"I have no control over it. I don't really worry about things I can't control. Let it fall where it may," he told MLB.com a year ago.He was the epitome of the crafty left-hander, a soft-thrower who kept infielders busy dealing with the products of his sinker. For John, however, it was just another form of dominance. He had 162 complete games. Randy Johnson, a left-hander on the opposite end of the spectrum perceived as the ultimate southpaw poison, has 96. John had 46 shutouts; Johnson has 37.
Tommy John's resume
Teams: Indians, White Sox, Dodgers, Yankees, Angels, A's
Key stats: 288 wins, 46 shutouts, 6-2 postseason record
Awards: Four-time All-Star, two-time Cy Young runner-up
Best HOF vote Pct.: 28% in 2001
Peers in Hall: Steve Carlton, Tom Seaver, Don Sutton
More stats and bio >
To John, it was a matter of still being able to pitch at a high level and still being asked to do so. He didn't pitch out the string in Detroit or Pittsburgh or some other doormat of the times, but in the Bronx, in his last four seasons, going 29-24 for the Yankees."I was one of the five best pitchers the Yankees could find in baseball for the last four or five years," he recalled, with some pride, some lingering bitterness. "I didn't strike guys out and I gave up hits, but I didn't let runs score and I won ballgames. That's what you're supposed to do," John had said a year ago. "I think my win total, my longevity, coming back from the arm surgery, all of the wins I had post-surgery -- that should be enough." Someday, it will be. John is the ideal candidate for the Hall of Fame's revised Veterans Committee, which in two sessions has yet to give anyone the nod. However, John, with three more years remaining in his ballot-life, would prefer getting in alongside the hitters he spent a quarter-century getting out.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.