The club's "founding member" was Walter Johnson in 1923. He was the only pitcher to have reached this milestone until Bob Gibson recorded his 3000th strikeout in 1974. Since then, twelve more hurlers have joined the club. This recent increase may be explained by the existence of more free-swinging hitters than before, corresponding with an increase in the number of home runs. Nevertheless, 3000 strikeouts remains a very notable feat, as there are only 14 members of this elite corps.
Except for Bert Blyleven, all eligible members of the 3000-strikeout club have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Blyleven received only 17.55% of the vote in his first year of eligibility (1998), but his most recent percentage was 47.7% in 2007. Election to the Hall of Fame requires 75% of the vote, and Blyleven has until 2012 to attain that total.