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  • Caesar Cliffius

    My name is Cliff Eastham. I live in West Virginia with my wife Debbie, the loveliest lady in the world, and my youngest daughter, Holly who is equally as lovely as her mother.

    I enjoy writing about sports, and love a good healthy debate. My favorite teams are the Cincinnati Reds and the Washington Redskins.

    There are only a couple of sports that I don't write about, Hockey and Soccer specifically. My favorite sports are Baseball, Boxing, NFL, NCAA Basketball, MMA.

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    It is decreed.....Caesar Cliffius
    this 8th day of December, in the Year of our Lord 2009.

MLB: Top Five Pitchers with the Best Five-Year Averages of All Time

I thought this would be an interesting list because of some recent debates I’ve had here about Sandy Koufax and his best five years.

Oh, he had a great five years and he finished on a high note and left on top of the game. That is why we remember it so vividly, and hold it in so high regard.

But, was it the best five years ever?

I did extensive research, using Wins, ERA, Strikeouts and WHIP. The five years did not have to be consecutive, I simply chose the best five.

I was surprised by two of the top five on the list.

Read on and see which pitcher had the best five years of all time.

No. 5—Jack Chesbro

When I was a kid, I was always told that Jack Chesbro had the record for most wins in a single season with 41.

That is not true. He actually is tied for 25th on the all-time list. Old Hoss Radbourn has the record with 59. There are two others with more than 50 wins in a season.

After backing up and shaking my head in disbelief, I decided to limit this list to the 20th Century forward.

The seasons that I chose as a sampling for Chesbro are 1901-1904, and 1906.

Jack Chesbro comes in at No. 5 on the list with a five-year average as follows:

27W—12L, 2.42 ERA, 160 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.087.

No. 4—Roger Clemens

Roger Clemens, love him or hate him, comes in at No. 4.

The problem is, with Roger we don’t know when he was juiced and when he wasn’t. Very hard when you try and compile a list.

The seasons I sampled for Roger are 1986, 1987, 1990, 1997, and 1998.

For those five years, Clemens averaged 21W—7L, an ERA of 2.41, 253 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.070.

Roger won a Major League-best seven Cy Young Awards, along with one Most Valuable Player Award.

No. 3—Randy Johnson

Coming in at third on our list is Randy Johnson.

The “Big Unit” is still compiling his statistics. He is definitely one of the best ever. His greatness is behind him and it was indeed great.

He won five Cy Young Awards, and he won them in both leagues.

The best years of his career were 1995, 1997, and 2000-2002.

Randy’s averages for those five years are:

20W-5L, a 2.44 ERA, one “list-leading” 327 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.051.

No. 2—Sandy Koufax

In the No. 2 slot on our list will come as a shock to many of you. Koufax’s best five years are thought by many to be the best ever.

As you can see, there is one better.

The years I picked for Sandy are 1960 and 1961-1965.

Sandy won three Cy Young Awards and one Most Valuable Player Award in his illustrious, albeit short career.

His five year average is:

23W-8L, a very fine ERA of 2.18, 299 strikeouts, and a “list-leading” WHIP of 0.962.

No. 1—Walter Johnson

Your winner with the best five-year average of all time is Walter “Big Train” Johnson.

Walter’s 417 career wins are second only to Cy Young’s 511. Of course, that statistic wouldn’t get you a cup of coffee on this list.

The “Big Train” won two Most Valuable Player Awards, and obviously played prior to the establishment of the Cy Young Award.

Walter’s best five years were 1912-1914, 1916, and 1918.

His average for those five years are:

A “list-leading” 29 wins against 14 losses, an amazing “list-leading” ERA of 1.48, 236 strikeouts, and a “list-leading” WHIP of 0.923

There you have it folks, the best averages for five years ever.

It may be worthy to note that Cy Young averaged 34 wins in his best five seasons, although he was blown away in strikeouts and WHIP.

So now you know. If someone says to you that Koufax had arguably the best five years of all time, say to them, “Let’s argue.”

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