A Collection of Baseball Firsts

Who hit the first grand slam? Who was the first pinch hitter? Presenting the nine players of Smithsonian’s “They Did It First” All-Star Team


First, and Only, 500 Game Winner: Cy Young

Cy Young
(Library of Congress)

On July 19, 1910, Cleveland pitcher Cy Young won his 500th game—a record that remains unsurpassed. (He retired with 511 wins, almost 100 more than any other pitcher in history.) While playing for Boston in 1903, he won two games in the first modern World Series to help his team win the championship. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937. In 1956, one year after his death, major-league baseball honored his memory by establishing the Cy Young Award, which is bestowed annually upon the best pitchers in the game.


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