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The 57 Cy Young Award winners who played college baseball

The 57 Cy Young Award winners who played college baseball

First given in 1956, the Cy Young has been awarded annually to the best pitcher in Major League Baseball. One representative from the American League and National League make up the pair of honorees. 

We’ve accumulated a list below of 57 former MLB Cy Young Award winners who once played college baseball for current NCAA institutions (including repeat winners). We also picked a Cy Young standout from each decade to be featured in a brief summary of their college careers.

Last decade’s decisions were most excruciating due to the influx of talent that journeyed from college to Major League Baseball.

MVP: The 53 MLB MVP winners who played college baseball

Sandy Koufax | Cincinnati | 3x Cy Young winner (’63, ’65, ’66)

One season at the University of Cincinnati was all it took for the Brooklyn Dodgers to sign Sandy Koufax.

He was not the same pitcher at that point. Cincinnati prepped him for professional ball by teaching him pitch control. And when his fastball and curveball reached refinement, the Koufax of MLB lore appeared. 

“All he needed was somebody to teach him control. A kid his age throwing 90 miles an hour – this was 1954 we were talking about. He was strong. He wasn’t at all cocky — just a nice guy,” Cincinnati teammate Ike Misali said of Koufax in 2014.

Originally, the southpaw enrolled as a liberal arts major with the intention of transferring to the school of architecture. Walking on to the basketball team was the next priority. One semester later, he joined the baseball team. He found his groove in his lone season as a Bearcat, going 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA and leading the team with 51 strikeouts in 32 innings.

Dan Gilbert, his catcher at Cincinnati, reveled in 2014 at how unbelievable the break on his curveball was, “but the blazing fastball I will never forget. You couldn’t hit it.” His battery mate would place a sponge inside his catcher’s mitt to help absorb any residual shock from the 90-plus miles per hour fastball.

Spending all 12 seasons of his career with the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, the eventual first ballot Hall of Famer pitched four no-hitters and a perfect game, and was a three-time Triple Crown winner, five-time National League ERA leader and two-time World Series MVP — one of the greatest to ever man the mound.

IN COOPERSTOWN: Where National Baseball Hall of Famers played college baseball

Honorable mention: Bob Gibson | Creighton | 2x Cy Young winner (’68, ’70)

Two star basketball and…

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