Loyal VORG reader David Branson tweeted at me yesterday:
@ Joe Niekro had single season win totals of 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, & 17. Any idea if this is the longest string?
I thought that was a really cool find, and decided to investigate further. Using the “pitching” table from the Lahman Baseball Database I not only determined the record for longest sequence of win totals, but also the most unique season win totals in a career. As it turns out, Niekro holds both records. The 6 through 17-win seasons do set the record for longest sequence at 12, and when you add in his seasons with 1, 2, 3, 4, 20 and 21 wins, he has a record 18 different season win totals. Here is the list of those pitchers with a sequence of at least 10 and also 10 different season win totals:
For completeness’ sake, here is the Google Drive document listing all pitchers from 1871-2013, with win totals, longest sequences and unique season win totals. An “X” in a column means that the win total was achieved at least once.