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Today in Sports History: 5/5 – Cy Young Pitches Perfect Game

Today in sports history (1904), Cy Young throws a perfect against the Philadelphia Athletics. Young is known as one of the greatest pitchers in MBL history. Due to his lengthy and consecutive start, it is likely that no one will ever touch Young’s records when it comes to wins and losses. In total, Young finished his career with 511. No win is more immortalized in MLB history than his perfect game as a part of the Boston Americans.

There were 10,267 fans at Huntington Avenue Grounds to watch the event. There was some back and forth coming into this game, mostly from Athletics pitcher Rube Waddell. Waddell had beaten Boston three days prior, as he one-hit them. He started to taunt Young so that he could get into the legend’s head. With all great legends in sports history, we know that a response is more warranted with play than words.

cy young today in sports history
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Cy Young Throws Baseball’s Third Perfect Game

In 1880, both Lee Richmond and John Ward pitched the first two perfect games in MLB history. In 1893, modern pitching rules were established, including moving the pitcher’s mound back a few feet. Walks before 1893 also required eight balls instead of the familiar four.

Young and Waddle were two of the greatest pitchers in the game at the time, leading to increased attention to the game. Waddell could not have had a worse game, as he allowed at least one hit to every Boston batter not named Cy Young. Meanwhile, Young was locked in. Although Philadelphia was getting the bat on the ball, Boston’s defense, including Chick Stahl and Patsy Dougherty, were making incredible defensive plays to keep them off of the bases. In the sixth inning, it became apparent that something special was happening.

In classic baseball fashion, Young’s teammates were avoiding him in hopes of not jinxing the performance. With the crowd on their feet with two outs in the ninth inning, in an ironic twist, Cy Young retired Waddell to complete something that only two others had done to that point.

After Waddell was retired, Young shouted, “How do you like that, you hayseed?”


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