Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
Home     List of Articles



Tom Seaver

Hall-of-Famers as Seen Through Player Won-Lost Records: Tom Seaver

Tom Seaver was elected to the Hall of Fame in his 1st year of eligibility, 1992, with a then-record 98.8% of the vote.

The first table below presents Tom Seaver's career as measured by Player won-lost records.

Tom Seaver
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1967NYN22
36
16.814.20.5421.8
3.1
15.115.90.4870.11.4
1968NYN23
38
16.814.30.5401.8
3.0
17.014.10.5472.03.2
1969NYN24
39
20.813.30.6104.3
5.9
18.016.10.5271.53.0
1970NYN25
42
20.615.20.5753.3
4.9
21.214.60.5924.05.5
1971NYN26
39
19.613.00.6013.9
5.2
19.313.20.5943.65.0
1972NYN27
36
18.816.30.5361.9
3.4
18.716.40.5321.73.3
1973NYN28
39
20.113.70.5953.8
5.2
19.214.50.5693.04.3
1974NYN29
32
14.014.40.4950.2
1.3
15.013.40.5271.22.3
1975NYN30
37
18.613.20.5853.3
4.6
18.113.60.5712.84.2
1976NYN31
35
16.513.90.5431.8
3.0
16.613.90.5441.83.0
32
33
19.012.30.6084.0
5.4
18.213.10.5823.24.6
1978CIN33
36
16.015.00.5150.9
2.2
15.515.50.4990.41.7
1979CIN34
33
14.111.70.5461.7
2.7
13.512.20.5251.12.1
1980CIN35
26
10.111.70.463-0.5
0.4
10.011.90.456-0.70.2
1981CIN36
23
10.67.40.5882.0
2.7
9.88.20.5461.22.0
1982CIN37
22
6.610.00.398-1.5
-0.8
6.89.80.411-1.2-0.5
1983NYN38
34
12.714.70.463-0.6
0.5
12.814.70.467-0.50.6
1984CHA39
34
13.511.60.5380.9
2.0
12.912.20.5140.41.4
1985CHA40
35
14.510.90.5711.8
3.2
13.212.10.5220.51.9
41
28
9.310.00.481-0.4
0.6
9.79.50.5060.11.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
677
308.9256.70.54634.4
58.5
300.6265.00.53126.150.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
8
3.33.60.484 0.33.93.50.526 0.6
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
685
312.3260.30.546
58.8
304.5268.60.531 50.8


In his New Historical Baseball Abstract, Bill James ranked Tom Seaver as the 6th-best pitcher in major-league history but said the following:

"There is actually a good argument that Tom Seaver should be regarded as the greatest pitcher of all time. Of the five pitchers rated ahead of him, four pitched before World War II, the other just after World War II.... Where Seaver rates relative to those pitchers, then, depends to a large extent on how steep one believes the timeline of history to be."
James wrote this following the 2000 season, so Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, and Pedro Martinez were all still mid-career. James ranked Clemens 11th, and commented that "like Seaver, there is actually a very good argument that he is the greatest pitcher who ever lived." The next table shows the top 25 players in career pWins over positional average and replacement level among all players for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records.

pWins over Positional Average
Top 25 Players
          pWins over Replacement Level
Top 25 Players
Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL           Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL
1Barry Bonds462.0314.961.0
91.4
1Barry Bonds462.0314.961.0
91.4
2Babe Ruth306.0177.854.4
74.2
2Willie Mays460.1334.749.8
82.0
3Mickey Mantle351.7230.450.3
73.9
3Hank Aaron491.8372.142.2
77.9
4Willie Mays460.1334.749.8
82.0
4Roger Clemens318.1228.146.3
74.6
5Joe L. Morgan373.8292.146.4
72.8
5Babe Ruth306.0177.854.4
74.2
6Roger Clemens318.1228.146.3
74.6
6Mickey Mantle351.7230.450.3
73.9
7Lefty Grove254.8176.544.7
63.9
7Joe L. Morgan373.8292.146.4
72.8
8Ted Williams368.9253.144.4
69.7
8Ted Williams368.9253.144.4
69.7
9Hank Aaron491.8372.142.2
77.9
9Stan Musial420.8311.540.1
69.6
10Alex Rodriguez374.0297.242.1
69.1
10Alex Rodriguez374.0297.242.1
69.1
11Warren Spahn353.9293.440.8
68.5
11Warren Spahn353.9293.440.8
68.5
12Lou Gehrig265.8160.140.3
58.0
12Greg Maddux328.5271.339.9
68.5
13Stan Musial420.8311.540.1
69.6
13Mel Ott375.2272.539.2
66.2
14Greg Maddux328.5271.339.9
68.5
14Lefty Grove254.8176.544.7
63.9
15Mel Ott375.2272.539.2
66.2
15Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson281.2220.934.2
59.9
16Joe DiMaggio281.9194.338.3
57.6
16Frank Robinson394.8304.030.4
59.8
17Pee Wee Reese301.5239.135.3
57.2
17Derek Jeter369.5322.432.9
59.6
18Tom Seaver308.9256.734.4
58.5
18Rickey Henderson427.2353.628.3
59.1
19Jimmie Foxx289.1195.134.4
54.8
19Albert Pujols346.2255.333.9
58.9
20Eddie Mathews320.9240.834.3
57.0
20Tom Seaver308.9256.734.4
58.5
21Randy 'Big Unit' Johnson281.2220.934.2
59.9
21Lou Gehrig265.8160.140.3
58.0
22Mike Schmidt337.5257.534.0
56.8
22Joe DiMaggio281.9194.338.3
57.6
23Albert Pujols346.2255.333.9
58.9
23Pee Wee Reese301.5239.135.3
57.2
24Chipper Jones336.7258.533.8
57.0
24Chipper Jones336.7258.533.8
57.0
25Mariano Rivera126.660.832.9
45.6
25Eddie Mathews320.9240.834.3
57.0


Being among the top 25 players in pWOPA and pWORL is obviously extremely impressive. But among pitchers, Seaver is behind at least one pitcher from before his time - Warren Spahn (I am missing much of the careers of Lefty Grove and Walter Johnson) - and several more recent pitchers.

But there is clearly a stretch of time over which Tom Seaver would rank as the top pitcher in pWOPA and pWORL. In fact, there is a 50-year stretch of time, which just happens to encompass the second half of the 20th century over which Tom Seaver was the best pitcher in the major leagues.

The top 25 players in pWOPA and pWORL from 1950 through 2000 are shown next.

pWins over Positional Average
Top 25 Players
          pWins over Replacement Level
Top 25 Players
Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL           Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL
1Mickey Mantle351.7230.450.3
73.9
1Willie Mays460.1334.749.8
82.0
2Willie Mays460.1334.749.8
82.0
2Hank Aaron491.8372.142.2
77.9
3Joe L. Morgan373.8292.146.4
72.8
3Mickey Mantle351.7230.450.3
73.9
4Hank Aaron491.8372.142.2
77.9
4Joe L. Morgan373.8292.146.4
72.8
5Barry Bonds332.2238.038.4
60.6
5Barry Bonds332.2238.038.4
60.6
6Roger Clemens237.2168.234.6
55.5
6Frank Robinson394.8304.030.4
59.8
7Tom Seaver308.9256.734.4
58.5
7Tom Seaver308.9256.734.4
58.5
8Eddie Mathews320.9240.834.3
57.0
8Rickey Henderson405.2332.228.7
57.6
9Greg Maddux223.6170.334.2
52.5
9Eddie Mathews320.9240.834.3
57.0
10Mike Schmidt337.5257.534.0
56.8
10Mike Schmidt337.5257.534.0
56.8
11Bob Gibson263.9217.631.7
52.5
11Cal Ripken372.0336.828.7
55.9
12Jim Palmer242.8186.031.2
50.7
12Roger Clemens237.2168.234.6
55.5
13Warren Spahn285.9241.131.1
53.8
13Steve Carlton337.9303.927.6
54.5
14Frank Robinson394.8304.030.4
59.8
14Reggie Jackson366.5297.725.5
54.0
15Juan Marichal232.1187.129.7
47.8
15Warren Spahn285.9241.131.1
53.8
16Whitey Ford210.3164.329.0
45.3
16Al Kaline377.4301.924.6
52.7
17Cal Ripken372.0336.828.7
55.9
17Greg Maddux223.6170.334.2
52.5
18Rickey Henderson405.2332.228.7
57.6
18Bob Gibson263.9217.631.7
52.5
19Yogi Berra209.3154.028.7
43.5
19Carl Yastrzemski426.4363.117.8
50.7
20Lou Whitaker306.1260.828.2
50.0
20Nolan Ryan356.8328.019.7
50.7
21Steve Carlton337.9303.927.6
54.5
21Jim Palmer242.8186.031.2
50.7
22Barry Larkin253.9212.026.1
44.3
22Lou Whitaker306.1260.828.2
50.0
23Reggie Jackson366.5297.725.5
54.0
23Juan Marichal232.1187.129.7
47.8
24Johnny Bench245.9197.324.6
42.3
24Gaylord Perry317.7289.220.3
47.6
25Al Kaline377.4301.924.6
52.7
25Paul Molitor318.0272.719.7
47.4


The best pitcher and one of the top 5 players, regardless of position. Very impressive.



All articles are written so that they pull data directly from the most recent version of the Player won-lost database. Hence, any numbers cited within these articles should automatically incorporate the most recent update to Player won-lost records. In some cases, however, the accompanying text may have been written based on previous versions of Player won-lost records. I apologize if this results in non-sensical text in any cases.

Home     List of Articles