With his second strikeout on Saturday, longtime Mariners ace “King Félix” Hernández reached 2,500 career regular season strikeouts.
In the history of the big leagues, only three other Latinos have achieved that number. One of them is in the Hall of Fame.
Hernández is the only one of the four who didn’t pitch for the Montreal Expos and is the first Venezuelan pitcher to get to 2,500 in his career.
Here is the complete list of Latino starters to reach 2,500 K’s in their career. The players are listed with their all-time rank.
(13) Pedro Martínez – 3,154
One of the most dominant righthanded starters of his generation, Pedro was an easy first ballot selection for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The three-time Cy Young Award winner led the league in strikeouts three times and topped 300 Ks in a season twice in his remarkable career.
(31) Javier Vázquez – 2,536
The only Puerto Rican to reach 2,500 had a solid 14-year career. Three of the five seasons in which he struck out more than 200 batters came after his 30th birthday. Vázquez was an all-star only once, never won a Cy Young Award and never led the league in strikeouts. He struck out a career-high 241 batters in 2003 with the Expos.
(32) Bartolo Colon – 2,535
Colon, the all-time leader in wins among pitchers born in Latin America, hasn’t yet officially retired. In 21 years the four-time All-Star never led the league in strikeouts but did win the Cy Young Award with the Angels in 2005. Colon’s career high of 212 strikeouts came in 2000 with the Indians.
(36) Félix Hernández – 2,496
On this list, “King Félix” has individual accolades that trail only Pedro. The six-time All-Star struck out at least 200 batters in six consecutive seasons (2009-14) and won the AL Cy Young Award in 2010 – oddly enough, the only season between 2009 and 2015 that he wasn’t an All-Star. While Hernández has not led the league in strikeouts in his career he has won two ERA titles.
Featured Image: Lindsey Wasson / Getty Images Sport