It is tough to win 20 games for three different clubs, because pitchers that are good enough to have at least three 20-win seasons are usually coveted by their original team. However, since 1900 four hurlers have pulled it off. If Roger Clemens continues at his torrid pace (15-1 as of this writing), then he’ll join this select group.
Joe McGinnity won at least 21 contests each season from 1899-1906, the first eight years of career. In 1900 he went 28-8 for the Dodgers, then was 26-20 for the Orioles (who later became the Yankees), and two years later won 31 for the Giants.
Grover Cleveland Alexander was one of the greatest pitchers in history, having won 373 games in his 20-year career. He led the league in victories four of his seven years with the Phillies, but his incredible right arm could not make up for drinking and attitude problems, and he was shipped to Chicago’s North Side. In 1920 he won 27 for the Cubbies, but moved on again in 1926, this time to the St. Louis Cardinals. The next year he won 21 for them, the last of his nine 20-win seasons.
Next to a certain Mister Ruth, Carl Mays was the best of the Red Sox players shipped to the Big Apple in the fragmentation of the 1910s Boston dynasty. After winning 20 a couple of times in Beantown, he won 26 and 27 his first two years in New York. In 1924 he was dealt to Cincinnati, where he again notched 20 victories. Though Mays was a good pitcher, he may be most famous for causing the only on-field death in baseball history. On August 16, 1920, Mays’s submarining fastball caught Cleveland Indians shortstop Ray Chapman square in the head, killing him the next day.
For a man who won over 300 games, Gaylord Perry toed the rubber for an awful lot of teams. He began what seemed like a happy marriage with the Giants in 1962, and won 20 for them twice. In 1972 he went 24-16 for Cleveland, and tallied another 20 wins for the 1978 Padres. Over the course of his career he threw for a total of eight clubs, and visited Texas and Seattle twice.