Feb 24, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of the NCAA championship baseball banners of the Southern California Trojans at the entrance to Dedeaux Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Saturday Poll: Who is the Greatest Pitcher in USC Baseball History?


For most people, a warm Friday night in Los Angeles sounds like a great excuse to take stroll down to the strand in Hermosa Beach. For one of the greatest pitchers in the history of baseball, it’s an excuse to take in a ballgame at Dedeaux Field. That’s where USC great Randy Johnson spent his Friday night, as the Trojans beat Cal State Bakersfield, 6-5. Make a list of the game’s top ten pitchers in history, and you’re likely to include two USC alums as Forbes Magazine did in 2007, with Johnson and Tom Seaver. While those two had extraordinary careers in the Major Leagues, Mark Prior took the nation by storm in 2001 with one of the greatest seasons in NCAA history at USC, but had injuries derail a once promising big league career. Naturally, this begs the question, who is the greatest pitcher in USC baseball history? Randy Johnson, Tom Seaver or Mark Prior? Let’s look at the Tale of the Tape:

August 14, 2010; San Francisco, CA, USA; Tom Seaver throws a baseball during batting practice before the game between the San Francisco Giants and the San Diego Padres at AT

Tom Seaver:
USC Stats of note: 10-2, 2.47 ERA
1965 All-Pac-8 Team
MLB Stats of note: 4th All-Time in WAR(105.3), 18th in Wins (311), 6th in Strikeouts (3,640), T-7th in Shutouts (61)
3-Time Cy Young Winner
12-Time All-Star
5-Time National League Strikeout King
1 No-Hitter

Sept. 10, 2011; Phoenix AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks former pitcher Randy Johnson before the game against the San Diego Padres at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Hilderbrand-US PRESSWIRE

Randy Johnson:
USC Stats of note: Led NCAA in Walks in 1985
MLB Stats of note: 12th All-Time in WAR (91.8), 22nd in Wins (303), 2nd in Strikeouts (4,875)
5-Time Cy Young Winner
10-Time All-Star
2002 Triple Crown Winner
1 No-Hitter
1 Perfect Game

Mark Prior in 2003, right after of the worst moment in the history of baseball.

Mark Prior:
USC Stats of note: 15-1, 1.70 ERA, 202 Strikeouts in 138.0 Innings Pitched in 2001
Won 2001 Dick Howser Award and Golden Spikes Award
2-Time All-Pac-10
MLB Stats of note: 18-6, 2.43 ERA, 245 Strikeouts in 211.1 Innings Pitched in 2003 with Cubs
2003 National League All-Star Team
11 Trips to the Disabled List

It’s an interesting dilemma, as Mark Prior is the greatest statistical pitcher to don the Cardinal & Gold, and Ian Kennedy isn’t far behind. But in terms of a complete career, Randy Johnson and Tom Seaver are absolute legends. Who ya got? Who’s the greatest pitcher in USC Baseball history?

Who is the Greatest Pitcher in USC History?

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Tags: Mark Prior Randy Johnson Tom Seaver USC Baseball