Major League pitchers strive each year to be honored with the Cy Young Award. In order to receive this recognition, all you need to do is be the best regular season pitcher in either the American or National League. A daunting task to say the least. This incredibly competitive award oftentimes leads determined pitchers to focus on winning at all costs. And at the most basic level, this makes sense. Win the most games, receive the Cy Young Award.
However, before we all jump on this “Winning is the most important thing” bandwagon, let’s take a moment to explore the man this sought-after award is named for. Denton “Cy” Young is one of the greatest players to ever play the sport of baseball. He holds the all-time most wins record at 511! An incredible achievement to be sure. A less known fact about Cy is that he also holds the record for most losses, at 316. It’s funny how starkly different we can view an individual based on the lens we look at them through. Introducing Cy with the latter mentioned statistic would garner a much different reaction than the aforementioned one. Nevertheless, it is the same man that holds both, and more importantly, both stats are vital to the ‘success’ that Cy saw during his career!
The point here is that winning is not the end-all, be-all marker of success. Rather the process itself is what fosters an individual to become great. The best athletes in the world lose; some rather consistently! Their focus is not on the outcome of each game, however. It is on their effort, their focus, and their overall individual performance. If Cy became caught up with the number of losses he was accruing, he very well may have stunted his growth as a pitcher. Conversely, he recognized that losing is part of the game, and that each loss served as a motivator to continue to improve and work to see success in the future. Strive to look at the game of baseball as Cy did.
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