--Perfect friendship is the friendship of men who are good, and
alike in excellence.
The prologue to a perfect friendship occurred on July 12, 1999,
in the visitors' clubhouse of Fenway Park in Boston. In the 11
years since they broke into the big leagues just eight days
apart, Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson, like travelers to the
same destination but with different itineraries, had never met.
The only two active National League pitchers at that time to
have struck out 300 batters in a season found themselves, on the
eve of the All-Star Game, with lockers near each other in the NL
clubhouse. Schilling, then with the Philadelphia Phillies,
introduced himself by extending a hand, though his greeting then
departed from the norm: His hand continued into Johnson's
locker, where Schilling--whose affection for collecting
encompasses model trains, Civil War artifacts and baseball
memorabilia--grabbed one of Johnson's All-Star uniform shirts.
Johnson does not recall exactly what Schilling said then, but it
was something along the lines of someone eyeing a slice of pizza
on his kid brother's plate and asking, "You gonna eat that?"
Johnson did not object a bit, recalling now in amusement that "I
didn't mind, but it was nothing I would have thought of doing."
As introductions go, it was more effective than one of those HI,
MY NAME IS...CURT stickers. Schilling always has been a man
without a mute button. In a mall in 1990, when he was pitching
for the Baltimore Orioles, he spied a cute production assistant
for the team's cable telecasts and asked, "How about you and
your friends get together with me and my friends? I'll buy the
It worked. The production assistant turned out to be his future
wife. "Someone's buying?" Shonda Schilling says. "I was 22 years
old. What else are you looking for?"
One year and two weeks after Schilling and Johnson met in
Boston, they became teammates for real when the Phillies traded
Schilling to the Arizona Diamondbacks for four players. Johnson,
lefthanded, serious and reserved, seemed the polar opposite of
the extroverted righty. Even simply standing side by side they
resemble the number 10--the 6'10" Johnson, long and lean, and
the 6'4" Schilling, with the rounded chassis of an old DeSoto.
"It's not a body," Schilling says. "It's a cruel family joke."
What happened between them, though, was an immediate
mortise-and-tenon fit. Each strengthened the other. They
connected through similar experiences. The language of
friendship, Thoreau wrote, is not words, but meanings; it is an
intelligence above language. In this case Johnson and Schilling
knew the meaning of early struggles (Johnson, now 38, was 49-48
until the season in which he turned 30; Schilling, 35, was
52-52), followed by the exhausting heavy lifting that comes with
being the ace of a thin staff. They knew, too, how the voices of
their fathers, seemingly clearer from the graves, pushed them.
And they knew how golf could stoke their jones for competition
when they were not on the mound. It was on a tee box in spring
training this year that Schilling took dead aim at the Cy Young
Award, which Johnson had won two years running. "I'm going to
take it from you," he told Johnson. "Either you're going to win
it again, or I'm going to take it from you." Schilling smiled,
but he wasn't kidding.
Again, Johnson: "It's nothing I would have said. I didn't mind.
It's just that I'm all business. I know what I'm trying to
accomplish, and I don't let anything or anybody get in my way."
Late last month at the Camelback Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.,
Schilling and Johnson stood on another tee box, the latest in
their series of friendly grudge matches tied after five holes.
"The way this year has gone," Schilling said, "we'll probably
end up tied after 18 holes."
"That would be the perfect ending," Johnson said.
"No," Schilling said, "the perfect ending is me at least one shot
better than you."
Schilling didn't win the Cy Young Award; he finished second to
Johnson. Schilling was named to start the All-Star Game but
chose not to work on one day of rest; Johnson replaced him. Both
won 26 games (postseason included), and they finished one-two in
the National League in ERA (Johnson at 2.49, Schilling at 2.98).
Schilling, 22-6 during the regular season, won twice in the
Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, including the
clincher. Johnson, 21-6 during the regular season, won twice in
the League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves,
including the clincher. In the World Series against the New York
Yankees, Johnson became only the second active pitcher with a
Fall Classic shutout. Schilling is the other. After Arizona won
in seven games, Johnson and Schilling shared the World Series
Now more synchronicity: Johnson and Schilling are SI's Sportsmen
of the Year. Theirs is not only a triumph of teammates. It is
also a triumph of friends.
What is athletic greatness if it doesn't have contagious
properties? Only as evanescent as the smoke of a fine cigar. The
truly great ones in team sports make those around them better
and, ultimately, make them champions. What Johnson and Schilling
did this year was take that force and raise it to the power of
two. Each, thanks in part to the other, had the finest season of
his life, and together they goaded a team that was a dowdy 43-56
when they didn't pitch to a world championship.
In only one full year Johnson and Schilling became as
inseparable in perpetuity as Koufax and Drysdale, Spahn and
Sain, Mathewson and McGinnity and any other historic tandem of
starting pitchers--except that in their case it does not matter
which name you list first. Johnson (372 whiffs) and Schilling
(293) struck out 665 batters, a record for teammates, and joined
Lefty Grove and George Earnshaw of the 1930 Philadelphia
Athletics, Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax of the 1962. Los
Angeles Dodgers and Nolan Ryan and Frank Tanana of the 1976
California Angels as the only members of the same staff to
finish one-two in the majors in strikeouts. No two pitchers have
been more responsible for a world championship since the
five-man rotation became de rigueur in the 1970s, and few
tandems have ever had their impact. Schilling and Johnson became
only the eighth pair of teammates, and the first in 61 years, to
each win 20 games for a world championship team and account for
every one of its World Series wins (box, page 120).
The 2001 World Series was the first major American sports
championship contested in the wartime that has followed the
Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The President of the United States,
his jaw firmly set, strode to the Yankee Stadium mound before
Game 3 and from the crest of the hill fired a hard, true strike
with the ceremonial first pitch. Only nine miles to the south,
ground zero still smoldered with the embers of death. Before
Game 7 the menacing silhouette of a Stealth bomber whooshed over
the open roof of Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, provoking a
spine-chilling mixture of pride and gravity.
All that happened in sports before Sept. 11 seems a lifetime
ago, as distant and innocent as childhood to a grown-up. The
World Series provided comfort food for the soul. Fans at the
ballpark sang God Bless America with fervor. Fans at home tuned
in in numbers not seen since cable television fractured the
viewing audience. (The ratings for Game 7 were the highest for a
Fall Classic in 10 years.) What they witnessed was not only
diverting but also profound. Only 15 times in 564 previous World
Series games had the home team rallied for a victory after
trailing as it entered what would have been its last at bat. No
Series featured two such games. Yet the Yankees and the
Diamondbacks staged such last-gasp turnarounds three times in
the final four games.
Against the backdrop of a challenged nation and an altered
sports consciousness, no athletes stood taller than Johnson and
Schilling, who happen to be sons, respectively, of a policeman
and an Army officer. It takes 297 outs to win a world
championship through three rounds of playoffs. Schilling and
Johnson produced 224 of them, or 75% of Arizona's total. They
were especially estimable in the World Series, getting 95 of
their team's 108 outs in its victories. Game 7 was the climax.
Schilling started it, throwing 7 1/3 gallant innings in his
third start in nine days. Johnson finished it, getting the win
in relief the day after earning one as a starter--something no
pitcher had done in a World Series. It was a lesson in teamwork,
no different from the entire season.
"With Curt, Randy didn't have to carry the burden by himself,"
Shonda says. "And I think Randy helped Curt with his intensity.
Randy takes things very seriously and is very professional. He
taught Curt he could be that outgoing, fun guy and still be very
professional about his job."
During this past season Schilling bought a home two blocks from
Johnson's in Paradise Valley, Ariz. (Schilling, who spends the
off-season outside Philadelphia, plans to move to Arizona
year-round next year.) Schilling challenged Johnson's Cy Young
status in spring training mostly as a means of motivating
himself. The Diamondbacks were in first place in the National
League West when Schilling, a three-time All-Star, joined them
in 2000, but without full strength in a surgically repaired
right shoulder, he was 5-6 in 13 starts and Arizona slipped to
third place, 12 games out. "The thing I respected about him was
that he felt like he'd let the team down," Johnson says. "Not
himself. The team."
As power pitchers, they had similar professional pedigrees, but
their skill in golf--each carries around a 13 handicap--allowed
them to enhance their friendship. They struck a standing bet:
loser buys the winner the shirt of his choice in the pro shop.
Schilling has been known to bring his trophy shirt into the
Arizona clubhouse and wave it in Johnson's face in front of
teammates. At Camelback, Johnson, out of earshot of Schilling,
voiced his concern when he reached the 12th hole two shots down.
"I better start throwing up some birdies," Johnson said,
"because I don't want to have to listen to him for the next two
and a half months."
Johnson didn't need Schilling to become an elite pitcher. Since
1995, with the Seattle Mariners, the Houston Astros and the
Diamondbacks, Johnson has been on an extended run of domination
(119-39, 2.66 ERA, 2,082 strikeouts in 213 games) that rivals
the 1961-66 run of Koufax (129-47, 2.19 ERA, 1,713 strikeouts in
223 games for the Dodgers). What Schilling gave him was
breathing room, enough latitude to crack a smile or a joke.
Johnson had spent most of his career feeling the pressure to win
virtually every time out because the gap between his ability and
that of the next best starter in his rotation was so wide.
"What helped most with Curt was that he's one of the few
pitchers who knows the expectations put upon that ace in a
rotation of five pitchers," Johnson says. "So I can share with
him experiences and feelings I couldn't share with anybody.
That's why teammates saw a side of me this year they didn't see
before, like putting [golf balls] in the clubhouse before I
pitched playoff games. I didn't have the burden I'd been
carrying for years. I didn't have to come to the ballpark
knowing I'd have to win this game. I felt like if we were
pitching back-to-back games, if I didn't win, he would. And if
he didn't, I would."
Johnson and Schilling pitched back-to-back 16 times this year.
In those instances Arizona never lost consecutive games. The
Diamondbacks were 25-7 in those games, including the wins in
Games 6 and 7 of the World Series. In those two games both men
felt their deceased fathers guiding them.
Johnson's father, Bud, was a police officer at Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., who almost never missed
Randy's Little League games. Randy would practice pitching
against his garage door, pretending he was another lefty, Oakland
Athletics star Vida Blue. The kid threw so hard he'd loosen nails
in the wood siding. When Randy was done, Bud would hand him a
hammer and say proudly, "Pound them back in, son."
"When I threw a no-hitter [for the Mariners] in 1990, I called
him up, and he said, 'How come you walked six guys?'" Johnson
says. "That's how he molded me. I tell people I want to have a
better season next year, and they'll say, 'How? At your age?'
Well, why can't it be better?"
On Christmas Day 1992 Bud Johnson suffered an aortic aneurysm
while Randy was flying from Seattle to spend the holiday with
his parents. Bud was dead by the time Randy reached the
hospital. "I saw him in his pajamas and just hugged him and
cried," Johnson says. "I talked to him. Everything spilled out.
Mostly it was, 'Why? Why did you have to leave?' I made a
promise then that nothing would get in my way, that I'd become
the best pitcher I could be."
Since then Johnson has squatted behind the back of the mound
before each start, bowing his head and saying a prayer in his
father's memory. He is 151-53, a .740 winning percentage, since
This season Arizona shortstop Tony Womack left the team for a
week after his father died suddenly. When Womack rejoined the
club he sought out Johnson to ask how he had dealt with his
father's death. "What I told Tony was that you must dig deeper
inside yourself to find a level you never knew was there,"
Johnson says. "Pressure is what my father went through, not what
Although Johnson's voice may be a quiet one, it has become a
respected one in the Arizona clubhouse. When the Diamondbacks
faced a fifth and deciding game against St. Louis in the Division
Series, it was Johnson who opened a pregame, players-only meeting
by imploring his teammates to find whatever was left to give in
the game. "I knew Randy would get everybody's attention," says
Arizona leftfielder Luis Gonzalez. "He did."
Before Game 6, with his team trailing New York three games to
two, Johnson also thought about one of his father's favorite
sayings: "You may have the opportunity to do some things only
one time, so you'd better do it to the best of your ability."
Johnson had never been in a World Series. Could he expect to
pass this way again? He sent the Series to Game 7, and into
Schilling's hands, with seven stress-free innings in a 15-2
"Randy and Curt raised the bar for each other all year," says
Gonzalez, whose broken-bat single off Yankees closer Mariano
Rivera drove home the Series-winning run. "You could see that
when one of them pitched a good game, it was as if he said to
the other one, 'Here you go, big guy. Now let's see what you can
"One thing that's funny about them is that they seem to be the
odd couple. Randy's quiet and Curt, well, sometimes you need to
unplug Curt to stop him from talking. They may have different
personalities, but you can see they're the same when it comes to
wanting to win."
That was apparent at Camelback. Johnson birdied the 16th, then
chipped in for another birdie at 17. As the ball rolled into the
cup, Johnson, who had been reserved all day, threw his arms in
the air and let out a whoop. He was two shots back with one hole
to play, a par-5.
Schilling's response? "I guarantee you, I'll birdie this hole,"
he said at the 18th tee.
Vintage Schill. This is the man who after Game 6 guaranteed that
Arizona would win Game 7 against Roger Clemens, though when he
arrived home that night he felt some nervousness simmering
inside him. That's when he heard his father's voice. "What are
you nervous about?" Cliff Schilling was saying. "You're going to
make your pitches, and if they're good enough, you'll win."
Cliff was his son's hero. He was an Army officer who was forced
into retirement because of heart problems. Thanks to Cliff, Curt
developed profound respect for the military, particularly for
those who fought in World War II. "When they were 17, 18, 19,"
Curt says, "at an age when I didn't know anything about the
world but girls, they were storming a beach across the Atlantic
Ocean defending freedom. What greater honor is there than that?"
On Sept. 13 Schilling composed an open letter to America, posted
on ESPN.com and widely disseminated on TV and in newspapers, in
which he wrote, "To those out there that serve in the military,
and to those with children serving in the military, I offer my
sincerest thanks, and our prayers are with you and yours in the
days and weeks to come. We know you'll do us proud." In his
locker Schilling hung a quote from General Patton to his troops
and a picture of rescue workers raising the American flag at
The only time Curt saw Cliff cry was upon the death of
Pittsburgh Pirates star outfielder Roberto Clemente, his
favorite player. The first big league game Curt saw was
Clemente's last, in 1972, when Clemente got his 3,000th hit.
Before Game 2 of the World Series, Major League Baseball
presented Schilling with the Roberto Clemente Award, given to
one player annually in recognition of his charitable work. Since
1993 Schilling has raised more than $1.5 million, primarily by
hosting an annual golf tournament, toward a cure for ALS, also
known as Lou Gehrig's disease--he named his first-born son
Gehrig. (Johnson runs a tournament that benefits cystic fibrosis
research.) Schilling also donated $1 million last winter to
charities in Philadelphia and Phoenix.
"When I was 13," Schilling says, "my father told me I was going
to play in the big leagues. 'You've got a gift,' he said. It
never crossed my mind that I wouldn't make it. That came from my
father." Cliff never got to see his son make it. He was
diagnosed with lung cancer in 1987 and given six months to live.
One night in January 1988, the day before Cliff was to fly back
to Curt's mother in Colorado after visiting Curt in Phoenix
(where Curt had lived since age six), father and son stayed up
until four in the morning. "The be-all and end-all of talks,"
Schilling says. "I told him how much I loved him."
Later, as they prepared to go to the airport, Cliff fell back in
a recliner, stricken by an abdominal aneurysm. Curt dialed 911,
administered CPR, held the IV drip bag while riding in the
ambulance and, 15 minutes later, had to telephone his mother.
"Dad won't be coming home," he said.
"What do you mean?" she said.
Then he had to come straight out with it: Dad was dead.
"I've cried like that only two times in my life," Schilling says.
"The day my dad died and the day my first child was born."
Only eight months after his father's death Schilling reached the
big leagues, with Baltimore, replete with streaks cut into the
hair on the side of his head, an earring and such brazen
cockiness that veteran teammate Mickey Tettleton walked by his
locker and barked, "What the f--- are you smiling about, kid?"
Frank Robinson, the manager, called Schilling into his office.
Schilling figured this was the official glad-you're-here speech.
Robinson told him to sit down. Finally the manager said, "Who the
hell do you think you are? You will not throw a pitch for me
until you get a haircut and take out that earring."
Schilling followed orders but kept his sense of entitlement. He
strutted around with a cellphone when cellphones were rich men's
toys and wore those hideous multicolored Zubaz sweatpants. The
team's kangaroo court fined him for wearing the same two wool
suits on travel days throughout the 1990 season. They were the
only two suits he owned.
"If somebody didn't lay out the Garanimals outfit on the bed, he
was lost," Shonda says. "Still is, to this day. I was warned
about him. Before we went out, all the announcers for Home Team
Sports told me, 'Stay away from him.' Of course, he liked to
talk. I knew Curt liked to talk, but I didn't realize how much
he talks when he's around the other guys until the wives flew on
the [team] plane for the World Series. It was nonstop. I had to
tell him to pipe down a little."
In 1991 the Orioles traded Schilling to Houston as part of a
deal for first baseman Glenn Davis. The Astros made Schilling
their closer. He was so bad that he was back in the minors by
June. Unbowed, he called up Bob Cluck, the Astros' pitching
coach, from Tucson and bellowed, "I want out!"
"Let me tell you something, son," Cluck said. "Up here it
doesn't matter if you throw a fastball down the middle and the
guy pops it up or if you make a great pitch and he breaks his
bat and gets a hit. It's all about results."
Recalls Schilling, "I don't know if anything has ever made more
of an impression on me than that."
That winter, before Schilling was traded to the Phillies (for
whom he would flourish as a starter), his sense of purpose
changed as suddenly and as powerfully as Johnson's did upon the
death of his father. While working out at the Astrodome in
Houston, he ran into Roger Clemens, who was pitching for the
Boston Red Sox and had already won the first three of his six Cy
Youngs. Clemens told him that he was wasting his talent and that
it was time he grew more serious about his profession.
"That came at the perfect time for Curt," Shonda says. "It was
the first time he had failed at something and didn't have his
father to fall back on. He needed somebody to tell him, 'This is
not O.K., this is what you need to do, and this is what you need
to learn.' He had no father, no brothers, no uncles. [Clemens]
filled that role. In some ways Randy fills that void now."
"Going against Roger in Game 7 meant so much on a personal
level," Schilling says. "Fear can be a great motivator, and my
biggest fear was not answering the bell against him." Clemens
and Schilling dueled to a 1-1 draw before Clemens checked out in
the seventh inning. Then, in the eighth, just as Johnson had
reported for duty in the bullpen, Alfonso Soriano flicked a
Schilling splitter for a home run. "I sat in the stands praying,
'Don't let him lose Game 7. We've come this far,'" Shonda says.
In February a mole on Shonda's back was diagnosed as a melanoma,
a dangerous form of skin cancer, which now, after several
surgeries, appears to be in remission. She and Curt have three
children. On the eve of Game 1 of the World Series the
Schillings received the results of a biopsy for cancer on
six-year-old Gehrig: negative. Two weeks earlier their youngest,
two-year-old Grant, was hospitalized with breathing difficulty.
He came home the morning that his father beat St. Louis 1-0 in
Game 1 of the Division Series.
"The next thing you know," Shonda says, recalling the ninth
inning in Game 7, "runners are on base and scoring, and you can't
compute fast enough to make sense of what's happened."
Against Rivera, Arizona needed only 12 pitches to score the
tying and winning runs. "I was on the Internet last night and
pulled up a clip of Gonzo's winning hit," Schilling said at
Camelback. "It was the first time I got a chance to see it
again. It's like I still don't know how it happened."
On the 18th fairway at Camelback, Schilling played a layup with
a short iron. Johnson, from the left rough, smoked a long iron
for the green. His shot, though, faded to the right and plunged
into a greenside pond. Schilling chipped on the green and
two-putted for par. Match over.
"Usually I do the moonwalk on the green after I beat you, but I
won't this time," Schilling told Johnson. "But I think I may have
to pick up another suitcase. I'll need it to cart home all the
shirts I won off you this year."
After the World Series, Johnson and his wife, Lisa, took a trip
to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, "for a little detox." At Phoenix's
Sky Harbor International Airport he has received ovations as he
walked through the terminal. "Strange," he says, "especially to
someone who's never wanted the attention. I'm glad it means a
lot to people, but I can't stop and enjoy it. I have a gym in my
basement. I close the door, turn the music up and get to work."
The Schilling family took a cruise and a trip to Disneyworld.
About two weeks after Game 7, Shonda broke the news to him: She
was pregnant. Their fourth child is due in July. "Made in the
World Series, due at the All-Star break," she says. Shonda soon
called Lisa Johnson, a mother of four, ages 2 to 6.
"I'm pregnant! A World Series baby!" Shonda said.
Lisa laughed. "That's because you were trying to calm him down,"
One night last month Johnson sat in his home office in Paradise
Valley, surrounded by framed pictures and gleaming
wood-and-glass display cases filled with baseballs, trophies and
plaques, including three Cy Young Awards, won in 1995, '99 and
2000. (He will move out two Pitcher of the Month awards to make
way for his fourth.) Asked to choose his favorite memento, he
pointed to the wall beside his desk, where there was a framed
note card and envelope. "I almost threw it out," Johnson said.
"It was mixed in with all the [fan] mail."
The embossed name atop the return address says simply, KOUFAX.
In September 1998 the great lefty sent Johnson the note after
Johnson passed him and moved into second place, behind Nolan
Ryan, for most 10-strikeout games. (Johnson has 171, 44 behind
Ryan.) In neat script Koufax offered his congratulations. In the
only other line he added, "Nolan will be a lot harder."
"All year people kept asking me about Koufax and Drysdale,"
Johnson said. "I didn't enjoy talking about that. Those guys did
it for many years. It's unfair to them for people to compare us
to them. That's what I've been telling Curt since the season
ended: 'You've raised your game to a new level. Now you're
expected to do those things.'"
Later that same night, two blocks away, Schilling flopped on a
sofa in his family room and, clutching a pillow to his chest,
acknowledged that Johnson has warned him about what lies ahead.
"I'm not worried about that," Schilling said. "I take a lot of
pride when I pitch after him. I want to pitch my ass off because
of the standard Randy has set. They don't pay me to show up.
They pay me to win.
"I was 22-6, but you know what? I felt like I could have been
26-2 or 27-5. I mean that. No one's expecting a better year out
of me than myself. I'll never view my career through someone
else's eyes. I know there is no ceiling for me."
Johnson turned 38 in September. Schilling turned 35 last month.
At those ages Koufax and Drysdale were retired, yet Johnson and
Schilling are better than ever, and for the first time, they are
world champions. Only now is it perfectly clear what Schilling
and Johnson had been missing all these years: each other.
B/W PHOTO: COVER PHOTOGRAPH BY BRIAN LANKER COVER Curt Schilling--and--Randy Johnson
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY BRIAN LANKER Brothers in arms Schilling (left) and Johnson were virtually invincible in the Series.
COLOR PHOTO: MICHAEL ZITO/SPORTSCHROME
COLOR PHOTO: JOHN CORDES/ICON
COLOR PHOTO: BRIAN LANKER Shirts and skins Despite Johnson's high style, form held for the solid Schilling during their first post-Series match on the links.
B/W PHOTO: INTERNATIONAL NEWS PHOTO
B/W PHOTO: AP
COLOR PHOTO: BRIAN LANKER
Diamondbacks aces Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling this season
became the eighth pair of teammates--and the first in 61
years--to each win at least 20 regular-season games for a world
champion and together account for every one of the club's World
TEAM PITCHERS REGULAR WORLD
2001 Diamondbacks Randy Johnson 21-6 3-0
Curt Schilling 22-6 1-0
1940 Reds Paul Derringer 20-12 2-1
Bucky Walters 22-10 2-0
1930 Athletics George Earnshaw 22-13 2-0
Lefty Grove (above) 28-5 2-1
1914 Braves Bill James 26-7 2-0
Dick Rudolph 26-10 2-0
1912 Red Sox Hugh Bedient 20-9 1-0
Joe Wood 34-5 3-1
1910 Athletics Chief Bender 23-5 1-1
Jack Coombs 31-9 3-0
1905 Giants Christy Mathewson 31-9 3-0
Joe McGinnity 21-15 1-1
1903 Pilgrims Bill Dinneen 21-13 3-1
Cy Young 28-9 2-1*
*Best of nine series
Two for the Ages
By going 52-13 over the regular season and playoffs combined,
Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling became the 13th pair of
teammates (including Don Drysdale, below left, and Sandy Koufax,
right) since 1920 to win at least 50 games in a season. Johnson
and Schilling's combined .800 winning percentage and 768
strikeouts are tops among that baker's dozen.
PITCHERS (TEAM) W-L (PCT) IP ERA K
Randy Johnson/Curt Schilling
('01 Diamondbacks) 52-13(.800) 596.0 2.52 768
George Earnshaw/Lefty Grove
('31 Athletics) 55-14(.797) 620.1 2.80 363
Lefty Grove/Rube Walberg
('31 Athletics) 53-17(.757) 608.2 2.88 301
Mickey Lolich/Denny McLain
('68 Tigers) 52-17(.754) 599.2 2.43 511
Dave Stewart/Bob Welch
('90 Athletics) 52-17(.754) 548.1 2.72 308
Mike Cuellar/Dave McNally
('70 Orioles) 51-17(.750) 627.1 3.40 392
George Earnshaw/Lefty Grove
('30 Athletics) 54-19(.740) 631.0 3.32 431
Dizzy Dean/Paul Dean
('34 Cardinals) 53-19 (.736) 589.0 2.87 373
Burleigh Grimes/Dazzy Vance
('24 Dodgers) 50-19(.725) 619.0 3.00 397
Waite Hoyt/George Pipgras
('28 Yankees) 50-20(.714) 600.2 3.30 228
Paul Derringer/Bucky Walters
('39 Reds) 52-21(.712) 646.1 2.63 280
Hal Newhouser/Dizzy Trout
('44 Tigers) 56-23(.709) 664.2 2.17 331
Don Drysdale/Sandy Koufax
('65 Dodgers) 52-22(.703) 679.2 2.34 636
"I tell people I want to have a better season next year, and
they'll say 'How?'"
"Either you're going to win the Cy Young again," Schilling
said, "or I'm going to take it from you."
"Randy taught Curt that he could be that outgoing, fun guy and
still be very professional about his job."
In one full year Johnson and Schilling became as inseparable in
perpetuity as Spahn and Sain.