Rating the Greatest Baseball Players of All Time

My rankings of the greatest baseball players ever, starting with number 1, in order.

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Thursday, October 31, 2002
 
Number 8: Cy Young

The pitcher so good, they named the award after him! Young is the namesake of the award for the year's best pitcher in each league mainly because of his status as the all-time career wins leader, although he also is the career leader in losses. But Young is one of those amazing few to straddle the 19th century and the 20th century of baseball, pitching long enough to make a World Series. He started his career in the days when most pitching staffs had only three men on them, working in rotation and relieving each other when hope was lost. He lasted into the days of 5- and 6-man staffs, pitching in more modern conditions. Cy Young started his major league career in 1890 with Cleveland, at age 23, and finally hung it up after the 1911 season when he made 18 starts (and completed 12) at age 44. He pitched for the Boston Pilgrims (now Red Sox) in the first modern World Series, 1903. He alternated pitching games with the other Boston ace, Bill Dinneen. Actually the team's third pitcher, Tom Hughes, started Game 3, but was removed for Young in the third inning and did not pitch thereafter, just Young in the odd-numbered games and Dinneen the evens. Boston won that Series, but did not get to defend their title when John McGraw's Giants refused to play them the next year.

Cy didn't get back to a Series, although he continued to pitch well. He had an excellent fastball (reputed as among the speediest of the time) and terrific control. He also pitched consistently well year-in and year-out. When he finally hung up his glove, he had set a standard that will never be reached.

Young earns 283.65 points in the rating system.

Young's stats: 511 wins, 313 losses, 2.63 ERA, 2803 K's, 750 CG, 634 Win Shares