The town of Gilmore had given me little to go on with regard to discovering
the man behind the name of the most coveted MLB pitching award. I shouldn’t be
surprised, the town was once a bustle of activity, now however it is populated
with no more than 100 people, the main square is no more than a place where a
chance meeting with another vehicle can sometimes occur.
Further research proved to be lacking in new information,
although I found out he was one of 5 children, although I got little or no
information relating to his siblings. Conflicting reports indicated the family farm
could have been almost anywhere in a 10 mile radius or beyond.
As reports indicated Cy Young’s final resting place was not
too far, in a town named Peoli, with a few screen touches, my iPhone was happy to
guide me in the right direction.
As I headed towards Peoli, a little ways outside Gilmore the
local church was on the left side of the road, with the cemetery in plain view,
front and center was a large granite headstone with the name ‘YOUNG’ engraved in
Knowing I was still some 4 or 5 miles from Peoli, I chose to
stop anyway to find out if there was any connection between this ‘Young’ and the
‘Denton Young’ I was researching.
my surprise the large stone had 2 smaller stones either side, the one was
engraved with ‘McKinzie 1843-1928’ the other was engraved with ‘Nancy
His Wife 1847-1915′ , my prior research had given me enough information to
know I had stumbled upon the grave site for Cy Young’s parents. It was late in
the afternoon and the sun was starting to set faster than I wanted it too. I
knew I had to move on and continue heading towards Peoli before daylight had
I knew at some point I would have to abandon my trek for another
day, I already knew where a Cy Young memorial was placed. The town that liked to
call themselves the home to Cy Young was Newcomerstown, although it is probably
the closest larger town the only official claim they can make is it is listed as
the location where he eventually passed away.
the light fading I eventually came upon the Peoli Cemetery, first impressions
gave you an eerie feeling. It sat on the side of the road, with an olden style
iron entrance, I guess it was only fitting. I was later to discover that
although the cemetery is still used as the final resting place to locals, the
small building, formally a United Methodist Church, had not been in use for
almost 20 years.
I parked along side the former church building, at the front was
a hand painted sign from 2003 indicating that this was the final resting place
of baseball legend Cy Young, I took a deep breath in anticipation of what I was
about to experience.
I took a slow walk around the cemetery, looking at every name,
every engraving in the hope of discovering the great Cy Young’s grave. In my
search I found my self standing up flowers or straightening some grave side
ornaments that had been left to subside. It was then I bent down to pick up a US Flag that had fallen over, as I firmly pushed it
into the ground I looked at the engraving on the stone it was….
….that of Cy Young and his wife Roba. As I stood there reading
the inscription on this, the stone placed to show the final resting place of
probably the best baseball pitcher that ever lived, I wondered what would he
think if he new pitchers today are honored with an award bearing his name, that
today recipients of the award are voted on by people that probably only know him
by the name of the award they are bestowing on others.
This has been an experience for me, I have learned more of
Denton True ‘Cy’ Young than I thought I would, facts that I didn’t know, but now
realize why the award carries his name. In part three, the final part of
visiting Cy Young, I found an official plaque and baseball field to honor him.
In closing, did you know this man pitched a double header,
pitched back to back complete games, on the same day, to close out the 1890
season, won both games of the double header, against Philadelphia.
time of year the day light hours are shorter, yet it seems to make the day
longer, traveling at the start and end of the day in the dark gives a deceptive
lack of time to do some things.
The end of the baseball season has put us into the awards for
baseball, it always seems you get those players winning because of name or
because they have more highlight reels than others, we know the process of
awards is very much a personal choice matter, even when using stats to convince
yourself, that your guy should have won, can be very ambiguous, as with most
numbers they can be made to reflect what you want, because stats don’t show the
big picture, there is no getting away from the fact that there is no fair way to
decide on award recipients.
The National League Cy Young award, for me and it seems the vote
givers was a no brainer, no matter how hard fans of other teams may have tried
to portray the hard work their guy had done, there was no getting away from the
fact, Roy Halladay was the clear winner, so congratulations to the Doc on his
being voted as the 2010 NL Cy Young winner.
If you read my last
post, then you’d know I am apparently being confused as a ‘Pro Blog’, and
since not everyone can grasp the dark sarcastic British humor, I at times
attempt to instill into my writings, I have chosen to take a more self research
view to this post and attempt to be a little more serious, well that was the
concept when I started this post.
The Cy Young award is given out each year to an American League
and National League pitcher and many of you know it as an award which utlilizes
the name of one of baseballs greatest pitchers, as with all claims of the
greatest it is debated as to who actually is, but that’s not what this is about.
Since the baseball antics of Cy Young seem to be well documented, I decided to
look into the man before and after baseball and I must say I was a little
surprised at what I discovered.
First things first, hit google, as with most things it’s
over to Wikipedia
‘the free encyclopedia’ to discover more information. Now if your one of
those who believe everything you read, then I hope you have a happy life, but if
your one of those with some intelligence, then you know, ‘you get what you
pay for’ and when it’s ‘free’ there is always a reason. So with this in mind
I checked some of the information, seems the links to Mr. Youngs biography are,
well, missing links. The CMG
Worldwide doesn’t even list Mr. Young, or Cy Young as a client, so I headed
Since the web extends beyond the boundaries of the Wakipedia, I
was able to locate an actual place of birth for Mr. Cy Young, and with the aid of google
maps, there was, Gilmore, Ohio. Further assistance from my trusted
iPhone and a wonderful free app named ‘MapQuest’ I now had turn by turn directions
and decided on a ‘Road Trip’.
I am not sure if you’ve ever taken a road trip to somewhere that
you have no idea of what you’ll find, but I always try to picture what I think I
should find, in this case, an icon of America’s national pastime, let me see,
maybe a plaque where he lived, or at the very least where he was born, how about
the town road sign telling all visitors it’s the town where Cy Young was born.
Nope, nada, nought, nothing….
….Now you may think this is fiction, but I can tell you I went
there, I took this picture and I can also tell you just over the brow of the
hill you see in front of you is a 4 way intersection with 3 stop signs and what
you see is the most densely populated part of Gilmore, Ohio. This is a village,
not a town, it is mostly farm land and a good portion of it is Amish owned and
operated. This didn’t deter me from my quest, I was still not able to find out
where his farm land was, or his house, but I do understand it is now owned by
the Amish, it’s location however is still a mystery in the process of being
So anyone that has read a little about Cy Young, knows his name
was Denton True Young and that the nickname ‘Cy’ comes from the abbreviated name
the ‘Cyclone’ which was given him when he first visited a semi-pro club in
Canton, Ohio, due to the speed he was throwing the ball, some say it was the
destruction of the fence he threw the balls at during his tryout for the club,
some say it was the young catcher catching his throws that claimed “He
throws the speed of a cyclone”, who knows, except that Ken Burns was wrong.
With my trusty iPhone singing out my directions, I decided maybe
I could get more information at the site of his grave…..
to be continued, my next post – part two, where I visit the supposed burial
site of Mr. Denton True ‘Cy’ Young…