Cy Young Dies Suddenly at 88, Pitched Record 511 Wins in Majors
PEOLI, Ohio (AP) - Cy Young died Friday.
Baseball knew him as its greatest winning pitcher, one of the first pitchers to enter the Hall of Fame. His 30-odd neighbors in this tiny village knew him for the most tender and enduring love story ever written in his native Tuscarawas County Hills.
Cy was 88. It was 65 years ago that he trudged out of the hill country, a rawboned farm youth of 23, to write one of the most glowing chapters in baseball's history. He appeared in 906 games over a 22-year span in the big leagues, winning 511 and losing 315. He pitched four no-hit games, three in the majors.
His real name was Denton True Young, although he's entered on the scroll of fame as Denton Tecumseh Young. But everyone hereabouts, and throughout the world, knew him as Cy - a spinner of yarns, a woodchopper, and an outspoken critic of the modern trend of changing pitchers at the first sign of trouble
$2500 Top Salary
Cy, despite his fabulous record, never earned more than $2500 a year in baseball. His first salary at Cleveland - he was traded to that club by Canton, Ohio, for a suit of clothes - was $1400.
"But I got home with more than $1000 of that year's pay," Cy recalled years ago. "And when I got home, with more money in one lump than anyone in these hills had ever seen, I married the girl on the next farm."
Long after he had given up baseball, he was enshrined in the Hall of Fame. He was serving as sergeant-at-arms in the Ohio Legislature at the time, and when told that "Denton Tecumseh Young" had been named to the Hal of Fame, he drawled: "That's not my name, but I think I'm the guy they mean. My name is Denton True Young."
He explained he had been named "True" because his dad had served under a Civil War captain of the name. The Tecumseh grew out of the fact he had been called "Chief" by many of his playing mates....
Despite his advanced age and failing eyesight, Cy was a competitor to the end. Not too long ago he said:
"I loaf around most of the time, but I help with anything that has to be done around the farm like husking corn, looking after the horses or splitting wood. I do it for the exercise."
From The Worcester Town & Telegraph, by Fritz Howell, November 5, 1955.