45th in JAWS (70.0 career/43.8 peak/56.9 JAWS)
Teams: Cubs 1972-81, ’83-84 • Yankees 1981 • Pirates 1985-87 •Giants 1987-91
Stats: 214-191 • 3.37 ERA • 114 ERA+ • 3,548.1 IP • 2,015 SO
Rankings: 6x top 5 WAR • 6x top 10 IP • 5x top 10 K • 3x All-Star • 3x top 3 BB/9 • 3x top 10 ERA
Voting: BBWAA 1997 (1st, 0.4%)
In his time, almost nobody thought of “Big Daddy” in a Cooperstown context, but the portly 6´3˝ righty showed impressive staying power during his 19-year career and stacks up well in light of WAR. He spent most of his first dozen seasons with the Cubs, his strong run prevention under heavy workloads often going unnoticed amid mediocre won-loss records — he was 135-127 during his Chicago years — though a 20-10 1977 season did get some attention; he led the NL with 9.4 WAR and finished third in the Cy Young voting. A brief foray to the Yankees resulted in a trip to the 1981 World Series and a torn rotator cuff that cost him all of 1982 and most of ’83-84, but he resurfaced as a strong starter in Pittsburgh and then San Francisco, helping the Giants to two playoff appearances and the 1989 World Series in his age-40 season. BBWAA voters almost completely ignored him, and he’s unlikely to break through via committee, but he’s 32nd in career WAR, ahead of many no-doubt Hall of Famers.