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Steve Carlton

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Steve Carlton
Carlton playing for the Phillies.
No. 2, 24
Born: December 22, 1944 (1944-12-22) (age 71)
Miami, Florida
Batted: Left Threw: Left
Professional debut
April 12, 1965 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last professional appearance
April 23, 1988 for the Minnesota Twins
Career information
High school: North HS
(Miami, Florida)
Signed: October 8, 1963 by the St. Louis Cardinals
Career highlights and awards
  • 10x MLB All-Star
  • 1x Gold Glove winner (1981)
  • 4x Cy Young Award winner
    (1972,1977, 1980, 1982)
  • 4x NL TSN Pitcher of the Year
    (1972, 1977, 1980, 1982)
  • 1972 NL Triple Crown
  • 1972 NL pitching_title
Empty Star Empty Star Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star Empty Star
Inducted: 1994

Steven Norman Carlton (born December 22, 1944 in Miami, Florida) is an American former Professional baseball pitcher who played Major League Baseball, from 1965 to 1988, who retired as one of the most successful pitchers to ever play the game. He was affectionately known to Philadelphia fans as "Lefty." He played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins.

Carlton has the second-most lifetime strikeouts of any left-handed pitcher (4th overall), and the second-most lifetime wins of any left-handed pitcher (11th overall). He was the first pitcher to win four Cy Young Awards in a career. He held the lifetime strikeout record several times between 1982 and 1984, before his contemporary Nolan Ryan passed him for good. One of his most remarkable records was accounting for nearly half (46%) of his team's wins, when he won 27 games for the last-place 1972 Phillies.

St. Louis CardinalsEdit

Carlton debuted with the St. Louis Cardinals as a 20-year old in 1965 and by 1967 was a regular in the Cardinals rotation. An imposing (6'4"/1.93 m) man with a hard fastball and slider, Carlton was soon known as an intimidating and dominant pitcher. Carlton enjoyed immediate success in St. Louis, posting winning records and reaching the World Series in 1967 and 1968. On September 15, 1969, Carlton, struck out 19 New York Mets, setting the all-time record at that time for strikeouts in a nine inning game.

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Giants, White Sox, IndiansEdit

He caught on with the San Francisco Giants, but pitched ineffectively save for seven shutout innings in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in which he also hit a 3-run homer for his only win as a Giant. He would hang around just long enough to collect his 4,000th strikeout against Eric Davis before retiring.

His retirement was brief, as he almost immediately signed on with the Chicago White Sox for the remainder of the 1986 season, where he would be surprisingly effective, going 4-3 with a respectable 3.69 ERA, but not be offered a contract for 1987. He caught on with the lowly Cleveland Indians where his most notable achievement was teaming up with Phil Niekro in a game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium (his first and only pitching appearance at "The House that Ruth Built") where they became the first teammates and 300 game winners to appear in the same game. Both were ineffective in a 10-6 Yankee victory.

Minnesota TwinsEdit

He was traded to the Minnesota Twins, where he was yet again ineffective. However the Twins would go on to a surprising win in the 1987 World Series, albeit without Carlton on the post-season roster, to earn him a third World Series ring and a trip to the White House to meet President Reagan along with his teammates. Interestingly, when Carlton was photographed with his teammates at the White House, newspapers listed each member of the team with the notable exception of Carlton. Instead, Carlton was listed as an "unidentified Secret Service agent." The Twins brought him back in 1988 but he lasted only a month before the Twins released him.


He attempted to find work in 1989 but found no takers. The closest thing to an offer was the New York Yankees offering him the use of their facilities for training purposes but no spot on the spring training team. Nolan Ryan would pitch until 1993 and would extend his strikeout lead over Carlton to almost 1,600 before retiring.


Baseball Hof
Steve Carlton
is a member of
the Baseball
Hall of Fame

A ten-time All-Star, Carlton led the league in many pitching categories. He struck out 4,136 batters in his career, then a record for a left-handed pitcher (since surpassed by Randy Johnson), and holds many other records for both left-handed and Phillies pitchers. His 329 career wins are the eleventh most in baseball history, behind Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, and Warren Spahn among pitchers of the live-ball era (post-1920). He never threw a no hitter, but pitched a complete game one hitter six times.

Carlton was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994 with 96% of the vote, one of the highest percentages ever for approval (only candidate elected by BBWAA). The Phillies retired his number 32, and honored him with a statue outside Citizens Bank Park. In 1999, he ranked number 30 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was a nominee for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

Carlton appeared in an episode of Married... with Children, playing himself in an episode where former athletes humiliate Al Bundy while filming a shoe commercial.

External linksEdit

Preceded by:
Ferguson Jenkins
National League Cy Young Award
Succeeded by:
Tom Seaver
Preceded by:
Randy Jones
National League Cy Young Award
Succeeded by:
Gaylord Perry
Preceded by:
Bruce Sutter
National League Cy Young Award
Succeeded by:
Fernando Valenzuela
Preceded by:
Fernando Valenzuela
National League Cy Young Award
Succeeded by:
John Denny

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