"He's too green to do your club much good, but I believe if I taught him what I know, I might make a pitcher out of him in a couple of years. He's not worth it now, but I'm willing to give you $1,000 ($25,867 today) for him." Adrian "Cap" Anson to Gus Schmelz on the ability of Cy Young.
"Cap, you can keep your thousand and we'll keep the rube." - Schmelz's reply.
On today's date, March 29 in 1867, Denton True "Cy" Young was born in the tiny farming community of Gilmore in East Central Ohio. The above quoted Anson was the player/ manager of the Chicago Cubs, and Schmelz was the manager of Young's team, the Cleveland Spiders. Schmelz was wise to turn Anson down, because Young would go on to become, in the view of many observers the greatest pitcher in baseball history, winning 511 games, a record which stands to this day. Oddly enough, he also holds the all-time record for the most games ever lost by a major league pitcher, 316. But in 1956, a year after Young's death Baseball Commisioner Ford Frick created the Cy Young Award to honor baseballs' best pitcher for the previous season. And his best years came just after a former owner was getting rid of him.
Young's Early Career - A New Hard Thrower on the Scene
Young Moves to the American League - "Don't Make Him Mad!!"
In what is clearly a cautionary tale to employers who would seek to belittle, or otherwise bully employees on their way to the opposition, Robison made no great effort to hold onto Young saying that "Young is through. In the new bush league he may last another year, but we couldn't have used him." Young was decidedly put out by this remark, saying that he "would not work for Frank Robison again even if (he) offered (me) $10,000.00". Young went on to back up his talk by leading the league that year in the "Triple Crown" categories of wins, strikeouts and ERA.
Boston went on to face the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first modern World Series in 1903, with Young pitching the first World Series game ever. Boston wound up winning the Series 5 games to three, with Young compiling a 2–1 record and a 1.85 ERA in four appearances, In 1904, Young completed the first "Perfect Game" in American League history as a part of an incredible pitching streak. Young set major league records for the most consecutive scoreless innings pitched and the most consecutive innings without allowing a hit; that last record remaining unbroken ever since at 25.1 innings, or 76 hitless batters.Even after allowing a hit, Young's scoreless streak reached a then-record 45 shutout innings. Clearly Robison had exposed himself as a first rate baseball boob by dissing a prize prospect just before he became prized. The moral: don't make him mad just before you kick him out!!
Later Years and Retirement... Cy Young's Overpowering Legacy
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