A two-time Cy Young Award winner is headed to Newcomerstown for the annual Cy Young Days Festival next year.
Detroit Tigers famed pitcher Denny McLain will be the featured grand marshal for the 2012 festival which is set for June 22-24, 2012.
He is another interesting Cy Young Award winner who is coming to the festival, said Gary Chaney, Cy Young Days Festival Committee treasurer.
He look forward to seeing him, added Janet Chaney, Cy Young Days Festival chairman.
McLain debuted with the Tigers at the age of 19 in 1963. It was until his 1968 season that he went 31-6 with a 1.96 ERA, was selected as an All-Star, won the Cy Young Award and the American League Most Valuable Player Award, and was on the World Series-winning Detroit Tigers. He was the first pitcher in the history of the American League to win the Most Valuable Player Award and the Cy Young Award in the same season.
It was a year later that he shared the Cy Young Award with Mike Cuellar. His lifetime record includes a won-loss tally of 13191, an ERA of 3.39, and 1,282 strikeouts in 1,886 innings pitched.
However, allegations of bookmaking and associations with gamblers and underworld criminals shortened McLains career.
Following the 1968 World Series, McLain had a varied and colorful career including Las Vegas entertaining audiences with organ recitals. He would also go on to release two albums on Capitol Records, Denny McLain at the Organ (1968) and Denny McLain in Las Vegas (1969).
After being traded to several ball teams, including short stints in the minor clubs, in Des Moines and Shrevport, McLain retired. At the age of 29, he was out of baseball.
Since his retirement from major league baseball, he went on to play baseball in Canada and continued to earn money at clubs playing the organ.
McLain could be found on various sports shows on talk radio and occasionally on panel-format sports shows on network television in the Detroit area, as well as modeling Hanes underwear. Now, he writes a monthly editorial column and blogs regularly for In Play! Magazine, a Detroit sports magazine. He also authored several books. Kevin Costners character in the motion picture, The Upside of Anger was partly based on McLain.
He currently resides in Pinckney, Mich., with his wife, Sharon.
In past years, the festival has been honored to have the following major league baseball players attend the festival: Len Barker, Kevin Ritz, Rich Rollins, Gaylord Perry, Ferguson Jenkins, Dean Chance, Jim Perry, Vern Law and Bob Turley.
The Cy Young Days Festival takes place each year and honors Cy Young and the game he loved. A portion of the proceeds from the festivities helps support the local Cy Young Youth League which provides summer baseball and softball activities to approximately 300 to 400 boys and girls, ages 4 to 15.
More information about the festival can be found at www.cyyoungdaysfestival.com.