James Bentley "Cy" Seymour (December 9, 1872 in Albany, New York – September 20, 1919 in New York, New York) was an American center fielder and pitcher in Major League Baseball. From 1896 through 1913, Seymour played for the New York Giants (1896–1900, 1906–1910), Baltimore Orioles (1901–1902), Cincinnati Reds (1902–1906) and Boston Braves (1913). He batted and threw left-handed.
Primarily a center fielder, Seymour was a pitcher for his first five seasons, ending with a 61-56 record and a 3.76 ERA in 140 appearances (123 as a starter). He was one of the most difficult pitchers to hit in the history of baseball; his career strikeouts per 9 innings rate of 5.1, while unimpressive today, was amazing during an era where the average was around 2.5 K/9. (For reference, that is akin to a pitcher today averaging 17-18 K/9 across his career.) According to FanGraphs.com, he is the all-time leader in K/9+ (how high the pitcher's K/9 rate is relative to the league average) among pitchers with at least 800 IP with 218, in other words he has the most impressive or "above average" K/9 rate of all time. He is also one of the most wild and uncontrollable pitchers of all time, as he is also the leader in BB/9+ (how high his walk rate is relative to league average) with 196.
Seymour enjoyed his best season in 1905, when he led the National League in batting average (.377), hits (219) RBIs (121), doubles (40), triples (21) and slugging percentage (.559). He would have won the Triple Crown but he finished second in home runs with 8, behind Fred Odwell's 9; it was one of Odwell's only two full seasons.
Seymour also set a record which has been tied but never beaten, four sacrifice flies in one game (July 25, 1902).
In a 16-year career, Seymour hit 52 home runs with 799 RBIs and a .303 average (1723 for 5682). He also collected 222 stolen bases.
- List of Major League Baseball RBI champions
- List of Major League Baseball batting champions
- List of Major League Baseball strikeout champions
- List of Major League Baseball doubles champions
- List of Major League Baseball triples champions
- List of Major League Baseball leaders in career stolen bases
- MLB All-Time Hit Batsmen List
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference
- The Deadball Era