Cy Young's Greatest Games
Lists like this one are intensely subjective. I've enjoyed trying to identify Cy Young's finest efforts, and I thought the reader would enjoy knowing my choices for the greatest outings of a great career. I've selected a baker's dozen because, having picked my own twelve, I felt I could not ignore Young's own sense of the matter. See number 13. Positions in the ranking are themselves somewhat arbitrary. The call on number 1, of course, strikes me as easy. How could anyone disagree? And I'm sure that number 2 was better than number 10. But is number 5 really better than number 6? Or number 4 better than number 7? Those are tougher calls. I hope the reader will have fun second-guessing me.
Number 1: May 5, 1904 Boston 3, Philadelphia 0 9 innings This is Cy Young's perfect game. He later said that from his very first pitch that day he knew he'd be able to put the ball where he wanted it. His mound opponent was Rube Waddell, and the Philadelphia Athletics were a formidable team. But Young tamed them, fanning 8. This was the first perfect game in American League history and the first in the majors since the pivot distance had been moved back to 60 and 6 in 1893.
Number 2: June 30, 1908 Boston 8, New York 0 9 innings Has a pitcher in his forties ever hurled a better game? Cy Young walked the first Highlander to face him, Lou Criger promptly gunned him down, and Young meanwhile retired the next 26 batters in order, crafting the third no-hitter of his career. A master of wiliness in his last years, Young struck out only 2. This game made Young the toast of the baseball nation.
Number 3: September 18, 1897 Cleveland 6, Cincinnati 0 9 innings Critics carped that Cy Young got a break from the official scorer on a ball