Quick: before Roger Clemens came along who had the most professional wins as a pitcher and NOT be in the Hall of Fame?
The answer would be this guy right here, 19th century pitcher Bobby Mathews:
Mathews finished a nice 15-year career spanning 1871 and 1887 with a 297
and 248 record, along with a 2.86 earned run average over 578
appearances and 4956 innings of work.
An oddity of his career is that of his 297 wins, he only collected 20 of
them between the ages of 25 and 29, with two missed years in between as
So that means the guy collected 277 wins in only 11 seasons, his first of which was partial. Not bad!
I don’t know why he never got into the Hall since, based on his career,
he must have been the all-time wins leader at some point before Cy Young
came and blew everyone out of the water.
Guys like Keefe, Nichols and Galvin came after Mathews.