Date of birth: 29 March 1867
Primary position: Pitcher
Elected to Red Sox Hall of Fame: 1997
Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame: 1937
“Cy” was short for Cyclone, thanks in part to a blinding fastball that helped him win 511 games over a 22-year career. As such, his name will also forever be synonymous with brilliant pitching efforts; every season, the best pitcher from each league is awarded an honor in his name.
Although Denton True Young may be one of the most recognized figures in franchise history, he actually did not join the Boston organization until he was 34 years old, 11 seasons after making his debut with the Cleveland Spiders of the National League. Even at that, he went on to have one of the most brilliant careers in a Boston uniform. With the franchise, he won 192 games, tied with Roger Clemens for most wins by a Boston pitcher.
Lured away from the St. Louis Cardinals in 1901 by Ban Johnson, the owner of the newly-established American League, Young’s “rights” went to owner Charles Somer to help the newly-formed Boston franchise compete with the cross-town Boston Braves. Young, to this point, had already won 286 games, an average of 26 per season, and had proven durable, often pitching on just one or two day’s rest. In his first season with Boston, Young delivered as promised; he won 33 games against 10 losses and recorded 158 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.62. His win total that season is second on the Boston record books only to “Smokey” Joe Wood, who won 34 in 1912.
One of his most memorable performances in Boston came on 05 May 1904, when he retired all 27 Philadelphia Athletic batters to become the first American League pitcher and just the third professional ball player to pitch a “perfect game.” Sandwiched around Young’s feat was the fact that he threw 23 consecutive no-hit innings, having thrown eight innings in two previous starts and six innings in the following start.
Young threw one other no-hitter in his Boston career in 1908 at the age of 41 in a win over New York. Young retired three years later in 1911 and became one of eight players enshrined in the Baseball Hall Of Fame’s first induction ceremony in 1937, along with other notables such as Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and Tris Speaker.
Career Pitching Statistics through 2018 Season
Awards and Recognition with Boston
ERA Leader (1.62), 1901
Pitching Triple Crown (33 W, 158 K, 1.62 ERA), 1901
Strikeouts Leader (158), 1901
Winning Games Leader (33), 1901
Winning Games Leader (32), 1902
Winning Games Leader (28), 1903
Memorable Moments for Cy Young
- 30 April 1901 - Following three losses to begin the season, Boston wins its first game in franchise history, besting the Athletics in Philadelphia 8-6 in extra innings after falling behind 6-1. It was the American League's first-ever extra inning game as Cy Young earned the win.
- 1 July 1903 - Cy Young wins 1-0 in his third consecutive start, the only time in major league history a pitcher has won three straight decisions by a score of 1-0. Young helps his own cause by driving home the winning run in the tenth on a double.
- 5 May 1904 - The first no-hitter in franchise history is also the first perfect game thrown in the American League as Cy Young retires all 27 Philadelphia batters in a 3-0 win.
- 30 June 1908 - Cy Young throws his third career no-hitter, his second with Boston, as the Red Sox beat the Yankees 8-0 in New York.
- 12 December 1908 - The Red Sox trade Lou Criger, Cy Young's personal catcher; two months later, Boston trades away Young to the Indians. Young and Criger were the last two players from the club's inaugural still with the franchise in 1908.
- 12 November 1986 - Only the second player to earn the honor unanimously, Roger Clemens becomes the first Red Sox pitcher since Jim Lonborg in 1967 to win the Cy Young Award. It is the first of three with Boston and seven total in his career.
- 13 November 2000 - Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez wins his second consecutive Cy Young Award with Boston and his third in four seasons.
- 16 November 2016 - Rick Porcello edges out Justin Verlander for the 2016 American League Cy Young Award. Despite 14 first place votes for the latter pitcher, Porcello earns eight first place votes and 18 second place votes to finish just ahead of Verlander in the final tally (137 to 132). It is the closest race in voting history, and becomes more controversial after it's revealed that two voters left Verlander off their respective ballots.