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Pre-1956 Cy Young Award Winners: Part 1

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Pre-1956 Cy Young Award Winners: Part 1

In case you weren't aware, the Cy Young Award was invented in 1956 by then-Commissioner Ford Frick to commemorate the all-time wins leader who had died the year before.

Don Newcombe won the first award in 1956, Warren Spahn won the second in 1957, and so on. The award has been tweaked over the years. For example, through the first 11 years of the award, it was given to one pitcher in all of baseball.

Then in 1967, the rule changed, giving it to one pitcher in each league. Through the first three years of the award, a player could only win it once. After a tie in 1969, the format changed, with writers voting using a points system.

The award has helped us identify who the elite pitchers in baseball are, and beyond that, it is simply fun to try to predict who will win it every year.

But do you see anything wrong with this? I certainly do. The problem is that every pitcher before 1956 is being robbed of a chance to win the award they might deserve. That's where I come in.

This is the first part of an eight part slideshow that will take you back to 1876, prior to the creation of the American League, and a time when teams had one pitcher on their roster, rather than 11. I will, in a sense, try to name all of the Cy Young Award winners that were not given out in the 80 years of baseball before 1956.

But there will be one big change—I can't really call the award the Cy Young Award, being that Cy Young was only nine at the time the National League formed. So I will give it a much more conventional name—the Most Dominant Pitcher award, MDP for short.

So, in this first of eight slideshows, I will take you back to post-Civil War America, where baseball was gaining momentum faster than Danny Almonte's fastball in the eyes of a 12 year old. Enjoy.

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