That day, residents of Newcomerstown staged an elaborate celebration in honor of Young's 80th birthday, featuring a dinner attended by 800 friends, admirers and notable persons, including Ohio Gov. Thomas J. Herbert and nearly his entire cabinet; Bill Veeck, president of the Cleveland Indians; and Waite Hoyte, a former pitching star for the New York Yankees.
Young began his day at 10:30 a.m. at a session with photographers and autograph seekers. "Wherever he looked, he could get an inkling of the esteem in which he is held in this community, for the business section was decked out in festive colors for the occasion and every store displayed a 'Happy Birthday Cy Young' placard," the Newcomerstown News reported.
In the afternoon, a large crowd gathered at the intersection of Cross and Main streets for a program featuring the Newcomerstown High band.
"Folks, this is certainly a wonderful celebration," Young said. "I appreciate all that you have done and I want to thank all who helped in the celebration of my 80th birthday. I hope I'll wind up like I am today — hale, hearty and ready to go."
Because there was no place large enough in Newcomerstown, the dinner was served at five different locations — the high school auditorium, the Presbyterian church, Trinity Methodist Church (now Christ United Methodist Church), the American Legion hall and Stoffer's restaurant. The band mothers served the meal in the auditorium.
The highlight of the day was a program in the high school auditorium which was broadcast live on WHBC radio in Canton.
"As Cy walked up to the WHBC microphone the throng rose to its feet in one sweeping surge and filled the auditorium with thundering applause," the Newcomerstown News said.
"Cy had not much to say. Even if he had, it could have scarcely been heard above the tremendous noise of the hand-clapping."
The governor heaped praise on Young, saying that he "is a man who throughout his life has brought credit not only to himself but to his family, his town, his country and the game he represented so magnificently."
Young was given the keys to a new cream-colored Kaiser sedan automobile by Veeck.
"Before I turn over the ignition keys, you'll have to sign this contract," Veek joked. "I'm in a jam for pitchers, believe me."
Young, with a big smile on his face, signed the contract, but said he hadn't seen how much he was going to get paid.
"It's something under $85,000," the Indians owner responded.
Then Newcomerstown Mayor Ellis Barthalow presented him with a large key to the village. "Newcomerstown is proud of Cy Young, not only because of his pitching record but because he is a fine neighbor and a true American," the mayor declared.
Keynote speaker was Waite Hoyt, who as a pitcher won 238 games during his career.
"I stand in awe of Cy Young," said Hoyte, a Cincinnati broadcaster. "I just cannot comprehend a man who could win 511 games."
Also on the stage that evening was "Sad Sam" Jones of Woodsfield, a former Yankees pitcher who won 237 games.
"We know, Sam and I, probably better than any other person present, what it means to have won 511 games," Hoyte said.
State Sen. George Shurtz read a resolution passed unanimously by the Ohio Senate in Young's honor, and the veteran pitcher was presented with a large can of Granger Rough Cut pipe tobacco on behalf of Chris Yanai, a local jobber, who promised to keep Young supplied with smoking tobacco for the rest of his life.
Others in attendance at the celebration included U.S. Rep. Henderson H. Carson of Canton, E.H. Hanhart, chairman of the Tuscarawas County Democratic Party, and Paul J. Atkinson, president of the local Chamber of Commerce, which sponsored the event.
Jack Darrah of East Liverpool and George Westlake of Belmont, teammates of Young's in 1890 when they were all members of a Canton minor league team, were on hand to greet Young. Both men were past age 80.
Entertainment during the dinner and program was provided by the Elks barbershop quartet, dressed in Gay '90s outfits, complete with silk hats and handlebar mustaches, and accordionist Velma Griffin (later a Times-Reporter correspondent) and vocalist Gertrude H. Dick of Dellroy, who were dressed as gypsies.
Cy Young's memorable birthday celebration concluded with a reception that evening at the Elks Lodge.
(Jon Baker is a reporter for The Times-Reporter, Dover-New Philadelphia)