Winning v. Losing: Nicknames Required
Have you ever noticed that nicknames seem to be required in baseball? For the stand-outs, anyway. Name a baseball superstar who isn’t known by his nickname. Dizzy Dean… Shoeless Joe … Jim Palmer… Okay, maybe not all.
Anyway, Cy Young was one of the best pitchers in the history of the sport, but his name is not Cy, it’s Denton. At his first professional try-out, he pitched a ball so fast that it smashed into the wooden fence behind home plate and tore it up. Someone said it looked like a cyclone had hit it, a reporter shortened it to “Cy,” and it stuck. He and a couple other pitchers with cyclonic fast balls are thought to be the reason the pitcher’s mound was moved back five feet, to where it is now.
Young retired from baseball in 1912, but he set a record that still stands today for the most career wins: 511. Nobody else even comes close. But here’s what I find even more interesting: He also still holds the record for the most games lost: 316.
See, losing isn’t the problem. The problem is letting it discourage you. I don’t know what the statistic is, but I do know that, in the words of author Matthew Keith Groves, “Winners lose much more often than losers.” Mr. Groves goes on to say: “So if you keep losing but you’re still trying, keep it up! You’re right on track.”
I know this isn’t the first time you’ve heard that, phrased a hundred different ways. But if you keep hearing it – and by you, I mean me – it will get in.