Hall of Fame: Cy Young (1937)

749 complete games! Holy crap.

 Year Ag Tm  Lg  W   L   G   GS  CG SHO  GF SV   IP     H    R   ER   HR  BB   SO   ERA *lgERA *ERA+ WHIP
+--------------+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+------+----+----+----+---+----+----+-----+-----+----+-----+
1890 23 CLV NL 9 7 17 16 16 0 1 0 147.7 145 87 57 6 30 39 3.47 3.45 99 1.185
1891 24 CLV NL 27 22 55 46 43 0 8 2 423.7 431 244 134 4 140 147 2.85 3.44 121 1.348
1892 25 CLV NL 36 12 53 49 48 9 4 0 453.0 363 158 97 8 118 168 1.93 3.38 176 1.062
1893 26 CLV NL 34 16 53 46 42 1 7 1 422.7 442 230 158 10 103 102 3.36 4.89 145 1.289
1894 27 CLV NL 26 21 52 47 44 2 5 1 408.7 488 265 179 19 106 108 3.94 5.47 139 1.454
1895 28 CLV NL 35 10 47 40 36 4 7 0 369.7 363 177 134 10 75 121 3.26 5.02 154 1.185
1896 29 CLV NL 28 15 51 46 42 5 4 3 414.3 477 214 149 7 62 140 3.24 4.53 140 1.301
1897 30 CLV NL 21 19 46 38 35 2 7 0 333.7 391 189 141 7 49 88 3.80 4.70 123 1.319
1898 31 CLV NL 25 13 46 41 40 1 5 0 377.7 387 167 106 6 41 101 2.53 3.42 135 1.133
1899 32 STL NL 26 16 44 42 40 4 2 1 369.3 368 173 106 10 44 111 2.58 3.96 153 1.116
1900 33 STL NL 19 19 41 35 32 4 6 0 321.3 337 144 107 7 36 115 3.00 3.62 121 1.161
1901 34 BOS AL 33 10 43 41 38 5 2 0 371.3 324 112 67 6 37 158 1.62 3.52 216 0.972
1902 35 BOS AL 32 11 45 43 41 3 1 0 384.7 350 136 92 6 53 160 2.15 3.57 166 1.048
1903 36 BOS AL 28 9 40 35 34 7 5 2 341.7 294 115 79 6 37 176 2.08 3.02 145 0.969
1904 37 BOS AL 26 16 43 41 40 10 2 1 380.0 327 104 83 6 29 200 1.97 2.67 136 0.937
1905 38 BOS AL 18 19 38 33 31 4 5 0 320.7 248 99 65 3 30 210 1.82 2.70 148 0.867
1906 39 BOS AL 13 21 39 34 28 0 4 2 287.7 288 137 102 3 25 140 3.19 2.74 86 1.088
1907 40 BOS AL 21 15 43 37 33 6 5 2 343.3 286 101 76 3 51 147 1.99 2.57 129 0.982
1908 41 BOS AL 21 11 36 33 30 3 3 2 299.0 230 68 42 1 37 150 1.26 2.46 194 0.893
1909 42 CLE AL 19 15 35 34 30 3 1 0 295.0 267 110 74 4 59 109 2.26 2.54 113 1.105
1910 43 CLE AL 7 10 21 20 14 1 0 0 163.3 149 62 46 0 27 58 2.53 2.59 102 1.078
1911 44 TOT 7 9 18 18 12 2 0 0 126.3 137 75 53 6 28 55 3.78 3.63 96 1.306
CLE AL 3 4 7 7 4 0 0 0 46.3 54 28 20 2 13 20 3.88 3.41 88 1.446
BSN NL 4 5 11 11 8 2 0 0 80.0 83 47 33 4 15 35 3.71 3.76 101 1.225
+--------------+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+------+----+----+----+---+----+----+-----+-----+----+-----+
22 Yr WL% .618 511 316 906 815 749 76 84 17 7354.7 7092 3167 2147 138 1217 2803 2.63 3.62 138 1.130

1 Triple Crown (1901)
1 Award named after him

Born March 29, 1867, Denton True Young was born in Gilmore, Ohio. He quit school after the sixth grade to help on the family farm. He played on a few semi-professional teams, playing as a second baseman and pitcher, until a professional minor league team in Canton picked him up.

That first tryout would leave a lasting legacy. Although a farm boy, his nickname “Cyclone” did not come from farming. In fact, it came from the speed of his fastball, one that “almost tore the boards off the grandstand”. The catcher gave him the nickname, but the reporters shortened it to “Cy”. A nickname was born. After the impressive tryout, the Cleveland Spiders signed him to a contract.

In his major-league debut, he threw a 3-hit shutout. He threw so hard that catcher Chief Zimmer had to supposedly use a beefsteak inside his glove to protect his hand. Within the next few weeks after his debut, Cap Anson offered the Spiders $1,000 for Cy Young, even though he wasn’t “worth it yet”. Cleveland refused and reaped the benefits, even when the National League moved the mound back five feet because of how hard Young and his contemporaries were throwing. In 1895, Young created the “slow ball”, or the modern-day changeup, during the Temple Cup, the precursor to the World Series.

Before the 1899 season, the Spiders owner bought the St. Louis Browns, renamed them the “perfectos”, and transferred several Spiders to St. Louis, including Young. Two years later, when the American League declared major-league status, AL teams raided NL ones, and Young signed with the Boston Americans. Prior to the 1902 season, Young coached the Harvard pitchers, and the media had field day with a man who didn’t get to the seventh grade teaching Harvard pitchers (shows it doesn’t matter where you are, it matters what you know — which, indeed, are two different things). Two years later, Young threw the first perfect game in history in the midst of a major-league record 24.1 innings pitched without giving up a hit.

Young would be traded back to Cleveland (this time they were the Naps — remember Mr. Lajoie?), but his last game, a complete game shutout, was played back in Boston with the Rustlers. He would go back to his farm with 511 victories and the legacy of being one of the best pitchers in baseball history.

After failing the first time, Young was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1937 with 153 votes out of the 201 (narrowly getting in). In 1956, the year after Young’s death, the Cy Young Award was created.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why Young wasn’t elected the first time. The most victories of all-time (94 more than his nearest competitor, Walter Johnson). Second-most strikeouts. An ungodly number of complete games (749 out of 815 starts!). Great control pitcher. Anyone? I’m serious.

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