Cy Young was thought to be in his decline when he, along with several of his St. Louis Cardinals teammates, jumped to the new American League, joining the Boston Americans.
Those who thought he was declining were right. After just 11 more seasons in the majors, Young was in fact done
Young did bring instant credibility to the new league. along with Philadelphia Phillies jumper Nap Lajoie, who went to the Philadelphia Athletics in the new circuit.
Young had already won 286 games in the National League before making the jump and the milestones continued to mount in his new league.
He led the AL in wins in each of the league’s first three seaasons, also topping the circuit in ERA and WHIP in 1901. He was the AL leaders in innings and complete games in 1902 and 1903, led the league in WHIP three more times, and in shutouts three seasons.
He remained with Boston — by then known as the Red Sox — until February 1909, when he was traded to the Cleveland Naps for Charlie Chech, Jack Ryan and $12,500.
In eight seasons with Boston, Young was 192-112 with a 2.00 ERA and 0.970 WHIP, an ERA+ of 147, and 1,341 strikeouts in 2,728.1 innings. He started 297 of his 327 appearanced with 275 complete games, 38 shutouts and threw in nine saves for good measure.
He began his career with the Cleveland Spiders in the National League in 1890 and ended it with the Boston Rustlers (later the Braves) in 1911 and in 22 seasons set major league marks with 511 wins, 815 starts, 749 complete games and 7,356 innings. They may have named an award for him.
He also pitched in the first World Series for the Americans in 1903, going 2-1 in four appearances, three of them starts (completing all three), with a 1.85 ERA and 1.029 WHIP in 34 innings with 17 strikeouts in the eight-game win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In retirement, Young returned to his Ohio farm, per the Society for American Baseball Research, which he sold after his wife’s death in 1933. He was inducted with the Hall of Fame’s inaugural class in 1939 and died of a coronary occlusion on Nov. 4, 1955 at the age of 88.