In 1889, Denton True “Cy” Young was one of the most promising pitchers in baseball. With a lightning-fast delivery and pinpoint accuracy, Young was a rising star in the Canton, Ohio, team of the Tri-State League; he ended his minor-league rookie year with a record of 15 wins and 15 losses.
The next year, Frank Robison, owner of the Cleveland Spiders, was looking to bolster his weak team and was on the hunt for new talent. Frank set his cap for Cy (short for “Cyclone,” a nickname given to Denton by his teammates because of the fences he destroyed with his fastball). Either Robison didn’t have a lot of money to spend, or he didn’t want to pay big bucks for a guy who only had one good year in the minors—the reasons are lost to history. Whatever his reason, in the end, Robison got Cy Young for a song—or, more specifically, for a suit. Young was traded to the Spiders for a men’s suit and $250. A bargain by any standard.