Pieces of Our Past: October 2
Major League Baseball’s All-Time Great Cy Young Was a Great Friend of Little League
Meeting Baseball Hall of Famer Cy Young at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., was a memorable event for Samuel Cooksey of Front Royal, Va.
Mr. Cooksey, a pitcher for the Front Royal team that played in the 1953 Little League World Series, recalls meeting the legendary Young and posing for photographs on August 26, 1953.
“He was wonderful,” Mr. Cooksey said of Mr. Young, a member of the original National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum class of inductees.
With 511 wins, Mr. Young holds Major League Baseball’s untouchable record for pitching victories, and has his name is on the annual award presented to the best pitchers in Major League Baseball as voted by the baseball writers.
Mr. Cooksey has donated several artifacts, newspaper articles and photographs from a comprehensive collection maintained by his mother highlighting the Front Royal team’s trip to Williamsport.
Although the Virginians finished third place in the ’53 Series, the event is vivid in Mr. Cooksey’s mind and was cemented when he met Mr. Young.
Mr. Cooksey recalled in an article in the August 2009 Warren County (Va.) Report that Cy Young attended the Virginia-Canada game.
“That was something,” Mr. Cooksey said of the hallowed pitcher’s presence and the fact that his team played the first international team to compete in Little League World Series history.
The pitching legend was quoted by Mr. Cooksey as describing Front Royal’s 3-2 win in eight innings over the Vancouver, British Columbia, team as a, “Fine game.”
Cy Young, which is short for “Cyclone” Denton True Young, befriended Carl Stotz, the founder of Little League Baseball, in 1951 when they met during one of Mr. Stotz’s visits to Canton, Ohio. Mr. Young was there to throw out the ceremonial first pitch during that league’s opening ceremonies.
The two became fast friends and later that year, Mr. Young attended his first Little League World Series championship. He returned every year until his death in 1955 at the age of 89. A tearful Mr. Stotz served as a pallbearer at Mr. Young’s funeral.
The Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum, 525 Route 15 Highway, just south of Williamsport, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and by group appointment from Labor Day through Memorial Day. From Memorial Day to June 30, the museum is open Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. From July1 to Labor Day, the museum hours are: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The facility is accessible to the disabled.
Rates are $5 for adults; $3 for those 62 and older; $1.50 for children between the ages of 5 and 13. There is no fee for children 4 or younger. Group rates and tours are available. The museum also offers birthday parties and after-hours facility rentals.
The museum is closed on Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Days.
For more information, call the museum at (570) 326-3607; or visit www.LittleLeague.org/learn/museum.htm. Friend the Museum on Facebook, at: www.facebook.com/LittleLeagueMuseum or follow on Twitter, at: www.Twitter.com/LittleLeagueMuseum