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On May 5, 1904, Denton True Young “Cy” Young37 years old, pitched the first perfect game in modern Major League Baseball history when the Boston Americans defeat the Philadelphia Athletics, 3-0.
Young struck out eight of the 27 batters he faced. and benefited from excellent defense in a game that is completed in just 83 minutes.
As “unparalleled feat”, a newspaper called the achievement. A perfect game is achieved when a pitcher retires all the batters he faces in order, with none reaching base.
Two other pitchers, Lee Richmond Y John Wardrecorded perfect games in 1880, but the rules back then were significantly different from the rules of modern baseball, which were established in 1893.
Before modern rules, it took eight balls to walk a batter and the distance from the pitcher’s mound to home plate was 45 feet. (The distance is 60 feet, 6 inches today.)
Young’s perfect game was part of his then-record 45-inning scoreless streak.
Volatile A’s pitcher Rube Waddell talked to Young, throwing him off balance before and during the game. According to legend, when Young struck out Waddell to end the game, he yelled, “How about that, hayseed?”
Apparently, the first modern perfect game also started one of baseball’s most notable superstitions: not distract the shooter if he is about to hit a perfect game. Around the sixth inning, realizing that Young was on the brink of history, his teammates stopped talking to him to prevent the future Hall of Famer from losing his focus.
Young, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937, finished his 22-year career with 511 wins, 94 ahead of Walter Johnson, who is second.
In 1956, MLB created the Cy Young Award to honor the best pitcher in the game. Beginning in 1967, the award was given to the best pitchers in the National and American leagues.