1926 | WASHINGTON, D.C. – Walter Johnson won his 400th game on this date in 1926. Only one other pitcher has reached that plateau, Cy Young, winner of an astonishing 511 games. You know Cy. They named an award after him.
Walter Johnson came from Humboldt, Kansas. He broke into the majors with the Washington Senators (today’s Minnesota Twins) in 1907 at age 19.
They called him “Night Train,” and he pitched for the next 21 years, finishing with records like 36-7, 33-12, 23-7, 25-13, 20-7, for a team that lost more than it won (The Senators finished under .500 eleven of the twenty-one seasons Johnson pitched for them).
Walter Johnson was said to have the fastest fastball in major league history, of course there were no radar guns in the teens and twenties, so we can’t really be sure.
Here are some figures from the “I didn’t know that” category that we are sure about;
• Johnson pitched 110 shutouts
• He won 38 games 1-0
• Remarkably, 26 of his losses were 1-0
Walter Johnson could hit too. Johnson finished the 1925 season with a .433 batting average, still a major league record for pitchers. His lifetime batting average was .235, not bad for a pitcher.