List of Major League Baseball career strikeout leaders

In baseball, a strikeout occurs when the batter receives three strikes during his time at bat. Strikeouts are associated with dominance on the part of the pitcher and failure on the part of the batter.

Nolan Ryan has the most career strikeouts in Major League Baseball. During a record 27-year career, he struck out 5,714 batters.

The parentheses adjacent to an active player denote the number of strikeouts in the current season.

The List

Denotes elected to National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Bold Denotes active player (with current season strikeouts shown).

A player is considered "inactive" if he has not played baseball for one year or has announced his retirement.
Stats updated through July 19, 2019.


Rank Player K
1 Nolan Ryan 5,714
2 Randy Johnson 4,875
3 Roger Clemens 4,672
4 Steve Carlton 4,136
5 Bert Blyleven 3,701
6 Tom Seaver 3,640
7 Don Sutton 3,574
8 Gaylord Perry 3,534
9 Walter Johnson 3,508
10 Greg Maddux 3,371
11 Phil Niekro 3,342
12 Ferguson Jenkins 3,192
13 Pedro Martínez 3,154
14 Bob Gibson 3,117
15 Curt Schilling 3,116
16 John Smoltz 3,084
17 CC Sabathia (77) 3,063
18 Justin Verlander (172) 2,878
19 Jim Bunning 2,855
20 Mickey Lolich 2,832
21 Mike Mussina 2,813
22 Cy Young 2,803
23 Frank Tanana 2,773
24 David Cone 2,668
25 Max Scherzer (181) 2,630
26 Chuck Finley 2,610
27 Tom Glavine 2,607
28 Warren Spahn 2,583
29 Bob Feller 2,581
30 Tim Keefe 2,564
31 Jerry Koosman 2,556
32 Zack Greinke (114) 2,549
33 Javier Vázquez 2,536
34 Bartolo Colón (0) 2,535
Rank Player K
35 A. J. Burnett 2,513
36 Cole Hamels (97) 2,512
37 Christy Mathewson 2,507
38 Felix Hernandez (34) 2,501
39 Don Drysdale 2,486
40 Jack Morris 2,478
41 Mark Langston 2,464
42 Jim Kaat 2,461
43 Sam McDowell 2,453
44 Andy Pettitte 2,448
45 Jamie Moyer 2,441
46 Luis Tiant 2,416
47 Dennis Eckersley 2,401
48 Kevin Brown 2,397
49 Sandy Koufax 2,396
50 Clayton Kershaw (98) 2,373
51 Charlie Hough 2,362
52 Robin Roberts 2,357
53 Early Wynn 2,334
54 Rube Waddell 2,316
55 Juan Marichal 2,303
56 Jon Lester (105) 2,295
57 John Lackey 2,294
58 Dwight Gooden 2,293
59 Lefty Grove 2,266
60 Eddie Plank 2,246
61 Tommy John 2,245
62 James Shields (0) 2,234
63 Jim Palmer 2,212
64 Jake Peavy 2,207
65 David Wells 2,201
66 Grover Cleveland Alexander 2,198
67 Vida Blue 2,175
68 Camilo Pascual 2,167
Rank Player K
69 Tim Wakefield 2,156
70 Dennis Martínez 2,149
71 Roy Halladay 2,117
72 Kevin Millwood 2,083
73 Bobo Newsom 2,082
74 Tim Hudson 2,080
75 Ryan Dempster 2,075
76 Fernando Valenzuela 2,074
77 Dazzy Vance 2,045
78 Rick Reuschel 2,015
79 Orel Hershiser 2,014
80 Dan Haren 2,013
81 Catfish Hunter 2,012
82 Andy Benes 2,000
83 Billy Pierce 1,999
84 Kevin Appier 1,994
85 Johan Santana 1,988
86 Red Ruffing 1,987
87 John Clarkson 1,978
88 Liván Hernández 1,976
89 Al Leiter 1,974
90 Bob Welch 1,969
91 Kenny Rogers 1,968
92 Chris Sale (172) 1,961
93 David Price (106) 1,959
94 Whitey Ford 1,956
95 Bobby Witt 1,955
96 Amos Rusie 1,950
97 Danny Darwin 1,942
98 Tom Gordon 1,928
99 Ervin Santana (5) 1,926
100 Hideo Nomo 1,918

See also


  1. ^ – Career Leaders for Strikeouts
  2. ^ Baseball Reference – MLB Career Leaders and Records for Strikeouts
Andy Benes

Andrew Charles Benes (born August 20, 1967) is a former Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher. During a 14-year career from 1989 to 2002, Benes played for the San Diego Padres, the Seattle Mariners, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Arizona Diamondbacks. His brother Alan also pitched in the Major Leagues, and was his teammate in 1996–97 and 2000–01. He and his brother Alan attended Evansville Lutheran School and Evansville Central High School.

Bobby Witt

Robert Andrew Witt (born May 11, 1964), is a former professional baseball pitcher, who played all or part of sixteen seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics, Florida Marlins, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Cleveland Indians, and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Bobo Newsom

Louis Norman "Bobo" Newsom (August 11, 1907 – December 7, 1962) was an American starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. Also known as "Buck", Newsom played for nine of the 16 then-existing big-league teams from 1929 through 1953 over all or parts of 20 seasons, appearing in an even 600 games pitched and 3,759​1⁄3 innings pitched. He batted and threw right-handed, stood 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) tall and weighed 200 pounds (91 kg).

Charlie Hough

Charles Oliver Hough (; born January 5, 1948) is a former Major League Baseball knuckleball pitcher.

Chuck Finley

Charles Edward Finley (born November 26, 1962) is a retired Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher. He pitched from 1986–2002 for three teams, but pitched primarily with the California Angels (later the Anaheim Angels and now Los Angeles Angels). After a 14-year tenure with the Angels, he played for the Cleveland Indians for three years, and then was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals and played there for half a season. During a 17-year baseball career, Finley compiled 200 wins, 2,610 strikeouts, and a 3.85 earned run average. He is the Angels all-time career leader in wins (165), innings pitched (2,675), games started (379) and is second in strikeouts (2,151). He lives in Newport Beach, California.

Danny Darwin

Danny Wayne Darwin (born October 25, 1955), known as the "Bonham Bullet" and "Dr. Death", is an American professional baseball pitcher and coach, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers, Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago White Sox, and San Francisco Giants, from 1978 through 1998. Over his MLB career, he amassed 171 wins and 182 losses, with a 3.84 earned run average (ERA).

Dazzy Vance

Charles Arthur "Dazzy" Vance (March 4, 1891 – February 16, 1961) was an American professional baseball player. He played as a pitcher for five different franchises in Major League Baseball (MLB) in a career that spanned twenty years. Known for his impressive fastball, Vance was the only pitcher to lead the National League in strikeouts seven consecutive seasons. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955.

Frank Tanana

Frank Daryl Tanana (born July 3, 1953) is a former Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher. He was the California Angels' first-round draft pick in 1971. From 1973 to 1993, he pitched for six teams: the Angels, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, New York Mets, and New York Yankees.

In his prime, Tanana was known for a 100+ MPH fastball, which he abruptly lost when he injured his arm. However, he was able to develop an assortment of off-speed pitches (including an excellent curveball) and continue his career. Throughout his career, he accumulated 34 shutouts, 4,000 innings pitched, and nearly 2,800 strikeouts. He is one of only 23 major league pitchers to have struck out at least 2,700 batters in his career.

Grover Cleveland Alexander

Grover Cleveland Alexander (February 26, 1887 – November 4, 1950), nicknamed "Old Pete", was an American Major League Baseball pitcher. He played from 1911 through 1930 for the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, and St. Louis Cardinals. He was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1938.

Jerry Reuss

Jerry Reuss (born June 19, 1949)—pronounced "royce"—is a former left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball, best known for his years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had a 22-year career from 1969 to 1990.

Reuss played for eight teams in his major league career; along with the Dodgers (1979–87), he played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1969–71), Houston Astros (1972–73), and Pittsburgh Pirates (1974–78). At the end of his career (1987–90), he played for the Cincinnati Reds, California Angels, Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, and the Pirates again (Reuss is one of only two Pirates to have played for Danny Murtaugh, Chuck Tanner, and Jim Leyland, the other being John Candelaria). In 1988 he became the second pitcher in history, joining Milt Pappas, to win 200 career games without ever winning 20 in a single season. Reuss is one of only 29 players in major league history to play in four different decades.

Lefty Grove

Robert Moses "Lefty" Grove (March 6, 1900 – May 22, 1975) was an American professional baseball pitcher. After having success in the minor leagues during the early 1920s, Grove became a star in Major League Baseball with the American League's Philadelphia Athletics and Boston Red Sox. One of the greatest pitchers in history, Grove led the American League in wins in four separate seasons, in strikeouts seven years in a row, and had the league's lowest earned run average a record nine times. Over the course of the three years from 1929 to 1931 he twice won the pitcher's Triple Crown, leading the league in wins, strikeouts, and ERA, while amassing a 79-15 record and leading the Athletics to three straight AL championships. Overall, Grove won 300 games in his 17-year MLB career. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1947.

List of KBO career strikeout leaders

The following is the current leaderboard for career strikeouts in KBO League Korean baseball.

List of KBO career win leaders

The following is the current leaderboard for career wins in KBO League Korean baseball.

List of Major League Baseball career runs scored leaders

Listed are all Major League Baseball (MLB) players with 1,000 or more career runs scored. Players in bold face are active as of the 2018 Major League Baseball season.

List of top Nippon Professional Baseball strikeout pitchers

The following is a list of Nippon Professional Baseball pitchers who have recorded at least 2,000 strikeouts. In baseball, a strikeout occurs when the batter receives three strikes during his time at bat. Strikeouts are associated with dominance on the part of the pitcher and failure on the part of the batter.

Masaichi Kaneda has the most career strikeouts in Nippon Professional Baseball. During a 19-year career, he struck out 4,490 batters.

Mark Langston

Mark Edward Langston (born August 20, 1960) is an American former Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher. He pitched for the Seattle Mariners (1984–1989), Montreal Expos (1989), California and Anaheim Angels (1990–1997), San Diego Padres (1998), and Cleveland Indians (1999). During a 16-year baseball career, Langston compiled 179 wins, 2,464 strikeouts, and a 3.97 earned run average.

Rick Reuschel

Ricky Eugene Reuschel (pronounced Rush-al) (born May 16, 1949) is an American former professional baseball player. He played as a pitcher in Major League Baseball from 1972-1991, winning 214 games with a career 3.37 ERA. His nickname was "Big Daddy" because of his portly physique. He was known for his deceptive style of pitching, which kept hitters off balance by constantly varying the speeds of his pitches.

Ryan Dempster

Ryan Scott Dempster (born May 3, 1977), is a Canadian former professional baseball pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Florida Marlins, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, and Boston Red Sox. Dempster batted and threw right-handed. He was both a starter and a reliever, in his career.

On April 22, 2014, Dempster was hired by MLB Network as a studio color analyst.

Tommy John

Thomas Edward John Jr. (born May 22, 1943) is a retired American professional baseball pitcher who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for 26 seasons between 1963 and 1989. He played for the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, California Angels, and Oakland Athletics. He was a four-time MLB All-Star.

John's 288 career victories rank as the seventh-highest total among left-handers in major league history. He had 188 career no decisions, an all-time MLB record among starting pitchers (dating back to at least 1908). He is also known for the surgical procedure ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, nicknamed "Tommy John surgery", which he underwent in 1974 after damaging the ligament in his throwing arm. John was the first pitcher to receive the operation, and despite a poor outlook initially, he returned to being an effective pitcher, as more than half of his career wins came after his surgery. It has since become a common procedure among baseball pitchers.

Multiple stat


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