Ryan was only 31 when he notched his 3,000th strikeout while pitching for the Houston Astros in 1979. The Ryan Express continued dominating batters for another 14 years to finish his 27-year-career as the all-time leader in strikeouts with 5,714, more than 1,000 ahead of second-place Roger Clemens.
2 of 16Chuck Solomon/SI
A flamethrower who wore his emotions on his sleeve, The Rocket reached the 3,000 strikeout mark in July 1998 while with Toronto, the same year he won the fifth of his seven Cy Young awards.
3 of 16John Iacono/SI
Jonhson's near 100-mph heater and nasty slider, along with his intimidating figure at 6'10", helped catapult him into the club in 2000. At 44, the five-time Cy Young Award winner was just 43 strikeouts shy of passing Clemens for second all-time as of April 23.
4 of 16Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
Lefty battled his contemporary Nolan Ryan for both the all-time strikeouts record and longevity in the league. Carlton reached his 3,000th strikeout in 1981 and fanned 4,136 over his illustrious 24-year-career.
5 of 16AP
Armed with one of the best curveballs ever, Blyleven joined the club in 1986 while with the Minnesota Twins. A true workhorse, Blyleven topped the 200 innings mark 17 times en route to finishing fifth all-time with 3,701 strikeouts. He he is the only member of the 3,000 club eligible for, but not in the Hall of Fame.
6 of 16Walter Iooss Jr./SI
He used his power to baffle hitters as well as resurrect the Mets franchise. During his 20-year career, Seaver racked up 3,640 K's, including an NL record 3,272 strikeouts.
7 of 16Walter Iooss Jr./SI
A model of consistency and longevity, Sutton reached the 3,000 plateau in 1983. During his 23 seasons, the tall righthander never made a trip to the disabled list. He pitched at least 33 games every season en route to 3,574 career strikeouts.
8 of 16John D. Hanlon/SI
Perry entered the club while with the Padres in 1978. Four years later he joined the exclusive 300 wins club as well. His deceptive -- and illegal -- spitball was his key weapon in fanning 3,574.
9 of 16Charles M. Conlon/TSN/Icon SMI
Big Train was clearly ahead of his time in the way he dominated opposing batters during 21 seasons with the Washington Senators, beginning in 1907. Along with his 410 wins (second all-time) and his MLB record 110 shutouts, Johnson also claimed 3,508 strikeout victims, which stood as the major league record until it was surpassed by Nolan Ryan in 1983.
10 of 16John Iacono/SI
Equipped with a knuckleball that flabbergasted opponents for 24 seasons, Knucksie entered the elite club in1984. Throwing his last pitch at the tender age of 48, Niekro, who logged at least 200 innings in 20 seasons, ended his career with 3,342 strikeouts.
11 of 16Bob Rosato/SI
Maddux, who reached the mark on July 26, 2005, is one of just nine pitchers with 3,000 Ks and 300 wins. Coincidentally, he reached both milestones against the same team -- the Giants.
12 of 16John Iacono/SI
Jenkins is the only pitcher in MLB history to record more than 3,000 strikeouts (3,192), while giving up fewer than 1,000 walks (997).
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In 1974, the sturdy St. Louis righthander joined Walter Johnson as only the second pitcher in major league history to reach the 3,000-strikeout plateau. In his first eight seasons, he posted a .658 winning percentage, and in 1968 he set the live-ball record with a paltry 1.12 ERA.
14 of 16Damian Strohmeyer/SI
Schilling earned his 3,000th strikeout with the Boston Red Sox in 2006. The 14th member of the club also has three World Series rings on his Hall of Fame resume.
15 of 16Robert Beck/SI
Martinez, all 5'10" of him, has overpowered his opponents throughout his career, resulting in 3,031 strikeouts. Martinez, who won a Cy Young with the Montreal Expos in 1997 and two more with the Boston Red Sox, reached the 3,000 plateau in 2007. He's sure to add to his total of 3,031 when he returns from the disabled list.
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Smoltz got his 3,000th strikeout on Aprill 22, 2008, against the Nationals. Smoltz, who trails just Greg Maddux in active strikeouts, is the sixth fastest to reach the mark.
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