On July 22, 1923, Walter Perry Johnson, became the first pitcher to pass the 3,000 strike out milestone.
Johnson helped lead the Washington Senators to a 3-1 win against the Cleveland Indians by striking five batters out. The player to face the right hander for number 3,000 was right handed pitcher Stan Coveleski who took the loss for the game.
Johnson played for the Senators from his debt in 1907 to his retirement from the sport in 1927. His fast ball was legendary, but nobody knows exactly how fast it was because the technology for that had not come out yet. It was the pitch that gave him the power to strike 3,508 batters. He even accumulated 20 or more wins for 10 consecutive seasons.
The strength and command Johnson demonstrated from the pitcher’s mound makes him one of the greatest pitchers ever. He is even put in the running for the best ever. Though to many his is second best, with Cy Young in the front running. He was inducted in to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936 after getting voted in by the baseball writers. His nicknames included the “Big Train,” “Sir Walter” and “The White Knight.”
Detroit Tigers outfielder Ty Cobb said this about Johnson’s fast ball, “Just speed, raw speed, blinding speed, too much speed.”