March 29 – Happy Birthday Cy Young

1909e90cyyoungIts a holiday in Red Sox Nation. 147 years ago today, Denton True Young was born on a farm in Gilmore, Ohio. By the time he threw his first big league pitch, he had been given the nickname “Cyclone” because of the speed of his fastball. He started his big league career in 1890 with the old Cleveland Spiders of the original National League. When he left the senior circuit in 1901 to join the just-formed Boston franchise in the brand new American League, he had become the winningest pitcher in NL history and his nickname had been shortened to just “Cy.”

He then proceeded to lead the new league in wins during its first three years, with 33-10, 32-11 and 28-9 season records respectively. When he ended his big league career in 1911, he had set Boston’s franchise record for wins with 192 and his 511 combined big league career victory total is a mark that will never be broken. He won at least 30 games in a season five times and was a 20-game winner fifteen times.

Is it any wonder that the award that goes to the best pitcher in each big league is named after this guy. He threw over 7,356 innings during his 22-season big league career and tossed 76 shutouts. He started the first World Series game ever played. He was among the first group of players to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. His lifetime ERA as a Red Sox was 2.00. He remains the career leader in all-time wins by a Red Sox with 192, tied with Roger Clemens. He and Clemens are also tied in most career shutouts as a Red Sox with 38 each. Cy Young was a baseball God. He died in 1955, at the age of 88.

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