To put it all into perspective, Clemens, who is considered the workhorse of this era, has completed 118 of the 699 games he's started and only one in his last 90. Maddux has completed 109 of 694 starts. Going back a decade, Nolan Ryan, who finished his career in 1993, completed 222 of 773. And going back even further, Spahn, who retired in 1965, completed 382 of his 665 starts."I just think it was a set of circumstances there," Hall of Famer Don Sutton, a 324-game winner now broadcasting for the Washington Nationals, said of Young's numbers. "Guys were pitching every third day and also relieving, and the opportunities to get decisions came a lot more frequently than they do now. Let's face it. He was a pretty darn good pitcher. So when he got the opportunities to earn a decision, he got wins." More complete games obviously means more opportunities to win. The four-man rotations that were used exclusively in Spahn's era also created more opportunities to win each season. As the old saying from the 1940s, when Spahn and Johnny Sain were pitching for the Boston Braves, went: "Spahn and Sain and two days of rain." In Young's day, pitchers didn't balk at starting, and possibly finishing, both games of a doubleheader. "Considering where I'm at right now, if I were to catch [Young], I'd have to do it all over again for another 17 years," said Glavine, the 41-year-old New York Mets left-hander who is on precipice of 300. "It makes you realize just how many wins he had. I'm pretty confident in saying that's one record that will never be broken. Those are phenomenal numbers. "I don't think I've come close to those numbers if you add up my pro, amateur and Little League career. It's mind-boggling. When you throw in the complete games aspect, it's even more mind-boggling."
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.