June 20, 2013
Naturally, Cy Young's record must be taken in the context of the game as played during his era. He won 511 games, nearly 100 more than any other pitcher, but he also made 816 starts. (For purposes of comparison, Steve Carlton made 709.)
Yet even granting that context, Young's record is stunning. He led the league in victories four times, won 20 or more games 14 consecutive seasons, six times posted ERAs below 2.00, and pitched pitched 7,356 innings. (Again for comparison, Carlton pitched 5,217.) He also threw three no hitters, a figure surpassed by only Nolan Ryan and Sandy Koufax.
The quintessential Cy Young performance occurred on May 5, 1904 in Boston, when his defending league champion Pilgrims faced the 1902 champions, the Philadelphia Athletics. More than that, it was also a showdown between the two best-known pitchers in the league: Young and Rube Waddell.
The game lived up to its billing as a pitchers' duel. Neither team scored through the first five innings, as Young retired 15 consecutive Philadelphia hitters. Only one came close to a hit, that being Monte Cross who looped a fly into right that Buck Freeman snagged.
In the sixth, Boston broke through against Waddell, Chick Stahl and Freeman slugging back to back triples. Boston added two more in the seventh. Young was perfect through eight innings, bring the crowd of 10,000 out of their seats as the ninth began. Cross fanned, Young's eighth strikeout victim. Catcher Ossie Schreckengost was next: he grounded to Fred Parent at short. OnlyWaddell stood between Young and a perfect game. Rube took a ball, missed a strike, then lifted an easy fly to center that Stahl caught. It was the firt perfect game in the history of the American League, and the first in the majors since 1880.
Giants owner John T. Brush announces that if his club wins the pennant, he will not allow them to play the American League champion. They do and he doesn't.
Ty Cobb makes his professional debut April 26 for Augusta in the Sally League. He doubles and homers.
The Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty is ratified, giving the United States title to the Canal Zone.