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Cy Young was born March 29, 1867, in Gilmore, Ohio. As a young man, he worked on this family farm until starting his professional baseball career. His name is very familiar in the American Baseball League because it is in his name that the prestigious award was named.
Cy Young’s Professional Career
He entered the Major League in 1890, pitching with the National League’s Cleveland Spiders. Shortly thereafter, he was moved to the St. Louis Cardinals. Transferring again in 1901, he switched to the American League to play for the Boston Red Sox. Two years later, he helps them to win the 1903 World Series.
Very early in his career, Cy Young was known for his hard-throwing pitches. It was said that catcher Charles “Chief” Zimmer would put a beefsteak piece inside his baseball glove to protect his catching hand from Young’s fastball.
Radar guns not in existence yet made it difficult to say actually how hard Cy Young pitched. His pitching speed was so fast that it prompted the moving of the pitchers’ box front line from 50-feet to 60-feet-six-inches away from home base.
Cy Young still holds today many major league baseball pitching records. He holds the record for most game wins at 511. He also holds the record for most career innings pitched at 7,356, most career games started at 815, and most career complete games at 749.
The Cy Young Award
In 1956, one year after the Hall of Fame pitcher’s death, Ford C. Frick, the Commissioner of Baseball, initially introduced The Cy Young Award.
The award is given to the single best pitcher in each league — National and American.
This year’s National League winner of the Cy Young Award is Cincinnati Reds Trevor Bauer. The runners up for the award were Yu Darvish of the Chicago Cubs and Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets. Mets deGrom was banking on the trifecta after winning the award the previous two seasons.
Bauer went 5-4 with a National League-best 1.73 earn-run-average in 11 starts. He also struck out 100 batters in 73-innings leading the league with two shutouts. Bauer has become a free agent after turning down the Reds’ current offer.
The American League winner of this year’s Cy Young Award is The Cleveland Indians ace pitcher Shane Bieber. Runners up for the American League Cy Young Award were Kenta Maeda of the Twins and Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Blue Jays. There were very high expectations that all 30 first-place votes would unanimously select Bieber from the Baseball Writers Association of America.
The Baseball Writers Association of America
The Baseball Writers’ Association of America is a group of professional baseball journalists who write for qualifying daily newspapers, magazines, and websites.
Not only does this association select the best pitcher of the American and National league, but they also select the American and National League winners of the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Awards, Manager of the Year Awards, and the Most Valuable Player Awards.
This year’s Most Valuable Player Awards go to Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves and José Abreu of the Chicago White Sox. The recipients of the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award went to Mariner’s center fielder Kyle Lewis and Brewers reliever Devin Williams. Last but not least, the American and National Baseball League’s Manager of the Year Awards went to Don Mattingly of the Marlins and Kevin Cash of the Rays.
Previous winners of this prestigious Cy Young Award are 2019 American League Justin Verlander of the Astros, 2019 National League Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets, 2018 American League Blake Snell of the Rays, and the 2018 National League Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets.
Written by Omari Jahi
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
ESPN: Trevor Bauer becomes first Cincinnati Reds pitcher to win Cy Young Award, ESPN News Services
LWOS: 2020 Cy Young Award Finalists Announced, Caleb Begley
SABR: Cy Young, Bill Nowlin – David Southwick
BaseballReference: MLB Cy Young Award Winners
Yahoo! Sports: Cleveland’s Shane Bieber unanimously wins 2020 AL Cy Young Award, Mark Townsend
MLB News: BBWAA announces awards week schedule, Matt Kelly
Astro News: A high flyer. An ‘Airbender.’ Your ROY winners, Anthony Castrovince
Cubs News: Cash, Mattingly net Manager of Year honors, Richard Justice
Featured and Top Image by Erik Drost Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License
First Inset Image by unattributed Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License
Second Inset Image by Erik Drost Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License
Third Inset Image Courtesy of apardavila’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License