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Tall of Fame

The roll call of great tall pitchers is, in a word, short. Only
one pitcher 6'6" or taller has been enshrined in the Hall of
Fame: Don Drysdale. To honor the best of those who stood tall on
the mound as well as everywhere else, here are the 10 best
pitchers 6'6" and taller.

1. RANDY JOHNSON (6'10"). Start casting another plaque. A .659
lifetime winning percentage (193-100), six strikeout titles and
three Cy Young Awards have the Diamondbacks lefthander

2. DON DRYSDALE (6'6"). The righthander won a Tall Guy-record
209 games and averaged 272 innings from 1957 through '68.

3. J.R. RICHARD (6'8"). Opponents batted .212 against the
righthanded flamethrower during his injury-shortened 10-year
career (1971 to '80). He struck out 300 batters in back-to-back
seasons and had a .601 winning percentage (107-71).

4. CHUCK FINLEY (6'6"). In the Tall Guy fraternity only Johnson
and Drysdale have more strikeouts, and only Drysdale has more
innings. The Indians lefthander has won 15 or more games seven
times and 185 in his career.

5. JOHN CANDELARIA (6'7"). The Candy Man was 177-122 with a 3.33
ERA for seven teams over 19 seasons, beginning in 1975. The
southpaw won 20 games and the National League ERA title (2.34)
for the '77 Pirates.

6. RICK SUTCLIFFE (6'7"). While winning 171 games from 1976
through '94, the righthander led his league in ERA (2.96 in '82),
winning percentage (.941, in his 16-1 Cy Young season for the '84
Cubs) and wins (18 in '87).

7. BOB VEALE (6'6"). The lefty was a fixture in the Pittsburgh
rotation from 1964 through '70, winning one strikeout title and
finishing with a career record of 120-95.

8. ANDY BENES (6'6"). A workhorse with a 149-134 lifetime
record, the Cardinals righthander has 10 seasons with 10 or more
wins, though only one with more than 15.

9. RON REED (6'6"). The Andy Benes of his day, only with an NBA
career (Detroit Pistons) on the side. Over 19 seasons, beginning
in 1966, the righthander won more than 13 games only once in a
146-140 career.

10. JEFF NELSON (6'8"). The prototypical modern setup man,
Seattle's righthander had more whiffs (630 through Sunday) and
fewer hits allowed (482) than innings pitched (601) during his
10-year career.

Honorable mention: Ewell (the Whip) Blackwell (6'6"), who had 22
of his 82 career wins in 1947, and Steve Hamilton (6'7"), a
reliever with a 3.05 ERA.... Tim Stoddard (6'7"), former N.C.
State basketball star who made all 485 of his appearances in
relief.... Johnny Gee (6'9"), who had an undistinguished 44-game
career except for his nickname: Whiz.

--Tom Verducci

COLOR PHOTO: WALTER IOOSS JRCandelaria and Richard showed that size matters.