Previously: The incredible throwing motion of Walter Johnson
It was July 22, 1923, when Washington Senators hurler Walter Johnson struck out Stan Coveleski of the Indians for his 3,000th career strikeout.
The Big Train was the first player in MLB history to record 3,000 strikeouts and when considering the era, his reaching the feat becomes even more impressive. Johnson led the league in strikeouts 12 out of 15 seasons in one stretch and was the only player in history with at least 3,000 strikeouts for 51 years -- as Bob Gibson was next to reach the plateau in 1974.
There are now 16 pitchers with at least 3,000 strikeouts, and Johnson ranks ninth on the all-time list with 3,509. His closest contemporary is Cy Young at 2,803 -- and Young logged more than 1,400 innings more than Johnson.
So here's to the Big Train, the first truly great strikeout artist in major league baseball. Ninety years ago today he hit the 3,000 mark.