Baseball's all-time winningest pitcher, Cy Young, was born on March 29, 1867 in Gilmore, Ohio. Twenty-three years later, he started pitching for the Cleveland Spiders of the National League and quickly established himself as one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. He played the game until the end of the 1911 season and won a whopping 511 games. To this day, Young is the MLB's all-time leader in wins, losses, complete games, innings pitched, hits allowed, and earned runs. Young died in 1955 and, the following year, MLB commissioner Ford C. Frick established a top-pitcher award in his honor. Initially, the award was given to the best pitcher in the entire MLB, but a decade later it was given to the best pitcher in both the National and American Leagues.
Don Newcombe of the Brooklyn Dodgers was the first ever recipient of the Cy Young Award; in fact, nine different pitchers won the award until Sandy Koufax became the first repeat winner in 1965. Today, there are numerous multiple Cy Young award winners, including some of the pitchers in this quiz. Given the expansion of the MLB, there has also been several big-name pitchers to never win the award. How good is your knowledge of the Cy Young's history?
Drafted first overall in the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays, Price is a five-time All-Star and two-time earned run average (ERA) leader. He first made the All-Star team in his second full season after posting a 19-6 record to go along with a 2.72 ERA and 188 strikeouts in 208.2 innings. He finished second in Cy Young voting that season. The 31 year old Vanderbilt alumnus has also pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers, and Boston Red Sox and led the American League in innings pitched in 2014 and 2016.
A veteran of 14 big league seasons, Vazquez was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the fifth round of the 1994 MLB Amateur Draft. The Puerto Rican debuted for the team as a 21 year old in the 1998 season and posted a 5-15 record to go along with an abysmal 6.06 ERA. That season served as inspiration to improve, however, and Vazquez did just that. He went on to win 165 games in the MLB between the Expos, Yankees, Diamondbacks, White Sox, Braves, and Marlins. He had the best season of his career in 2009, when he allowed just 181 hits and struck out 238 batters in 219.1 innings.
A two-time World Series champion with the Toronto Blue Jays and Florida Marlins, Leiter was originally drafted by the New York Yankees in the second round of the 1984 MLB Amateur Draft. He debuted with the team three years later and bounced back and forth between the big leagues and the minors, before a trade to Toronto helped him establish himself as a starter. The move paid dividends as he went on to make two All-Star Games as a starter and posted a career record of 162-132 with an ERA of 3.80 before retiring following the 2005 season.
Part of one of the greatest pitching staffs of all-time along with John Smoltz and Greg Maddux, Glavine was a second round pick of the Braves in 1984 who wasted little time in finding success at the Major League level. He led the National League in losses with 17 in his first full season in the league, but, two seasons later, began a three-year stretch in which he led the league in wins. He consistently pitched over 200 innings per season and is a 10-time All-Star as well as a World Series MVP. Glavine retired in 2008 with a career record of 305-203 and an ERA of 3.41.
"The Big Unit," as he was referred to due to his 6-foot-10 frame, Johnson was a second round pick of the Montreal Expos, though he only played one season with the team, otherwise baseball in Montreal might have lasted longer than it did. During his prime, Johnson was one of the game's most dominant pitchers with above-average strikeout potential. His control was shaky early in his career - he led the American League in walks three straight years - but he finished atop the leader board in strikeouts in nine seasons, including 2001, when he set a career high with 372 strikeouts in 249.2 innings.
A native of Morristown, New Jersey, Porcello made his big league debut in 2009 as a member of the Detroit Tigers. A highly-touted prospect, Porcello finished third in Rookie of the Year voting that year after posting a 14-9 record and a 3.96 ERA. He only struck out 89 batters, but his strikeout rate has since improved - he recorded a career-high 189 punch outs in 2016 as a member of the Boston Red Sox. Through nine seasons in the MLB, Porcello has a record of 111-94 to go along with a 4.23 ERA and a 1.316 walks/hits per inning pitched (WHIP).
Excluding his incredible command on the mound, the most impressive aspect of Jamie Moyer's career was his ability to pitch well into his 40s. In fact, the former sixth round pick of the Chicago Cubs pitched up until 2012 when he was 49 years old. Sure, he recorded a 5.70 ERA and 1.73 WHIP in 53.2 innings that season, but in his defense he was pitching for the Colorado Rockies, which play in Coors Field, where the ball is known to travel for miles. Moyer finished his career with a record of 269-209 to go along with a 4.25 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. He does, however, have the distinction of giving up the most home runs of any pitcher with 522.
Ignoring the alleged steroid use and controversies surrounding his career, "Rocket" Roger Clemens is arguably the greatest pitcher to ever stand on the mound. A former All-Star Game MVP and two-time World Series winner, Clemens was the 19th overall pick of the Boston Red Sox in the 1983 MLB Amateur Draft. He recorded six 20-win seasons throughout his 24-year career and led his respective league in ERA seven times. He retired following the 2007 season with a career record of 354-184 and an ERA of 3.12.
A University of Arkansas alumnus, Keuchel was selected in the seventh round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft by the Houston Astros. The left-handed hurler has spent his entire six-year career with the team and been an instrumental part of the team's resurgence. He had his best season in 2015 when he led the league in innings pitched and shutouts, while posting an ERA of 2.48 and a WHIP of 1.02. He also won a Gold Glove that season. This year, the three-time All-Star owned a record of 9-0 through 11 starts and only surrendered 48 hits in 75.2 innings pitched.
A former fourth round pick of the San Diego Padres, Kluber was dealt to the Cleveland Indians in 2010 before ever playing for the team as part of a three-team trade, which saw Cleveland send Jake Westbrook to the St. Louis Cardinals. At the time, Kluber wasn't exactly thriving in the Padres system, but the deal has paid off incredibly for the Indians. Since debuting with Cleveland in 2011, Kluber has become of the American League's most dominant pitchers. He finished third in Cy Young voting a season ago and was named to his second All-Star Game this season.
The second overall pick in the 1999 MLB Amateur Draft, Josh Beckett had to at 34 years old with seemingly plenty of good baseball left in him, but that doesn't discredit what he did on the mound during his 14-year career. The three-time All-Star was a rising star on the mound with the Marlins before being dealt to the Boston Red Sox, where his career really took off. In 2007, Beckett led the American League in wins with 20 and was named the ALCS MVP. He finished his career with a record of 138-106 and an ERA of 3.88.
Barry Zito was a polarizing figure for much of his career. The three-time All-Star and 2012 World Series winner was one of the most dominant pitchers in the league early in his career as a member of the Oakland Athletics. He was sixth in Rookie of the Year voting in 2000 and 21st in MVP voting the following season. He was simply brilliant with the Athletics, but a trade across to bridge to San Francisco cause Zito to seemingly forget how to pitch for the rest of his career, save for one season in 2012 when he posted a 15-8 record. He retired in 2015 with a career record of 165-143 to go along with an ERA of 4.04 and a WHIP of 1.337.
An eighth-round selection by the Seattle Mariners in the 1991 MLB Amateur Draft, Lowe played just one season with the team before he was dealt to the Boston Red Sox along with Jason Varitek for Heathcliff Slocumb, which was an absolute steal by Boston. Lowe went on to pitch eight seasons for the team, during which time he posted a record of 70-55 to go along with an ERA of 3.72. The two-time All-Star had his best season in 2002, when he posted a record of 21-8 and an ERA of 2.58.
Tim Wakefield was one of the most successful knuckleball pitchers of all-time. The Florida native was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the eighth round of the 1988 MLB Amateur Draft and finished third in Rookie of the Year voting in 1992 after posting a record of 8-1 to go along with a 2.15 ERA, which was even more so impressive given the fact he was drafted as a first baseman. The knuckleball helped Wakefield play until he was 44 years old. He spent the last 17 years of his career with the Boston Red Sox, a team for which he posted a record of 186-168.
No, not the country-singing, chicken-slanging musician. The other Kenny Rogers was actually one of the premier pitchers of his era. Drafted by the Texas Rangers all the way back in the 39th round of the 1982 MLB Amateur Draft, Rogers took seven years to reach the big leagues, but when he did he played well enough to play 20 seasons between six teams. A five-time Gold Glove winner, Rogers was actually at his best later in his career; he was an All-Star in three of his final five seasons and consistently pitched over 200 innings. He retired with a record of 219-156 and an ERA of 4.27.
A World Series winner and one-time winner of the ERA Title, Appier was the ninth overall pick by the Kansas City Royals in the 1987 MLB Amateur Draft. A native of Lancaster, California, the right-handed pitcher finished third in Rookie of the Year voting in 1990 and was a consistent force for the Royals for 13 seasons before being dealt to the Oakland Athletics in 1999. Appier also played for the New York Mets and Los Angeles Angels before returning to Kansas City in 2003. He retired the following season with a career record of 169-137.
The 11th overall pick in the 2006 draft, Scherzer played just one-and-a-half seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the team that drafted him, before being dealt to the Detroit Tigers as part of a three-time deal that saw the Tigers send Curtis Granderson to the New York Yankees and Edwin Jackson to the Diamondbacks. In the long run, the deal heavily favored Detroit, which got five dominant seasons out of Scherzer before he headed to Washington in free agency. To date, the 32 year old has a career record of 136-74 and an ERA of 3.29.
A four-time Gold Glove winner and five-time All-Star, Mark Buehrle was never one of the hardest hurlers to step on the mound, but he displayed incredible control and simply knew how to pitch to batters' weaknesses. More than anything, he knew how to get out of trouble. In fact, he was an All-Star in 2005 and 2006, despite leading the American League in hits allowed in both of those seasons. Buerhrle played 16 seasons between the Chicago White Sox, Miami Marlins, and Toronto Blue Jays. He retired in 2015 with a career record of 214-160 and an ERA of 3.81.
The 20th overall pick in the 1998 MLB Amateur Draft, Sabathia made his MLB debut two seasons later and finished second in American League Rookie of the Year voting after posting a 17-5 record and a 4.39 ERA. The six-time All-Star and former ALCS MVP played eight seasons with the Cleveland Indians before being dealt to the Milwaukee Brewers for a postseason run. He signed with the New York Yankees the following season and led the American League in wins in back-to-back seasons. To date, Sabathia has a career record of 231-144.
Although he hasn't exactly lived up to the expectations set by the massive contract he signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks (he has played better in 2017, however), Grienke was one of the game's most dominant pitchers for a stretch of seven seasons split between the Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers. In fact, he put up one of the all-time great seasons in 2015 after posting a 19-3 record and leading the National League in ERA (1.66) and WHIP (0.844), yet still finished second in Cy Young voting. The 33 year old has a career record of 166-104 and an ERA of 3.39.
Well on his way to becoming perhaps the greatest pitcher of all-time, Kershaw is having an historic 2017 campaign with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 29 year old has a 15-2 record through 20 starts to go along with a minuscule 2.07 ERA and 0.89 WHIP. He also has 166 strikeouts through only 139.1 innings. That's no surprise given that Kershaw has led the National League in strikeouts in three different years and led the league in ERA in four consecutive seasons from 2011 to 2014. The only thing he's still chasing is a World Series.
As impressive as Kershaw is at striking batters out, there was none better than Hall of Famer and eight-time All-Star Nolan Ryan, who is the MLB's all-time leader in strikeouts with 5,714. To be fair, the former 12th round pick of the New York Mets played 27 years in the league and is also the all-time leader in walks, but it's hard to argue statistics. In fact, it's not just longevity that contributed to Ryan's strikeout record; he led his respective league in punch outs in eight of 11 seasons from 1972 to 1982.
Long before he was the 300-plus-pound sideshow that he has become, Colón was a dominant pitcher in relatively good shape - at least for him. Originally signed by the Cleveland Indians, Colón was an All-Star in his first full season back in 1998, when he posted a 14-8 record to go along with a 3.71 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. The four-time All-Star finished fourth in Cy Young voting the following season and eventually posted eight consecutive double-digit win seasons, including in 2005, when, as a member of the Los Angeles Angels, he led the American League in wins with 21.
It's rare for closers to win the Cy Young, but there is a precedent for it. Rivera, a 13-time All-Star and surefire future Hall of Famer, was signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1990 and debuted with the team five seasons later as a starting pitcher. However, he was converted to a reliever the following season and pitched so well he finished third in Cy Young voting. He started closing games the following season, which began a streak of 15 consecutive seasons with at least 28 saves. He's the all-time leader in saves with 652.
The 17th overall selection of the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1995 MLB Amateur Draft, Halladay is an eight-time All-Star who led his respective league in innings pitched in four seasons. An eight-time All-Star, Halladay was the ace of the Blue Jays staff for over a decade before being dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies for Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor, and Travis d'Arnaud. He led the National League in wins with 21 in his first season with the team and pitched a no-hitter in his first ever playoff appearance in the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds.
Perhaps the greatest pitcher ever born in Nicaragua, Martinez made his MLB debut in 1976 as a member of the Baltimore Orioles. The veteran of 23 MLB seasons spent the first 11 years of his career in Baltimore before being dealt to the Montreal Expos, where he was the team's ace for a period of eight years. Martinez was at his best in Montreal, averaging a 3.06 ERA to go along with a combined record of 100-72. He retired in 1998 with a career record of 245-193 to go along with an ERA of 3.70 and WHIP of 1.27.
A native of Torrance, California, Wells was originally drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays and played his first six seasons in the league with the American League East team before returning to Toronto in 1999 for a dominant two-year stint in which he posted a combined record of 37-18. Though he spent most of his career with the Blue Jays, Wells might be best known as a New York Yankee, given his success with the team in his four seasons wearing the pinstripes. He played for nine teams before retiring in 2007 as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Like Tim Wakefield earlier, R.A. Dickey had to adjust as a player to continue his MLB career. The only difference is that Dickey was originally drafted as a pitcher, but arm issues caused him to look into developing a knuckleball pitch later in his career. It worked out quite well for the Texas native, as he continues to pitch at 42 years old for the Atlanta Braves. A former Gold Glove winner, the 15-year MLB veteran has a career record of 116-113 to go along with a 4.02 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.
Jake Arrieta is one of few players who has the distinction of being drafted by three MLB franchises. Fortunately for the 31 year old native of Missouri, he isn't playing with either of those teams right now - the Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, and Baltimore Orioles. He originally signed with the Orioles, but the team gave up on his after three seasons and dealt him to the Chicago Cubs, where he has since become a superstar. In five seasons with the Cubs, Arrieta has a combined record of 63-28 to go along with an ERA of 2.76 and a WHIP of 1.03.
A native of Columbus, Georgia, Hudson was originally drafted in the 35th round of the 1994 MLB Amateur Draft by the Oakland Athletics but opted to go to college instead. Three years later, he was selected in the fifth round again by the Athletics, where he spent the first six years of his career. He was later dealt to the Atlanta Braves, where he spent nine seasons and posted a combined record of 113-72. A four-time All-Star, Hudson retired following the 2015 season as a member of the San Francisco Giants.
A third round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1982 MLB Amateur Draft, Key spent nine seasons with the Canadian team and won a World Series with the team in 1992. He also won one four years later as a member of the New York Yankees. The four-time All-Star finished second in Cy Young voting in 1987 and led the American League in ERA with a 2.76 mark and WHIP with a 1.06 mark. Throughout his 15-year career, Key played for three teams and posted a record of 186-117 to go along with an ERA of 3.51 and WHIP of 1.23.
Carpenter began his career in Toronto, where he was a middle of the rotation starter capable of winning between 8-12 games. He showed flashes of brilliance but also posted seasons with an ERA of 6.26 and 5.28. As such, he was dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals, where he truly discovered himself as a starting pitcher. In his second season in St. Louis, Carpenter posted a 21-5 record to go along with a 2.83 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. The three-time All-Star and two-time World Series winner retired following the 2012 season with a career record of 144-94.
Despite being 41 years old and out of the MLB since 2008, Gagné continues to work toward a big-league comeback. He has been pitching for the Canadian national team, but is nowhere near the pitcher he was once. In fact, it seems like forever ago now, but Gagne was once arguably the most dominant pitcher in baseball. The hard-throwing reliever is a two-time winner of the Rolaids Relief Pitcher of the Year award and set a record for most consecutive successful saves. During a three-year stretch from 2002 to 2004, Gagné saved 152 games and struck out 365 batters in 247 innings.
A native of Venezuela, Hernández was signed by the Seattle Mariners in 2002 and made his debut with the team three seasons later as a 19 year old top prospect. In 12 starts as a rookie, Hernández posted a 2.67 ERA and proved himself as a pitcher on the rise in the American League, however, it wasn't until four years later when he began a stretch of seven straight seasons in which he was named to the American League All-Stars. During that time, King Félix was one of the league's most dominant pitchers and consistently finished in the top 10 of Cy Young voting.
The Toronto Blue Jays had an impressive record of drafting pitchers throughout the 1980s and Pat Hentgen was no exception. A fifth round pick in the 1986 MLB Amateur Draft, Hentgen made his big league debut with the club five seasons later as a 22 year old reliever. He didn't become a full-time starter with the Blue Jays until the 1993 season, when the team won the World Series. That year, Hentgen was named an All-Star and posted a 19-9 record to go along with a 3.87 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. He retired following the 2004 season with a career record of 131-112.
Before Mariano Rivera broke the all-time saves record, the crown was held by Hoffman, a seven-time All-Star and 18-year veteran who spent the majority of his career with the San Diego Padres. An 11th round pick of the Cincinnati Reds in 1989, Hoffman was selected by Miami in the 1992 expansion draft but shortly after dealt to the Padres in a package for Gary Sheffield. Hoffman went on record 552 saves through 16 seasons with the Padres. He also added 47 saves over two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers before retiring in 2010.
One of the greatest pitchers in Toronto Blue Jays history, Dave Stieb was named to seven American League All-Star teams throughout his 15 seasons with the Blue Jays. He first made the team as a sophomore in 1980, when he posted a record of 12-15, an ERA of 3.71, and a WHIP of 1.30. Stieb was a consistent performer for the Blue Jays, only posting a plus-5.00 ERA once in his career and once leading the American League in ERA. He also led the league in complete games with 19 during the 1982 season. He retired following the 1998 season with a career record of 175-134.
A third-round pick of the Cleveland Indians in the 1972 MLB Amateur Draft, Eckersley is one of the few pitchers to be equally distinguished as a starter and closer. The 6-foot-2 right-handed hurler started games for the first 12 years of his career and twice finished within the top 10 in Cy Young voting and earned two All-Star nods. Converted to a closer as a member of the Oakland Athletics, Eckersley went on to save 390 games in 461 opportunities. He was named an All-Star four times as a closer.
A three-time All-Star and former World Series MVP, Saberhagen was drafted in the 19th round of the 1982 MLB Amateur Draft by the Kansas City Royals. He reached the big leagues just two seasons later as a 20 year old and posted a 10-11 record and 3.48 ERA. The following season, Saberhagen posted his first of two 20-win seasons. He was at his best in 1989, when he recorded 23 wins and a 2.16 ERA to go along with a league-leading 0.96 WHIP and a strikeout to walk ratio of 4.49.
One of the most hyped pitching prospects of this generation, Strasburg hasn't exactly lived up to the massive hype surrounding his name as a teenager, but he has been a top pitcher in the National League. The hard-throwing strikeout machine was selected first overall by the Washington Nationals in 2009 and made the team the following season, starting 12 games and posting a 2.91 ERA as well as 92 strikeouts in 68 innings. He led the National League in strikeouts with 242 in 2014 and is on pace for a similar number this season if he continues to stay healthy.
A native of Kosciusko, Missouri, Oswalt had himself an excellent career in spite of being a 23rd round pick in the 1996 MLB Amateur Draft. It took him five years to reach the big leagues, but when he did he posted a 14-3 record and a 2.73 ERA, which earned him top-five consideration for both Rookie of the Year and Cy Young. A three-time All-Star and former NLCS MVP, Oswalt posted a National League-best 20 wins in 2004 and retired in 2013 with a career record of 163-102, an ERA of 3.36, and a WHIP of 1.21.
A MLB Hall of Famer and five-time ERA champion, Martinez began his career as a hard-throwing right-handed pitcher with the Los Angeles Dodgers before being dealt to the Montreal Expos in exchange for Delino DeShields. In Montreal, Martinez emerged as one of the game's great pitchers. Through just four seasons with the team, he recorded a combined record of 64-35 and led the National League in ERA in 1997 with a mark of 1.90. He set a new career-low in ERA three seasons later as a member of the Boston Red Sox, when he finished the year with a mark of 1.74.
A fifth round pick of the Detroit Tigers in the 1976 MLB Amateur Draft, Morris wasn't one of the most overpowering pitchers of his generation, but he knew how to win ball games. The St. Paul, Minnesota native twice led the league in American League in wins and consistently recorded double-digit figures in wins from 1979 through 1992, when he won a World Series with the Toronto Blue Jays. A five-time All-Star, Morris was named World Series MVP the year prior with the Minnesota Twins.
Long-haired, hard-throwing hurler Tim Lincecum had a rather rapid fall from grace and is now out of the league at just 33 years old, but he was simply dominant early in his career. The Bellevue, Washington native, affectionately referred to as The Freak, posted a sub-3.00 ERA in three of his first five seasons with the San Francisco Giants and led the National League in strikeouts in three consecutive seasons from 2008 to 2010. He owns a career record of 110-89, ERA of 3.74, and has 1,736 strikeouts through 1,682 innings.
A three-time All-Star and former Gold Glove winner, Peavy was originally drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 15th round of the 1999 MLB Amateur Draft. The Mobile, Alabama native twice led the National League in ERA with the Padres before joining the Chicago White Sox in 2009. He has since played for the Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants before calling it a career at the end of the 2016 season. Peavy retired with a career record of 152-126, an ERA of 3.63, and 2,207 strikeouts in 2,377 innings.
A native of Hickory, North Carolina, Bumgarner was selected 10th overall by the San Francisco Giants in the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft. He made his MLB debut just two seasons later as a September call-up and the following year earned a spot in the rotation. Since then, the left-handed pitcher has won three World Series, been an NLCS and World Series MVP, and even won two Silver Slugger awards for his performance at the plate. To date, the 27 year old has a record of 100-70 and an ERA of 2.99.
Pettitte is a veteran of 18 seasons who won five World Series as a starting pitcher with the New York Yankees. Drafted in the 22nd round of the 1990 MLB Amateur Draft, Pettitte defied odds en route to becoming a three-time All-Star who was considered one of the top pitchers in the American League. He posted double-digit win figures in 17 of his 18 seasons and retired following the 2013 season with a career record of 256-153. Even in his final season, at age 41, Pettitte posted a very impressive 3.74 ERA.
Inducted into Cooperstown in 2014, Maddux played 23 seasons in the MLB and was one of the league's top pitchers in terms of stuff and fielding. He allowed 4,726 hits through 5,008.1 innings and posted a career record of 355-227 and also earned a record 18 Gold Gloves for his fielding ability on the mound. A former second round pick by the Chicago Cubs, Maddux is best remembered as a member of the Atlanta Braves, where he twice led the National League in wins and was named to six All-Star teams.
An alumnus of Bowling Green State University, Hershisher was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 17th round of the 1979 MLB Amateur Draft and played the majority of his 18-year career with the Dodgers. He debuted with the National League West team in 1983 as a September call-up and, the following year, finished third in Rookie of the Year voting. He topped 15 wins six times throughout his 18-year career and retired following the 2000 season with a record of 204-150 to go along with a 3.48 ERA and 1.26 WHIP.
The most prolific MLB player to ever come from Alaska, Schilling was a second round pick by the Boston Red Sox in the 1986 draft. He debuted as a 21 year old relieve in 1988 with the Baltimore Orioles and didn't become a starting pitcher until he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1992. Schilling played nine seasons in Philadelphia and posted a 3.35 ERA and a combined record of 101-78. Toward the end of his career, he returned to Boston, the team that drafted him, and even led the American League in wins as a 37 year old.