The tall, lanky Carlton was an extremely focused competitor with complete dedication to excellence. His 329 career victories are more than any other lefty except Warren Spahn; his 4,136 career strikeouts are second all-time behind Nolan Ryan. He is one of three pitchers to win four Cy Young Awards (Greg Maddux and Roger Clemens have also turned the trick).
Carlton was a workhorse - from 1971 to 1983 (excluding the strike season of 1981) he threw more than 250 innings per year, and on 4 occasions he led the NL in innings pitched. He led the league in strikeouts 5 times.
During his first tryouts in 1963, scouts questioned whether he could throw hard enough to make the big leagues. But Carlton worked diligently to strengthen himself, and his fastball became his strikeout pitch. He also had a very good curveball, and in 1969 he added a devastating slider to his repertoire and went from a very good pitcher to a star.
In 1970, Carlton was traded from the Cardinals to the Phillies when his request for a $10,000 raise to $65,000 a year was deemed too rich. His 1972 campaign remains one of the best ever - he went 27-10 (for a team that went just 59-97) with a 1.97 ERA, logged 346 innings and struck out 310.
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