On July 5, 1953 Robin Roberts Completed His Streak of 28 Consecutive Complete Games

Tracy Ringolsby

It was 61 years ago Sunday that Robin Roberts shutout the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 2-0 victory at Forbes Field. 

Big deal?

Well, it extended his streak of consecutive complete games to 28, dating back to an Aug. 28, 1952 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals. 


Oh, how times have change.

Consider that:

All-Time Leaders Complete Games: Walter Johnson (531), Grover Cleveland Alexander (437) and Warren Span (382).

Leaders Complete Games Post World War II: Warren Spahn (382), Robin Roberts (305) and Gaylord Perry (303)

Leaders Complete Games 21st Century: Roy Halladay (65), CC Sabathia (38) and Livan Hernandez (34).

Rockies All-Time Leader Complete Games: Pedro Martinez (14), Aaron Cook (11) and Ubaldo Jimenez (8). In the Rockies 27-year history the team has 113 complete games total.

The top 10 on the all-time list of complete games since the start of MLB in 1903 does not include a season beyond 1915, when pitchers completed 2,057 games, third all-time. The 1915 pitchers were 10 shy of the ocmplete game total for 1914, and 129 behind all-time-leader 1904.

Then comes the Expansion Era, which actually began in 1961, but did not have a real impact until 1969 when four more teams were added, and when the mound from lowered from 15 inches to 10 inches.

Since 1969, the most complete games in a season is 1,089 in 1974.

And then comes the 21st Century, in which the most complete games came in 2002 when pitchers combined to throw 214. There has not been a season since 2003 in which the pitchers from the 30 major league teams combined to even throw 200 complete games.

And the three lowest complete game totals have come in the last three seasons -- 42 in 2018, 45 in 2019 and 59 in 2017.


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