All-Time Indians: Cy Young

Name: Denton True Young Position: Starting Pitcher
Nick Name: Cy  
Tribe Time: 1890-1898, 1909-1911 DOB: 03/29/1867
Accolades: Hall of Fame (1937)
Best Season (1892) 36 12 0.750 1.93 53 49 48 9 0 453.0 363 158 97 8 118 168 1.06 3.3 0.211
Career (Spiders) 241 135 0.641 3.10 420 369 346 24 7 3,353.0 3,487 1,731 1,155 77 724 1,014 1.26 2.7 0.257
Career (Naps) 29 29 0.500 2.50 63 61 48 4 0 504.0 470 200 140 6 99 187 1.13 3.3 0.237

Cy Young was one of baseball’s greatest pitchers ever. His longevity and talent allowed him to take the all-time baseball records in batters faced, complete games, starts, innings pitched and his most famous stat, wins. He also stayed around long enough to lose more games, allow more hits and give up more runs than any other pitcher ever. He is honored today, not just with a place in the Hall of Fame, but as the namesake of the most prestigious pitching award in baseball. It is the only one of the big four awards (MVP, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year are the other three) that is named after a player and it is well deserved.

Young’s time in Cleveland is atypical. If you look at his numbers as an Indian (and Nap) he comes up as the 84th most winning pitcher of all time. This places him right along with other irrelevant Indians like Chuck Finley and Paul Byrd. His real greatness in Cleveland came before the Naps were a team, back in the day of the Cleveland Spiders. The Spiders are a defunct National League franchise that existed from 1889 to 1899. Most people don’t know a whole lot about the Spiders due to the time that has passed and the fact that they went out as the worst team in baseball history. While they did go 20-134 in their final season, they were a successful team over many of the seasons prior to that. Before the 1899 season, the Spiders owner, also the owner of the St. Louis Perfectos, decided to use the Spiders as a minor league team and sent, among other players, one Denton True Young to St. Louis for nothing. During Cy’s time on the Spiders, they were an above average team, winning more than 60% of their games in three of his nine seasons there. In fact, during his tenure, they only went under .500 twice.

Cy Young joined the Spiders in 1890, his first Major League team and ended up with more wins and games played for the Spiders than any other team he played with. During his time, he actually won 38% of the Spiders total wins. In his best season (1892), he pitched more than half the innings that were thrown during that season. He also lead the National League in wins, ERA, shut outs and WHIP that season. If someday, the Cleveland Indians decided to include the Spiders in the Indians history, Young’s cumulative wins would be more than anyone else in team history. Now, he only ranks high in rate stats, where he is top ten in both ERA and WHIP and top five in innings pitched per game (8). Even without this consideration, Young is the greatest pitcher in Spiders history and deserves credit for that. Cy Young is a member of the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame (class of 1951) in addition to his place as a member of the first class inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He died in 1955.

Cy Young

Joseph Coblitz

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of and has been since its inception in 2011. He also writes for The Outside Corner and the Comeback and hosts the Tribe Time Now podcast. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona the Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians. Follow on twitter @BurningRiverBB