th December 1854. He debuted his Major League debut as a professional player for Buffalo in 1880. Before becoming a professional, he played semi-professional and minor league baseball.
Old Hoss was a 5-foot-9, 168 pounds, right-handed pitcher. He was a strategic pitcher who used whatever assets he had to get the batters out. He was a hard thrower, and some even regard him as the most resourceful of all nineteenth-century pitchers.
Radbourn set an MLB single-season record in 1884 by winning 60 games. That record has never been broken. This feat gave him the title of “King of Pitchers.” After pitching every inning of the three games, he led the Providence Grays to victory in the 1884 World Series.
Other than Buffalo and his primary team, the Providence Grays, he played for Boston Braves, Boston Reds, and Cincinnati Reds during his professional career.
Radbourn never played for the limelight; instead, he was a tireless worker who played for his passion. He left the world at the age of 42 on 1897, 5th February. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of fame in 1939 among the first group of inductees.
18. Tom Seaver
- Wins: 311
- Inducted to the Hall of Fame: 1992
Tom Seaver was a baseball pitcher who had a career from 1967 to 1986. Born on 17th November 1944, Seaver played 20 seasons in MLB.
Nicknamed as the “The Franchise” and “Tom Terrific,” he had the highest approval rate from the Baseball Writers Association of America at that time.
Seaver played for various teams during his long career. His primary team being the New York Mets, Tom played a significant role in leading the Mets to the victory in the 1969 World Series.
He started his professional career with Jacksonville. The other teams he played for were the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, and Boston Red Sox. With Mets, Seaver won many awards, including the prestigious NL Cy Young Awards three times as the league’s best pitcher.
Tom Seaver became the Baseball Hall of Famer in 1992. He was inducted by the highest percentage of votes ever recorded at that time. He is also inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame and the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame.
Seaver passed away at the age of 75 on 31st August 2020.
17. Gaylord Perry
- Wins: 314
- Inducted to the Hall of Fame: 1991
Ranking on our 17th list of the most MLB wins is the right-handed pitcher, Gaylord Perry. Perry was born in North Carolina on 15th September 1938. He had a baseball career of 22 years.
Gaylord is undoubtedly a master pitcher; however, he is known for his notorious use of spitball. He started his semi-professional career for the Alpine Cowboys in the early 1950s.
His professional career started in 1958 with the San Francisco Giants. During his professional career of 1962 to 1983, he played for eight different teams. Perry was the first pitcher to win in each league the Cy Young Award.
During his career, the other notable awards were a five-time All-Star, American League (1972), and National League (1982). He marked his 300th win in 1982 while pitching for the Seattle Mariners.
Perry retired from the baseball world in 1983. Owing to his contribution to the MLB, in 1991, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He is also in the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame, San Francisco Giants Wall of Fame, and Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame.
16. Phil Niekro
- Wins: 318
- Inducted to the Hall of Fame: 1997
Philip Henry Niekro, born on 1st April 1939, in Blaine, Ohio, had a long career of 24 seasons with the MLB. He was nicknamed “Knucksie.”
Niekro had arm trouble, due to which he was unable to throw a fastball. As a result, all he could throw was a knuckleball. However, he was a very skilled knuckleballer. In fact, his career wins of 318 are the most by the knuckleballer.
Phil started his professional career with the Milwaukee Braves. In his 24 seasons in MLB, he spent 20 seasons playing for Milwaukee.
The other teams he played for include, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Toronto Blue Jays, and Atlanta Braves. He is a five-time Gold Glove Award winner and also a five-star All-Star winner.
This MLB knuckleball pitcher was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997. Furthermore, he was one of the active Hall of Fame members as he served as the Hall’s Board of Directors and as a member of the Veterans Committee.
Phil Niekro died on 26th December 2020, after battling cancer for a long time.
15. Don Sutton
- Wins: 324
- Inducted to the Hall of Fame: 1998
The following MLB player on our list is the pitcher from Alabama, Don Sutton. Born on 2nd April 1945, Donald Howard Sutton played 23 seasons in the MLB.
Growing up, all Sutton wanted to be was a pitcher. And indeed, his dream of becoming a pitcher came true when he made his MLB debut in 1966 for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Notably, he spent his 16 MLB seasons with the Dodgers.
Sutton never wanted to be a superstar or the highest-paid player. Instead, he wanted to be appreciated for being consistent and dependable. And indeed, he is well known for his consistent career.
During his professional career, Don won All-Star four times and was MLB ERA leader. Other than the Dodgers, he played for the other four teams in his career. However, his last MLB season was with non-other than the Dodgers itself.
After retiring from the MLB, Sutton transitioned into a television sports broadcaster. He became the Baseball Hall of Famer in 1998. He is also included in the Milwaukee Brewers Wall of Honor and Braves Hall of Fame.
Sutton died on 19th January 2021, at the age of 75, in Rancho Mirage, California.
14. Nolan Ryan
- Wins: 324
- Inducted to the Hall of Fame: 1999
Nolan Ryan is a former MLB pitcher who had a record of 27 seasons in MLB. He was born on 31st January 1947 in Refugio, Texas.
Ryan began his professional career in baseball when the New York Mets drafted him in the 1965 MLB draft. He also played for Californa Angels, Houston Astros, and the Texas Ranger other than the Mets.
Along with his 324 wins, he has more strikeouts (5,714) and no-hitters (seven) than any other pitcher in MLB history. He was a wild and fast pitcher who threw pitches that were above 100 miles per hour. Henceforth, he was nicknamed “The Ryan Express.”
Ryan has a long list of awards that he achieved during his professional career. He was an eight times All-Star, World Series Champion (1969), two times NL ERA leader, and 11 times Strikeout leader.
Nolan retired in 1993 at the age of 46 years, and he remained active despite retiring from the sport. He also wrote several autobiographies and collaborated on writing an instructional guide.
In 1999, Nolan Ryan became the Baseball Hall of Famer. Similarly, he is also inducted into the MLB All-Century Team, Angels Hall of Fame, Houston Astros Hall of Fame, and Texas Rangers Hall of Fame.
13. Eddie Plank
- Wins: 326
- Inducted to the Hall of Fame: 1946
Eddie Plank (nicknamed Gettysburg Eddie) is on our 11th rank who is one of the best left-handed pitchers in baseball history. He was born in 1875, on 31st August.
Plank had a total win of 326 games in his career. It was the record for most wins by a left-handed pitcher at that time.
Plank signed with the Philadelphia Athletics and started his professional MLB journey. He played for 16 seasons. During which he also played for St. Louis Terriers and the St. Louis Browns.
Although Plank wasn’t considered the top pitcher in the American League, he was still one of the greatest pitchers. His teammate Eddie Collins once said that Plank wasn’t the fastest, not the trickiest, nor the possessor of the most stuff; he was just incredible.
While Eddie was playing for the Philadelphia Athletics, the team made it to the World Series five times.
During his career, he won the World Series champion three times. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1946. He is also in the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame and Athletics Hall of Fame.
Gettysburg Eddie retired after 16 seasons. He went ahead and opened a Buick dealership in Gettysburg. Plank passed away after suffering a stroke on 1926 24th February, at age 50.
12. John Clarkson
- Wins: 328
- Inducted to the Hall of Fame: 1963
John Clarkson was a 5-foot-10 inch, a 155-pound right-handed pitcher who played in the MLB from 1882 to 1894. He was born on 1st July 1861 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Clarkson is considered the finest pitcher of the 19th century. In the six-season of his professional career, he won 30 or more games and had a total win of 328.
Although he had a short professional career, he played for the Worcester Ruby Legs, Chicago White Stocking, Boston Beaneaters, and Cleveland Spiders. Clarkson began his career at age 20 with Worcester of the National League in 1882. He signed as a free agent.
John was recognized as half of the “$20,000 Battery”. It was the name given by the Boston for the pitcher and King Kelly.
In his career, he got several awards for his contributions. It includes Triple Crown, NL wins leader three times, NL ERA leader, and NL strikeout leader three times. He became the Baseball Hall of Famer in 1963 by the Veterans Committee.
John Clarkson retired at the age of 33. He died at the age of 47 on 4th February 1909.
11. Steve Carlton
- Wins: 329
- Inducted to the Hall of Fame: 1994
Steve Carlton is a former left-handed MLB player. He was born Steven Norman Carlton on 22nd December 1944 in Miami, Florida. He played professionally from 1965 to 1988.
Carlton has the second-most lifetime strikeouts and second-most lifetime wins by any left-handed pitcher. Hence, his nickname “Lefty” perfectly suits him. He amassed a total of 329 wins during his professional career.
He first made his MLB appearance with the St. Louis Cardinals. Carlton also played for the other five teams during his 24 seasons, apart from the Cardinals.
Amid his career highlights, the most notable ones are the All-Stars (10 times), World Series champion (2 times), NL Cy Young Award, and NL wins leader (4 times).
Similarly, he also won NL strikeout leader five times, Triple Crown in 1972, and Gold Glove Award in 1981.
Lefty Steve Carlton retired at the age of 44, and he became Baseball Hall of Famer in 1994. He is also in the Philadelphia Phillies Wall of Fame.
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10. Tim Keefe
- Wins: 342
- Inducted to the Hall of Fame: 1964
Tim Keefe was a submarine pitcher who spent most of his professional career pitching from a distance of 50 feet. He was born to Irish immigrants parents on 1st January 1857.
Keefe was one of the dominating and greatest MLB pitchers of the 19th century. This 5-foot-10 inches, 185 pounds pitcher was nicknamed “Smiling Tim” and “Sir Timothy.”
He made his debut in the major leagues in 1880 with the Troy Trojans. Before Tim retired, he had played for New York Metropolitans, New York Giants, and Philadelphia Phillies. Similarly, he also became the first pitcher to posted three separate 300-strikeout seasons.
His career highlights awards include Triple Crown, NL wins leader two times, NL ERA leader three times, and NL strikeout leader.
Even after retiring from the professional MLB, Keefe was active in the baseball field. He worked as a coach and even an umpire as well as he was also involved in real estate.
Keefe passed away on 23rd April 1933. In 1964, he was enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
9. Roger Clemens
- Wins: 354
- Inducted to the Hall of Fame: not inducted yet
Roger Clemens is a former professional MLB player born on 4th August 1962 in Dayton, Ohio. He was one of the successful power pitchers in history; therefore, he earned the nickname “Rocket.”
Clemens made his professional MLB debut in 1984 for the Boston Red Sox. He went on to play for 24 seasons in the MLB, during which he played for Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, and Houston Astros.
Considered one of the fierce and dominant pitchers of MLB history, Roger is the first pitcher to win Cy Young Award seven times.
There are only a few pitchers in MLB history who can compete with the achievement that Clemens has. He has a very long list of awards and records set during his professional career of 24 years.
Some of them being an All-Star eleven times, World Series Champion two times, AL MVP in 1986, and Triple Crown two times. Additionally, he became MLB wins leader four times, ERA’s leader seven times, AL’s strikeout leader five times, etc.
However, his reputation was marred by an allegation of using performance-enhancing steroids followed by six felony charges. In 2012, he was found not guilty and free of all charges.
Regardless of being cleared, Clemen still has not been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
8. Greg Maddux
- Wins: 355
- Inducted to the Hall of Fame: 2014
Greg Maddux, 57, is one of the most successful pitchers in MLB history. After graduating from high school, this 6-foot, 170 pounds pitcher was drafted by the Chicago Cubs of the National League in 1984.
After playing for minor league, Greg made his MLB debut in 1986 with the Cubs. He played with accuracy, and he could read his opponents. He was instead an overly emotional player and not a thinking pitcher.
Although Maddux started his journey with the Cubs, he gathered a lot of achievements while playing for the Atlanta Braves.
Similarly, during his professional career of 22 seasons, he also played for Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres.
Maddux is the first pitcher in MLB history to win four consecutive Cy Young Awards. Apart from that, he is also an eight times All-Star winner, World Series champion, eighteen times winner of the Gold Glove Award.
Additionally, he is also three times MLB wins leader and four times MLB ERA leader. Before he retired in 2008, Maddux had gathered 355 total wins.
He is currently a pitching coach at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.
7. Kid Nicholas
- Wins: 362
- Inducted to the Hall of Fame: 1949
Moving forward on the list is the right-handed switch hitter Charles Augustus Kid Nichols. More famously known as Kid Nichols, he was born on 14th September 1869 in Madison, Wisconsin.
Nichols started his baseball journey playing in minor league baseball for three years until 1889. Then he made his MLB debut with the Boston Beaneaters. He played for 15 seasons.
Considered one of the top players of the 20th century, Kid was a fastballer and was immediately popular after his debut. He won 20 or more games every year for his first ten seasons. Moreover, he is the youngest pitcher to join the 300 win club.
Nichols won NL wins leader three times in his career. After starting his journey with the Boston Beaneater, he also played for the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies in his 12 seasons as an MLB player.
Kid Nichols was a consistent player and finished his career with a total win of 361, making him the 7th highest player with the most MLB wins. He became a Hall of Famer in 1949. He died on 11th April 1953.
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6. Warren Spahn
- Wins: 363
- Inducted to the Hall of Fame: 1973
With a career span of over 21 years, Warren Edward Spahn was a star pitcher of his time. Born on 23rd April 1921, Warren was a left-handed pitcher with the 6th highest MLB wins.
Warren started his baseball career in 1942. However, it was interrupted by the Second World War. At that time, he gave up his baseball uniform for the military one and served his country.
Spahn made his MLB debut with the Boston Braves. After returning from the war, he returned to the Braves and resumed his baseball career from 1946 until 1965.
He holds the record for most career wins by a left-handed pitcher in the MLB record. Other than the Boston Braves, Warren played for the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants.
His notable career highlight awards include seventeen times All-Star, World Series Champion, three times NL ERA leader, eight times NL wins leader. He also won NL strikeout leader four times and Cy Young Award. Similarly, for his service in the war, he was awarded a Purple Heart.
Warren Spahn was one of the greatest pitchers and also a war hero. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973 and into the Braves Hall of Fame, Major League Baseball All-Century Team, and American Family Field Walk of Fame. Sadly, he passed away on 24th November 2003.
5. Pud Galvin
- Wins: 365
- Inducted to the Hall of Fame: 1965
Pud Galvin (real name James Francis Galvin) was one of the best pitchers of the 19th century. He was born on 25th December 1856 in St. Louis, Missouri.
Galvin got his nickname “Pud” for his incredible ability to make hitters look like “pudding.” He debuted in 1875 as a teenager for the National Association’s St. Louis Brown Stockings.
With his career spanning from 1875 to 1892, he played for four more teams. In baseball, where two-person pitching was typical, Pud established himself as a solid, durable pitcher.
Hence, despite his small builder, he has also been nicknamed “the little steam engine” for his power.
In 1888, Pud became the MLB’s first 300-game winner. He also has a record for being the only player in baseball history to win 20 or more games in 10 different years without winning a pennant.
Galvin was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1965, posthumously by the Veterans Committer. Likewise, he was also inducted into the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame. Pud died at the age of 45 on 7th March 1902.
4. Christy Mathewson
- Wins: 373
- Inducted to the Hall of Fame: 1936
The fourth pitcher on our list of most MBL wins, the first great pitching star of the modern era, Christopher “Christy” Mathewson. Born on 7th October 1925, he was nicknamed “The Christian Gentleman,” “The Gentleman’s Hurler,” “Big Six,” and “Matty.”
He was a 6-feet-1, 195 pounds, right-handed MLB pitcher. Famous for his “fadeaway” (screwball in the present), Mathewson had a combination of power and temperance. He showed impeccable control with the ball and made it look so effortless.
At the age of 14, he began playing semi-professional baseball then moved on to play minor leagues. He debuted in the major association with the New York Giants.
In his professional MLB career, he played 17 seasons with the New York Giants. Later Matty was traded to the Cincinnati Reds.
Matty was the Deadball Era’s most outstanding pitcher. He is two time World Series champion, two times Triple Crown, five times NL strikeout leader and NL ERA leader, and four times NL wins leader.
During World War I, Mathewson enlisted in the army and served his country. While in France, where he was serving as a captain, he was accidentally exposed to chemical gas in a training exercise.
Christy Mathewson battled with tuberculosis for seven years before he passed away on 7th October 1925. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame posthumously in 1936 with a vote of 90.7%.
3. Pete Alexander
- Wins: 373
- Inducted to the Hall of Fame: 1938
Born on 26th February 1887, Grover Cleveland Alexander debuted in MLB with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1911. He was nicknamed “Old Pete” and had 20 seasons in the major leagues.
Pete is one of the most successful pitchers in history. He had excellent pinpoint control, a wide variety of breaking pitches, and speed. During his rookie season, he set the record of 28 wins.
He started his career with the Philadelphia Phillies, and during his career, he did play for two different teams (Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals), but he returned to the Phillies.
Alexander was also enlisted in the Army during World War I in 1918. While serving as a sergeant in France, he was gassed and partially lost his hearing due to a shell explosion. Later in 1919, he returned to play for the Cubs.
Pete’s career awards list is World Series champion, six times NL wins leader and NL strikeout leader, three times Triple Crown, and four times NL ERA leader.
Pete Alexander was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1938. He is also inducted into the Philadelphia Phillies Wall of Fame and the Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame.
On 4th November 1950, at the age of 50, Pete passed away of cardiac failure.
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2. Walter Johnson
- Wins: 417
- Inducted to the Hall of Fame: 1936
A right-handed pitcher hailing from Humboldt, Kansas, Walter Perry Johnson was one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history. On 6th November 1887, he was born and made his MLB debut in 1907 for the Washington Senators.
Famously nicknamed “The Big Train,” Johnson was a natural pitcher with terrific speed. He has several pitching records that remain unbroken even after nine decades of retiring from the game.
With many records, Walter also has many notable awards, which he won during his professional career. He is World Series champion, two-time AL MVP, three-time Triple Crown, five-time AL ERA leader.
Similarly, he is also a six-time AL wins leader, astoundingly twelve-times AL strikeout leader, Pitched on a no-hitter, and MLB record career shutouts.
After Johnson retired from the MLB, he entered into politics. In 1938, he was elected as a Montgomery County commissioner.
“The Big Train” Walter Johnson became a Baseball Hall of Famer in 1936. Likewise, he was also inducted into the Major League Baseball All-Century Team, Major League Baseball All-Time Team, and Washington National Ring of Honor.
At the age of 59, Johnson passed away from a brain tumor.
1. Cy Young
- Wins: 511
- Inducted to the Hall of Fame: 1937
The famous pitcher, Denton True “Cy” Young, is on the top of the most MLB wins. Born on 29th March 1867, Young’s win record and other pitching records have remained unbreakable for over a century. His legacy is still alive and fresh in the hearts of baseball fans.
Even after a century, the name Cy Young is well known to fans and players alike. The prestigious Cy Young Award is named in his honor and presented to the best pitcher in each league every year.
Cy began his baseball career in 1889, playing for the minor league. However, he made his MLB debut in 1890, playing for the Cleveland Spiders.
With over 20 years career, he was also associated with St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Naps, and Boston Rustlers.
Considered to be the best pitcher in history, Cy pitched the perfect game of the 20th century. Other than the most wins, he also holds records for the career innings pitched (7,356), career games started (815), career complete games (749), and consecutive hitless innings pitched (251⁄3).
Young won World Series Champion, Triple Crown, two-times ERA leader and Strikeout leader, five-times Wins leader, pitched three no-hitters, and pitched a perfect game.
Cy Young became Hall of Famer posthumously in 1937. He is also a Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer, Cleveland Indians Hall of Famer, and Major League Baseball All-Century Team.
Baseball is one of the best-enjoyed sports globally, and MLB was founded over 118 years ago; there’s a lot of history behind it. Some of the wins remain unbreakable even after a century.
This concludes our list for 20 most MLB wins.