In Major League Baseball, the 3000 strikeout club is an informal term applied to the group of pitchers who have struck out 3000 or more batters in their careers.

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.

The club includes only 2 left-handed members, Steve Carlton and Randy Johnson.

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.

The clubEdit

Statistics are current through October 23, 2006.

PitcherStrikeoutsDate of 3000thTeamsSeasons
Nolan Ryan5714July 4, 1980New York (NL), California, Houston, Texas1966-93
Roger Clemens*4604July 5, 1998Boston (AL), Toronto, New York (AL), Houston1984-
Randy Johnson*4544September 10, 2000Montreal, Seattle, Houston, Arizona, New York (AL)1988-
Steve Carlton4136April 29, 1981St. Louis, Philadelphia, Chicago (AL), San Francisco, Cleveland, Minnesota1965-88
Bert Blyleven3701August 1, 1986Minnesota, Texas, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, California1970-92
Tom Seaver3640April 18, 1981New York (NL), Cincinnati, Chicago (AL), Boston1967-86
Don Sutton3574June 24, 1983Los Angeles, Houston, Milwaukee, California, Oakland1966-88
Gaylord Perry3534October 1, 1978San Francisco, Cleveland, Texas, San Diego, New York (AL), Atlanta, Seattle, Kansas City1962-83
Walter Johnson3509July 22, 1923Washington (AL)1907-27
Phil Niekro3342July 4, 1984Milwaukee/Atlanta, New York (AL), Cleveland, Toronto1964-87
Fergie Jenkins3192July 25, 1982Philadelphia, Chicago (NL), Texas, Boston1965-83
Greg Maddux*3169July 26, 2005Chicago (NL), Atlanta, Chicago (NL), Los Angeles (NL)1986-
Bob Gibson3117July 17, 1974St. Louis1959-75
Curt Schilling*3015August 30, 2006Baltimore, Houston, Philadelphia, Arizona, Boston1988-

* still active

Closest Active PlayersEdit

Pedro Martínez2998Los Angeles (NL), Montreal, Boston, New York (NL)1992-
John Smoltz2778Atlanta1988-
Mike Mussina2572Baltimore (AL), New York (AL)1991-
Tom Glavine2481Atlanta, New York (NL)1987-
David Wells2119Toronto, Detroit, Cincinnati, Baltimore, New York (AL), Toronto, Chicago (AL), New York (AL), San Diego, Boston, San Diego1987-