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.