Cy Young

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Cy Young : biography

March 29, 1867 – November 4, 1955

Denton TrueCyYoung (March 29, 1867 – November 4, 1955) was an American Major League Baseball pitcher. During his 21-year baseball career (1890–1911), he pitched for five different teams. Young established numerous pitching records, some of which have stood for a century. Young compiled 511 wins, which is most in Major League history and 94 ahead of Walter Johnson who is second on the list. Young was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937. One year after Young’s death, the Cy Young Award was created to honour the previous season’s best pitcher.

Denton True "Cy" Young

In addition to wins, Young still holds the major league records for most career innings pitched (7,355), most career games started (815), and most complete games (749). He also retired with 316 losses, the most in MLB history. Young’s 76 career shutouts are fourth all-time. He also won at least 30 games in a season five times, with ten other seasons of 20 or more wins. In addition, Young pitched three no-hitters, including the third perfect game in baseball history, first in baseball’s “modern era”. In 1999, 88 years after his final major league appearance and 44 years after his death, editors at The Sporting News ranked Cy Young 14th on their list of “Baseball’s 100 Greatest Players”. That same year, baseball fans named him to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

Young’s career started in 1890 with the Cleveland Spiders. After eight years with the Spiders, Young was moved to St. Louis in 1899. After two years there, Young jumped to the newly-created American League, joining the Boston franchise. He was traded back to Cleveland in 1909, before spending the final two months of his career with the Boston Rustlers. After his retirement, Young went back to his farm in Ohio, where he stayed until his death at age 88 in 1955.

Baseball legacy

Young retired with 511 career wins, which remains the record for most career wins by a pitcher. At the time, Pud Galvin had the second most career wins with 364. Walter Johnson, then in his fourth season, finished his career with 417 wins and, as of 2012, remains second on the list. In 1921, Johnson broke Young’s career record for strikeouts.SABR, p.210, ISBN 978-1-4165-3245-3 Retrieved on 2008-08-03

Cy Young’s career is seen as a bridge from baseball’s earliest days to its modern era; he pitched against stars such as Cap Anson, already an established player when the National League was first formed in 1876, as well as against Eddie Collins, who played until 1930. When Young’s career began, pitchers delivered the baseball underhand and fouls were not counted as strikes. The pitcher’s mound was not moved back to its present position of until Young’s fourth season; he did not wear a glove until his sixth season.

Young led his league in wins five times (1892, 1895, and 1901–1903), finishing second twice. His career high was 36 in 1892. He had fifteen seasons with twenty or more wins, two more than the runners-up, Christy Mathewson and Warren Spahn. Young won two ERA titles during his career, in 1892 (1.93) and in 1901 (1.62), and was three times the runner-up. Young’s earned run average was below 2.00 six times, but this was not uncommon during the dead-ball era. Although Young threw over 400 innings in each of his first four full seasons, he did not lead his league until 1902. He had 40 or more complete games nine times. Young also led his league in strikeouts twice (with 140 in 1896, and 158 in 1901), and in shutouts seven times. Young led his league in fewest walks per nine innings thirteen times and finished second one season. Only twice in his 22-year career did Young finish lower than 5th in the category. Although the WHIP ratio was not calculated until well after Young’s death, Young was the retroactive league leader in this category seven times and was second or third another seven times. Cy Young is tied with Roger Clemens for the second most career wins by a Boston Red Sox pitcher. They each won 192 games while with the franchise.