A Baker’s Dozen Things You Should Know About Cy Young

Cy Young in 1901 (the first year of the American League)

1. His name was Denton True Young and he was born in 1867.

2. He was a farm boy who played minor league ball. One version says the “Cy” nickname was short for “cyclone” , a reference to the speed of his pitches. Another says it was short for “Cyrus”, a name associated with farmers. I have no idea which is correct.

3. He began his Major League career on 6 August 1890 with a three hit shutout for the Cleveland Spiders.

4. This was before the advent of the mound. He was 36-29 in pre-mound days.

5. The mound (and the extra five feet involved) didn’t hurt him. In 1892 he led the National League in wins, winning percentage, ERA, ERA+, and WHIP.

6. Between 1892 and 1896 inclusive he averaged 33 wins and led the league in strikeouts once (1896).

7. In 1901 he jumped to the fledgling American League team in Boston. He led the new league in Wins, ERA, shutouts, strikeouts, ERA+, and WHIP.

8. In 1903 his team played in the first World Series, winning the best of nine in eight games. He pitched game one for the home team Boston Americans, thus becoming the first pitcher to throw a pitch in the World Series, give up a  hit, a run, an RBI, and take a loss in the Series. He later won two games in the Series.

9. In 1904 Boston repeated as AL champ, but there was no World Series. Young was part of the greatest ironman staff of the 20th Century. Over 154 completed games (there were three ties) only five men threw a pitch for Boston. Young was the ace. He led the team in wins, losses, ERA, games, complete games, shutouts, hits, runs, ERA+, WHIP, and  picked up the only save. Only his shutouts and WHIP number led the league.

10. He threw no hitters in both 1904 and 1908.

11.  When he retired he held several pitching records. He still holds the record for wins (511), losses (315), starts, innings pitched, and complete games.

12. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1937 and died in 1955.

13. In 1956 Major League Baseball created a new award to honor the best pitcher in the big leagues. They named it after Young. Don Newcombe won the first one. In 1967, they divided the award by creating one for both the National League and the American League.

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One Response to “A Baker’s Dozen Things You Should Know About Cy Young”

  1. William Miller Says:

    Any idea if an award was given to the best pitcher(s) in baseball before the Cy Young award? If so, I wonder how many best pitcher awards Cy would have won annually in his career.

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