Summary

Birth:
29 Mar 1867 1
Gilmore, Ohio 1
Death:
04 Nov 1955 1
Newcomerstown, Ohio 1
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Personal Details

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Full Name:
Denton True Young 1
Also known as:
Cy Young 1
Birth:
29 Mar 1867 1
Gilmore, Ohio 1
Male 1
Death:
04 Nov 1955 1
Newcomerstown, Ohio 1
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Birth:
Mother: Nancy Miller 1
Father: McKinzie Young, Jr. 1

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  Denton True Young was born on March 29, 1867 in Gilmore, Ohio, the oldest of five children of McKinzie Jr. and Nancy (Miller) Young. Gilmore was a small farming community located about 100 miles south of Cleveland, and the Young family was raised on a farm owned by McKinzie's father, McKinzie Sr. Cy's education stopped at the sixth grade so he could help his parents with farming chores, but it was also at this time that he discovered the game of baseball. Encouraged by their father, the Young boys played baseball every chance they got. Developing into a better pitcher than hitter, Denton would practice throwing during lunch breaks from farm work. In addition to practicing and playing in recreational games, he organized his own team in Gilmore, then in the summer of 1884, played on semi-pro teams in Newcomerstown, Cadiz and Uhrichsville, Ohio.

Believing he could make money playing the sport, plus having to make a living after his marriage to Robba Miller, Cy signed with Canton of the Tri-States League in 1890. After compiling a 15-15 record in his rookie season, the right-hander's contract was sold to the National League's Cleveland Spiders for $500. Young's quick ascendancy to the majors was the result of the emergence of the ill-fated Players League, which forced National League teams to dig deep into the minor leagues for any available talent.

Young pitched with the Spiders through the 1898 season, winning 30 games or more three times, and capturing the 1892 ERA title with a 1.93 mark. The following year, the pitcher's mound was moved back five feet to its present distance of 60' 6", and Young responded well, finishing the year with a 34-16 record and 3.36 ERA, third best in the league. Young was able to compensate for the increased distance with his terrific fastball. It had been the pitch that reportedly gave rise to his nickname, Cyclone (or "Cy" for short). Honus Wagner, who regularly faced Young in the National League toward the end of the decade, thought it the greatest fastball he had ever seen. "Walter Johnson was fast, but no faster than Rusie," Wagner observed. "And Rusie was no faster than Johnson. But Young was faster than both of ?em!" Another contemporary, Cap Anson, observed that when the 6'2", 210 lb. Young unleashed his speed, it seemed as if "the ball was shooting down from the hands of a giant."

His greatest achievement, however, may have come on May 5, 1904, when Young pitched the first perfect game in American League history--just the third in all of baseball history, and the first from the 60'6" pitching distance--against Rube Waddell and the Philadelphia Athletics. Prior to the game, Waddell, who had defeated Young in their previous encounter a weak earlier, taunted the old pitcher, promising to beat him again. After Young pitched his masterpiece and Boston won, 3-0, Cy uncharacteristically returned fire, shouting to Waddell, "How did you like that one, you hayseed?" It was his second career no-hitter (his first came in 1897); he would pitch a third in 1908, against New York.

As Young approached and then surpassed his fortieth birthday, he continued to rank among the game's best pitchers, thanks in large part to the wide assortment of breaking pitches and arm deliveries he employed to fool opposing batters. "If a right-hander crowded my plate," Young later said, "I side-armed him with a curve, and then, when he stepped back, I'd throw an overhand fastball low and outside. I was fortunate in having good speed from overhand, three-quarter, or side-arm. I had a variety of curves--threw a so-called screwball or indrop, too--and I used whatever delivery seemed best. And I never had but one sore arm." After enduring the worst season of his career in 1906, when he finished the year 13-21 with a terrible 3.19 ERA, Young came back strong in 1907 and 1908, winning 21 games in each season and posting ERAs of 1.99 and 1.26, respectively.

In retirement, Cy returned to his home in Peoli, where he lived out a quiet retirement on his farm, growing potatoes and tending to his sheep, hogs, and chickens. He and his wife Robba did not raise any children; their only offspring, a daughter, died a few hours after her birth in 1907, leaving, in the words of Young biographer Reed Browning, "an almost inexpungeable hole" in their lives. When Robba passed away in 1934, a grieving Young sold his farm. "Somehow, after she died I didn't want to live there any more," he explained. Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1937, Young was formally inducted with the Hall's first class at the museum's opening in 1939. Despite his frugal habits and status as a baseball legend, however, Young was beset by financial problems late in life. In 1935, he traveled to Augusta, Georgia where he joined a group of baseball veterans looking to make some money during the Great Depression by playing exhibition games. When this venture failed, Young returned to Ohio, where he found work as a clerk in a retail store, and lived with a local couple, John and Ruth Benedum. He was still living with the Benedums when he died of a coronary occlusion on November 4, 1955, at the age of 88. He was buried in Peoli Cemetery. The next year, baseball instituted the pitching award that still bears his name.

                                               Cy Young, Lefty Grove, Walter Johnson at Fenway

Denton True "Cy" Young

Cy Young was the oldest child born to McKinzie Young, Jr. and German American Nancy Miller. The couple had four more children: Carl, Lon, Ella, and Anthony. When the couple married, McKinzie's father gave him the 54 acres (220,000 m2) of farm land he owned.[9] Young was born in Gilmore, a tiny farming community located in Washington Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio. He was christened Denton True Young. Some sources later, and even today, list his middle name erroneously as "Tecumseh", apparently as a result of being nicknamed "The Chief" by teammates.[10]

He was raised on one of the local farms and went by the name Dent Young in his early years.[11] Young was also known as "Farmer Young" and "Farmboy Young". Young stopped his formal education after he completed the sixth grade[12] so he could help out on the family's farm. In 1885, Young moved with his father to Nebraska, and in the summer of 1887, they returned to Gilmore.

Cy Young played for many amateur baseball leagues during his youth, including a "semi-pro" Carrollton team in 1888. Young pitched and played second base. The first box score known containing the name Young came from that season. In that game, Young played first base and had three hits in three at-bats. After the season, Young received an offer to play for the minor league Canton team, which started Young's professional career.

 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

 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.[1]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 honor the previous season's best pitcher.

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).[2][3][4] He also retired with 316 losses, the most in MLB history.[5] Young's 76 career shutouts are fourth all-time.[6] He also won at least 30 games in a season five times, with ten other seasons of 20 or more wins.[7] In addition, Young pitched threeno-hitters, including the third perfect game in baseball history, first in baseball's "modern era".[a] 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".[8] That same year, baseball fans named him to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

From 1912 until his death in 1955, Cy Young lived and worked on his farm. In 1913, he served as manager of the Cleveland Green Sox of the Federal League, which was at the time an outlaw minor league. However, he never worked in baseball after that.

Young's wife, Robba, whom he had known since childhood, died in 1933.[9][12] After she died, Young tried several jobs, and eventually moved in with friends John and Ruth Benedum and did odd jobs for them. Young took part in many baseball events after his retirement.[12]In 1937, 26 years after he retired from baseball, Cy Young was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was among the first to donate mementos to the Hall.

On November 4, 1955, Cy Young died on his farm at the age of 88. He was buried in Peoli, Ohio

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