Cy Twombly

This article was written by Aidan Jackson-Evans

E.P. "Cy" Twombly Sr. (WASHINGTON AND LEE YEARBOOK, 1963)E.P. “Cy” Twombly Jr. never took to sports. Despite owning a nickname that evoked major-league baseball’s all-time wins leader, and having a father who might have preferred him to become a left-handed pitcher, he became a (decidedly right-handed) artist of international renown.1 It was his father whose prowess on the mound had earned the moniker “Cy,” and who, after a brief spell in the majors, forged a half-century-long career in physical education that left a legacy that lasts to this day.

Edwin Parker Twombly Sr. was born in Groveland, Massachusetts—about 30 miles north of Boston—on June 15, 1897. He was the fourth of five children born to Allen Goss Twombly and Grace Laura Twombly (née Cann). His family had been in New England for many generations and several of the men, including Twombly’s father and grandfathers, were employed in the shoe industry in Groveland and neighboring Haverhill. Allen had started as a shoemaker before working his way up to foreman and then factory superintendent.

Twombly could be seen playing on the baseball diamond as soon as he could “toddle and throw stones.”2 He attended Groveland High School from 1911 to 1915 and pitched for the school baseball team for four years, captaining the outfit in his final year. After graduation he enrolled at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he studied business administration.3 Twombly made an immediate impression on the diamond by striking out 21 batters in the Freshman vs. Sophomore game in the fall of 1915.4

The right-hander started Lehigh’s first game of the 1916 season on the mound.5 A month later, on May 6, Twombly pitched six “masterful” shutout innings in relief vs. Penn State, and Lehigh’s student newspaper referred to the young hurler as “Cy” for the first time.6 Twombly would go by that nickname for the rest of his life.

Starring in the outfield for Lehigh was future major leaguer Clarence “Babe” Twombly, brother of another major league outfielder, George Twombly. The siblings, raised in Medford, Massachusetts, were unrelated to Cy, but crossed paths with him professionally several times. Many a careless sportswriter confused the trio or mistakenly claimed that Cy was related to the Medford Twomblys.7

In the summer of 1916 Cy returned to New England, where he turned out for several semipro teams, including the Skowhegan club of the Maine Trolley League, the Fabyan nine of the White Mountain League, and the South Groveland A.A. ball club. The Skowhegan team also featured fellow Lehigh students (and future major leaguers) Babe Twombly, Sam Fishburn, and catcher George Lees (who would briefly form a major league battery with Cy).8

Twombly’s sophomore season at Lehigh started poorly. He had more walks than strikeouts through his first seven games and had only garnered one hit in his first 15 at bats.9 Wildness and a weak bat would be consistent features of his career. The season ended on a strong note, however, as Twombly won a 16-inning battle at Holy Cross — “easily the best team in New England”10— and also threw a one-hit shutout vs. the University of Pittsburgh.11

Cy was hailed as one of the best college pitchers in the country,12 but reported interest from several major league clubs was initially rebuffed by his parents, who wished their son to continue his education.13 Twombly transferred to Albright College,14 also in Pennsylvania, but signed for Branch Rickey’s St. Louis Cardinals in January 1918 on the recommendation of Albright coach and Rickey scout Pop Kelchner.15

Spring training with the Cardinals in San Antonio proved to be a great disappointment. The 5-foot-9, 175-pound righty had kept in great shape over the winter,16 and in keeping with his reputation for strong endurance was seen running the four miles from the ballpark to the hotel.17 But a sore arm, reportedly caused by playing football the previous fall,18 prevented him from taking the mound and limited his action to a couple of innings in right field in an exhibition game.19 Upon the team’s return to St. Louis, Twombly was unconditionally released, having been unable to showcase his “stuff” except in a handful of workouts.20

The 20-year-old returned home to Massachusetts and caught on with the Worcester team of the Eastern League, which was one of the few minor league circuits operating during the war-impacted season of 1918. In his first appearance for Worcester he and the game’s starting pitcher combined to allow 13 runs in the fifth inning.21 The game was emblematic of Worcester’s season. After one 16–0 loss, in which Twombly appeared in relief, the Bridgeport Telegram declared, “Worcesters Are Getting Worster.”22 In another game Twombly was called into action in the outfield because the regular right fielder had missed the train.23 The US government’s “work or fight” order scuttled the Eastern League, which suspended operations in July. Worcester finished the season with just seven wins and at least 50 losses (sources disagree on the exact total); Twombly accounted for one of the wins and three of the losses.

With no opportunities in baseball forthcoming, Twombly briefly found employment with the National Biscuit Company in Haverhill.24 That summer he met and started a relationship with Mary Velma Richardson of Bar Harbor, Maine, who had been studying at a commercial college in Haverhill and returned to that town in August to work as a stenotypist.25 The two courted over the next two years and announced their engagement in September 1920.26

Like many other ballplayers during World War I, Twombly saw military service, though his assignment did not take him far from home. He was drafted into the Army Coast Artillery Corps in the fall of 1918 and was stationed at Fort Andrews in Boston Harbor. When the war ended on November 11, rather than seek another job in professional baseball, Twombly resumed his studies at the International YMCA College (now Springfield College) in Springfield, Massachusetts, working towards a Bachelor of Physical Education.

Alongside his studies, he taught Sunday school, spent a year teaching P.E. at a public school in Springfield, and, naturally, pitched for the college baseball team. In his first start of 1919, Cy struck out 17 Wesleyan batters en route to a 1–0 win.27 His first two years on the team were a success, culminating in his captaining the side in his third and final year.28 As graduation day neared in 1921, Twombly’s life appeared to be at a crossroads. While considering an offer to pitch for the Chicago White Sox, he was contacted by Washington and Lee University (W&L) in Lexington, Virginia, who were looking to hire an instructor of physical education.29 James McCurdy, director of Springfield’s Physical Department, had recommended Twombly as an “exceptional man in baseball,” good in basketball and gymnastics, and a “man of fine character.”30

Twombly negotiated with W&L while on the road with Springfield, and agreed to join the faculty that September at a starting salary of $2,000.31 That left the summer open for baseball, allowing him to sign for the White Sox; the Springfield Student announced both of Twombly’s new jobs on the same day.32 Before heading to Chicago, Twombly completed his graduation thesis on “The Hygiene of Clothes,” in which, among other things, he wrote of the physiological and psychic benefits of a “clean and well-fitting athletic uniform,” as well as strategies for avoiding “the so called ‘Jock strap itch.’”33

Twombly joined the White Sox in late June of 1921. Decades later, Twombly said that ChiSox manager Kid Gleason told him that he was one of the very few “really good curveball pitchers” in the American League.34 Chicago were certainly in need of pitching after two of their four 20-game winners from 1920 had been banned from baseball due to their participation in the Black Sox Scandal. Twombly’s major-league debut came at home vs. the Detroit Tigers on June 25. He allowed no hits or runs (but four walks) in three innings of relief work, and escaped a jam in the eighth when he got Ty Cobb to ground out after a trio of free passes had loaded the bases.

Six days later, Twombly faced off against the St. Louis Browns in his first major league start. He was typically wild and walked five batters in the first two innings. He settled down thereafter, and escaped further damage until a two-out, eighth-inning Ken Williams homer broke a tie and gave the Browns a 3–2 lead. Twombly was pinch-hit for in the ninth as Chicago rallied: Ernie Johnson’s two-run “hit and run squeeze” nudged the White Sox ahead and left Twombly in line for the win.35 Dickey Kerr locked down the victory in the bottom of the inning and Twombly had his first, and only, major league win.

A packed schedule meant that Twombly’s next three starts—against Cleveland, Detroit, and the New York Yankees—all came on two days’ rest or less. Cy allowed six runs in all three games and picked up two losses. In the last of these games he retired Babe Ruth twice; the Babe’s career oh-fer vs. Twombly was a point of pride for the hurler.36 A two-inning relief appearance vs. the Boston Red Sox on July 16 was Twombly’s last major league action for more than a month. Two scoreless innings of mop-up duty against the Yankees on August 17 comprised his final big league appearance; he then left for his job at Washington and Lee.37 In later years when asked about choosing a career in education over baseball, he never expressed regret at his decision, quipping that there were “too many bums in baseball in those days.”38

Before starting his new job, Twombly headed to Florida. Velma Richardson and her family had relocated to West Palm Beach, and it was there that Cy and Velma were married on September 13, 1921. They arrived in Lexington, Virginia in time for W&L’s fall semester. Twombly’s association with the university lasted for more than 50 years; he lived in Lexington for the rest of his life. In his first decade at W&L, he was charged with running many of the minor sports at the all-White male institution—including gymnastics and most notably swimming—as well as coaching the freshman teams in baseball and basketball. Athletic Director and W&L alumnus Richard “Cap’n Dick” Smith managed the varsity baseball team, but Twombly worked with the batteries in practice and acted as assistant coach. He played a key role in introducing an intramural program, and was heavily involved with its operation in the years to come. Initially holding the title of Instructor, Twombly was promoted to Assistant Professor of Physical Education in short order.

Throughout the 1920s, Twombly continued to play professional baseball in the summer, although his work at W&L meant that he would usually join a team with the season already underway. Thus, in spite of initial reports suggesting that Twombly would return to the White Sox for spring training in 1922,39 it was clear that his job in Lexington made such an arrangement impossible. His contract was sent to the Minneapolis club of the American Association, but he had no intention of playing so far from home.40 Instead, he had his contract optioned to the Danville Tobacconists of the Piedmont League (whose teams all played in Virginia and North Carolina) and joined the club in June, after the end of the W&L academic year.41

Twombly quickly became a fan favorite42 and was hailed in the local press as a “quiet, dignified man” possessing “unusual intelligence” and “fine baseball sense.”43 He finished the season with the best RA/9 in the circuit and the best W-L record on the last-placed Tobacconists,44 leading Danville to secure Cy for 1923 by purchasing his contract outright from Minneapolis.45 The Tobacconists captured that season’s second-half title to set up a best-of-seven series with the first-half winners, Greensboro. Twombly won the third game of an eventual sweep in front of the grateful local rooters.46 A hat passed around in the stands resulted in a $100 bonus for the players,47 and the championship team was feted with a congratulatory supper by a fan.48 Twombly finished the year with a 16–7 record and the best W-L record among those with 20 games played.49 At the plate he went 6-for-73 for a lowly .082 batting average, although a rare home run late in the season provoked humorous comparisons to Babe Ruth.50

Danville sold Twombly’s contract to Birmingham of the Southern Association,51 but once again he had no interest in traveling west (decades later Twombly related that he had bought out his own contract).52 Instead, he spent the summer of 1924 visiting family in Florida and Massachusetts (destinations that, along with Maine, he continued to visit throughout his life), before catching on with the Dilboy Post team of the semipro Boston Twilight League.53 His first child, Ann Eloise, was born that summer in West Palm Beach.

Twombly returned to the (Greater) Boston Twilight League in 1925, this time pitching for the Manchester, New Hampshire club.54 His pitching contributed to a 16-game Manchester winning streak in the second half, which allowed them to overhaul first half winners Nashua and force an all-New Hampshire playoff. Manchester lost the resulting best-of-seven series by four games to one, but Twombly was not present as he had returned to W&L for the fall semester.55

After showing up the youngsters in the 1926 “veterans vs. varsity” ballgame at W&L,56 Twombly began another season in the Twilight League, this time with the Lynn General Electric team.57 But in early June he signed for the Newark Bears of the International League, his highest profile assignment since leaving the White Sox. Twombly joined the club just as they were embarking on a run of winning 29 of 32 encounters. A successful season (his 2.97 ERA was fifth-best in the league)58 caused Twombly to put more emphasis on his summer job than at any time since joining W&L. He requested a two-month, unpaid leave of absence so he could be with the Bears for the start of the 1927 season. His co-workers in the physical education department agreed to cover his duties and the school allowed Twombly this sabbatical.

When Twombly joined Newark in April, his manager and the local press marveled at his physical condition, which was attributed to the demands of his job in Lexington and to regular games of “suicide” at W&L.59 A preseason victory over the Philadelphia Athletics, in which Twombly held Ty Cobb and former teammate Eddie Collins hitless, made an even greater impression.60 The year was not to be a success. A 7.15 ERA in 34 innings resulted in his sale to Providence of the Eastern League in late June; he was released after a similarly disappointing spell. The just-turned 30-year-old finished the year by pitching in a handful of games for Lynn in the New England League.

Twombly returned to semipro ball in 1928 by turning out for the Covington Collegians (the roster of which was largely made up of players from academic institutions in Virginia),61 which also allowed him to remain close to home after the birth of his son on April 25. Several friends suggested naming the newborn Alfred Smith Twombly, as the baby had arrived hours after Washington and Lee’s mock Democratic National Convention had named Al Smith as their candidate.62 Ultimately Twombly went with the more conventional Edwin Parker “Cy” Twombly Jr. (Thirty-one years later the moniker “Cy” formally entered the Twombly family tree when Cy Jr. named his son Cyrus Alessandro.)

The summer of 1929 was Twombly’s last playing professional baseball. He returned to the New England League, this time representing Lewiston, Maine. In his first outing of the year he was hit in the head by a bouncing comebacker and left the game, perhaps an indication that it was time to end his playing career.63 He finished the season with a 7-7 record. Needing a new summer activity, he turned his attention to golf, a sport that, along with swimming, defined his career at Washington and Lee. In 1930 golf was added as a minor sport at W&L, with Twombly as coach. It would be more than four decades before W&L needed another golf coach.

It was perhaps no surprise that Twombly took to golf so quickly, 64 given his physical prowess and commitment to regular practice in all sports. On the W&L basketball court, he apparently had no peer when it came to making baskets from outside the free-throw circle,65 and another coach took to daily training in an attempt to challenge Twombly’s supremacy at horseshoes.66 W&L’s student newspaper claimed Twombly had few superiors when it came to gymnastics,67 a belief supported by the fact that Cy was still able to do back-flips in his fifties.68

In the pool, Twombly had transformed the swimming program from one that failed to secure any meets with other schools in the early 1920s, to a powerhouse in the state and conference championships. From 1936 to 1939 the swim team won four Southern Conference championships and reeled off 54 consecutive wins in dual meets.69 Twombly’s coaching success, his ubiquity around campus and his genial manner made him a popular figure. In 1935 the student paper named him “most beloved coach,”70 and the swim team held a dinner in honor of the man they affectionately called “Papa Twomble” after their third consecutive conference championship.71 W&L’s yearbook noted that Cy’s “leadership and personality earn for him the respect and admiration of all who know him,”72 and the honorary fraternity Omicron Delta Kappa elected Cy to its ranks in recognition of his services to the school.73 Cy was such a familiar figure (he was once reckoned to be the best-known character on campus excepting the school dog)74 that he could be identified from afar by his “aristocratic looking ears” alone.75

Throughout World War II an even greater emphasis than usual was put on physical education at W&L, with Twombly—now associate professor and head of the Physical Education department—leading the way. Varsity sports were suspended, but a compulsory program of physical fitness was instituted for all students.76 Twombly worked closely with the army, whose School of Special Service (eventually renamed the School for Personnel Services) had temporarily moved into the college. After the war a director of the army program wrote a superlative-filled letter to W&L, commending Twombly on his assistance and remarking on his “outstanding” abilities as a teacher, while noting that his “quiet manner” made it easy to overlook his contributions.77 Twombly’s 25th year of service at W&L was rewarded with a promotion to full professor in 1946, and in December he took a well-earned vacation—his first in four years.78

In 1954 Twombly was chosen to succeed the retiring “Cap’n Dick” Smith as Athletic Director of W&L.79 He continued to coach golf and swimming, and the final conference title of his coaching career was won in 1955 when his golfers secured an upset victory at the Southern Conference tournament.80 He stepped down as swimming coach after the undefeated 1960 season, handing over the reins to his assistant, Norris Eastman.81 The humidity of the swimming pool had been overwhelming his sinuses and the stress of competition was also proving too much for the 63-year-old. “I’m getting too old for the excitement and the pressure of the meets,” said Twombly. “In golf, I’ll just pick ’em up every four or five holes and not worry so much how things are going.”82

Twombly planned to retire as Athletic Director and head of the physical education department in 1968, but stayed in the post for another year after his would-be successor died in an accident.83 Even after retiring, he continued to coach the golf team and hold the position of lecturer. In 1972 Twombly was honored with a banquet marking his 50th year of employment at W&L. Gifts were bestowed on him and his wife, Velma, including a framed copy of a proclamation declaring May 14 to be “Cy Twombly Day” in Lexington. Earlier in the day more than 50 people had participated in the Cy Twombly Invitational Golf tournament.84

In April 1974, almost 53 years after agreeing to join W&L, Twombly informed the school president that “all good things must come to end” and announced his complete retirement. “I have enjoyed every minute.”85

Twombly died in Savannah, Georgia, on December 3, 1974, at the age of 77. He and Velma were visiting friends on their way to winter in Florida, when he suffered a heart attack.86 He was buried in Lexington. Velma was buried beside him after her death in 1987.

A new pool at W&L, completed in 1972, was named after Twombly.87 Two awards in his name—the E. P. “Cy” Twombly Most Improved Golfer Award and the Twombly-Eastman Swimming Trophy (awarded to the swimmer who “exhibits outstanding effort and teamwork”)—are given annually at the university.88, 89 In 1990 Cy was elected to the W&L athletics hall of fame—the first non-W&L graduate to be honored.90 Two scholarships have been set up in his name, both of which have received contributions from his son’s foundation.91

Cy Twombly believed in the power of sports to produce a healthy body and mind, and spent a lifetime sharing that ethos with his students. There were two justifications for college sports, according to Cy: “enjoyment and development of individual character.” But, always a true competitor, he added: “by golly, I like to win.”92



This biography was reviewed by Bill Nowlin and Norman Macht and checked for accuracy by SABR’s fact-checking team.



Sources for the biographical information provided above include family and military data accessed via Familysearch.org; employment history accessed via the Washington and Lee Digital Archives; university correspondence and assorted records provided by Seth McCormick-Goodhart of Special Collections and Archives at Washington and Lee; Cy Twombly file maintained at the Giamatti Research Center, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown, New York; statistics from Baseball-Reference.com; and various newspaper articles listed in the endnotes.

Photo credit: Washington and Lee University Yearbook, 1963. Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1999, accessed online.



1 Claudia Schwab, “Returning to His Lexington Roots,” Lexington (Virginia) News-Gazette, October 12, 1994: 2.

2 “‘Cy’ Twombly Holding Five Jobs, According To University Directory,” Ring-tum Phi, November 11, 1925: 3.

3 The Epitome: The Book of the Class of 1918 (Lehigh University, 1918), 149.

4 “Prospects of Baseball Team,” Brown and White, March 24, 1916: 1.

5 “Lehigh Defeats Albright College,” Brown and White, April 7, 1916: 1.

6 “Lehigh Trounces Penn State,” Brown and White, May 9, 1916: 4.

7 Cy and Babe played on opposite sides of Chicago in 1921, and Cy pitched to Babe a handful of times in the International League in 1926. Cy and George were opponents (1925) and then teammates (1926) in the Boston Twilight League. When Cy died, The Sporting News erroneously reported that George was his brother.

8 “Amateurs and Semipros,” Boston Globe, September 6, 1916: 7.

9 “Base-Ball Records,” Brown and White, May 29, 1917: 6.

10 “Lehigh’s Great Ball Team,” Alumni Bulletin of Lehigh University, August 1917: 26.

11 “Lehigh Beats Pitt, 28 to 0,” Pittsburgh Post, June 14, 1917: 8.

12 “Rickey Signs Twombly,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 26, 1918: 8.

13 “Parker Twombly Signs to Play with Cardinals,” Boston Globe, January 12, 1918: 4.

14 “Debate of Suffrage at Teachers’ Institute,” (Lebanon, Pennsylvania) Evening Report, January 15, 1918: 8.

15 “Kelchner Brings Learned Mind to Scouting,” The Sporting News, January 3, 1935: 2.

16 “Rickey Will Send 1918 Contract to Pitcher Langdon,” St. Louis Star, January 18, 1918: 13.

17 “Pitcher Sherdell Pleases Manager in Practice Work,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 19, 1918: 18.

18 “Cardinals Will Send Walker, Twombly, Menze and Kotzelnick to the Minor Leagues,” St. Louis Star, April 3, 1918: 13.

19 “Bad Start Beats Kelly Field Club,” San Antonio Express, March 20, 1918: 16.

20 “Former Lehigh Star Released By Cards,” St. Louis Star, April 8, 1918: 15. See also “Cardinals–Browns’ Opening Called Off Initial Game Will Be Played Tomorrow,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 6, 1918: 10.

21 “Grays Cinch Game in Fifth Inning,” (Bridgeport, Connecticut) Times and Evening Farmer, May 24, 1918: 12.

22 “Worcester Are Getting Worster,” Bridgeport (Connecticut) Telegram, June 15, 1918: 20.

23 “Planters Take 2 From Worcester; Second Overtime,” Bridgeport Telegram, June 28, 1918: 16.

24 Edwin Parker Twombly’s World War I Draft Registration Card.

25 “About Town,” Bar Harbor Times, August 17, 1918: 5.

26 Bar Harbor Times, September 29, 1920: 8.

27 Springfield College Yearbook, 1920 (Springfield College, 1920), 86.

28 “Baseball,” Springfield Student, February 18, 1921: 3.

29 W&L had hired a graduate of Springfield, Ernest E. Brett, the previous year. Brett and Twombly would become brothers-in-law: Twombly married Velma Richardson, and Brett married Velma’s sister Vesta.

30 Letter from James H. McUrdy to John W. H. Pollard in Washington and Lee files, May 12, 1921.

31 Subsequent promotions and raises meant that Twombly was earning over $9,000 by the time he retired in the late 1960s.

32 “Seniors Sign Up,” Springfield Student, May 27, 1921: 2, and “Scoop’s Spotlight,” Springfield Student, May 27, 1921: 4.

33 Edwin P. Twombly, “The Hygiene of Clothes” (Springfield College, 1921), unpublished dissertation, 66-67.

34 “48 Years,” (Charleston, West Virginia) Gazette-Mail, March 30, 1969: 30.

35 I. E. Sanborn, “Hooper Maimed As Sox Recruit Tames Brownies by 4 to 3,” Chicago Tribune, July 2, 1921: 14.

36 Zach Kramer, “Following the Big Blue,” Ring-tum Phi, April 6, 1935: 3. and Gordon Sibley, “Colorful Coach Was Outstanding Rookie Who Foiled Baseball’s ‘Murderer’s Row’ to Bring Himself into National Prominence,” Ring-tum Phi, May 16, 1950: 2.

37 “Twombly Leaves Gleasons to Return to University,” Chicago Sunday Tribune, August 28, 1921: A1.

38 Gordon Sibley, “Colorful Coach Was Outstanding Rookie Who Foiled Baseball’s ‘Murderer’s Row’ to Bring Himself into National Prominence,” Ring-tum Phi, May 16, 1950: 2.

39 “Just for Fishermen,” (Fort Wayne, Indiana) News-Sentinel, September 4, 1921: 9.

40 “48 Years,” (Charleston, West Virginia) Gazette-Mail, March 30, 1969: 30.

41 “Two Games Here This Afternoon; New Pitcher Here,” Danville (Virginia) Bee, June 9, 1922: 1.

42 “Ladies’ Day at Park; Twombly Will Deliver,” Danville Bee, May 18, 1923: 12.

43 “Herb Murphy’s Bunch Reported Showing Up Well,” Danville Bee, April 14, 1923: 9.

44 “1922 Pitching Records of the Piedmont League,” The Sporting News, October 26, 1922: 8.

45 “Rain Prevented Game Saturday,” Danville Bee, April 16, 1923: 9.

46 “Greensboro Falls for the Third Straight Time,” Danville Bee, September 20, 1923: 8.

47 “Grandstand Gaff,” Danville Bee, September 20, 1923: 8.

48 “Players to Be Supper Guests,” Danville Bee, September 20, 1923: 1.

49 “Official Averages, Piedmont League, 1923,” Danville Bee, September 28, 1923: 13.

50 “Grandstand Gaff,” Danville Bee, September 15, 1923: 8.

51 “Murphy Sells Three Men to Birmingham,” Danville Bee, September 12, 1923: 9.

52 “48 Years,” Gazette-Mail, March 30, 1969: 30.

53 “Fast Dilboy Nine Will Face North Cambridge Tonight,” Boston Globe, July 22, 1924: 16A.

54 “Manchester Scores League Win, Then Loses,” Boston Globe, July 3, 1925: 8.

55 “Sport Chatter,” Fitchburg (Massachusetts) Sentinel, September 11, 1925: 10.

56 “Twombly Pitches Team of Veterans to a 2 to 1 Victory,” Ring-tum Phi, May 22, 1926: 1.

57 “Lexington,” Richmond (Virginia) Times-Dispatch, June 6, 1926: Part 2, 17.

58 “1926 Pitching Records of the International League,” The Sporting News, January 27, 1927: 8.

59 “‘Cy’ Twombly Hurling Well,” Ring-tum Phi, April 13, 1927: 1.

60 “15,000 See Bears Beat Athletics, 7–3,” New York Times, April 11, 1927: 25.

61 “Beckley Invades Covington Camp Minus Services of Three Regulars,” Beckley (West Virginia) Post-Herald, August 8, 1928: 5.

62 “‘Cy, Jr.’ Arrives Late For Mock Convention,” Ring-tum Phi, April 25, 1928: 1.

63 “Lewiston Clubs Duke Sedgewick, Wins 10–6,” Boston Globe, June 21, 1929: 28.

64 Twombly’s success on the links included setting the course record (unbroken in his lifetime) at the Lexington Golf Club; hitting two holes-in-one in a matter of weeks; playing many times with legendary golfer Sam Snead; and winning a pro-am tournament with Johnny Bulla, a former runner-up at The Open.

65 J.M. Dean, “General Gossip,” Ring-tum Phi, November 25, 1930: 3.

66 Everett Cross, “Campus Comment,” Ring-tum Phi, November 6, 1931: 3.

67 Zach Kramer, “Following the Big Blue,” Ring-tum Phi, February 1, 1935: 3.

68 Pamela Simpson, “Cy Twombly, The Lexington Connection,” Shenandoah, 2007: 9.

69 The Calyx: Volume Forty Five (Washington and Lee University, 1939), 175.

70 Zach Kramer, “Following the Big Blue,” Ring-tum Phi, May 17, 1935: 3.

71 Robert Nicholson, “Following the Big Blue,” Ring-tum Phi, February 16, 1937: 3. “Swimming Team Will Give Banquet in Honor of Coach Cy Twombly,” Ring-tum Phi, April 9, 1937: 3.

72 The Calyx: Volume Forty Five (Washington and Lee University, 1939), 175.

73 “Honorary Fraternity Names ‘Cy’ Twombly as Faculty Member,” Ring-tum Phi, December 11, 1935: 1.

74 “Speaking of Swimming, Golf or I-M?—You Mean Twombly,” Ring-tum Phi, February 10, 1939: 1.

75 Lea Booth, “Following the Big Blue,” Ring-tum Phi, April 19, 1938: 4.

76 “Compulsory Physical Education Program Adopted for Students,” Ring-tum Phi, March 3, 1942: 1.

77 Letter from Percy O. Clapp to Francis P. Gaines in Washington and Lee files, January 3, 1946.

78 “Swimmers Still Practice as Twombly Vacations,” Ring-tum Phi, December 19, 1946: 3.

79 “Cy Twombly Picked as Acting W&L Athletic Director,” Ring-tum Phi, March 16, 1954: 3.

80 “Generals Cop Southern Conference Golf Title,” Ring-tum Phi, May 10, 1955: 3.

81 “Tankers Have Unbeaten Season, First in 22 Years,” Ring-tum Phi, February 26, 1960: 3.

82 “Athletics,” Washington and Lee Alumni Magazine, Winter 1961: 15.

83 “Athletic Changes: Corrigan Becomes New AD,” Washington and Lee Alumnus, April 1969: 17.

84 “Twombly Is Honored on 50th Anniversary; Scholarship Is Established in His Name,” Alumni Magazine of Washington and Lee, July 1972: 19.

85 Letter from Cy Twombly to Robert E. R. Huntley in Washington and Lee files, April 15, 1974.

86 Fred Havasy, “Cy Twombly Dies,” Ring-tum Phi, December 5, 1974: 1.

87 Kenneth Ries, “Water-polo Pioneers,” Alumni Magazine of Washington and Lee, September 1980: 21.

88 “E.P. “Cy” Twombly Most Improved Golfer Award,” https://wlu.prestosports.com/sports/mgolf/info/Golf_Awards/Cy_Twombly_Award, accessed June 16, 2021.

89 “Washington and Lee Men’s Swimming Awards,” https://wlu.prestosports.com/sports/mswim/info/Swimming_Awards/index, accessed June 16, 2021.

90 “Former Athletes, Coaches Slated for September Induction into Hall of Fame,” Alumni Magazine of Washington and Lee, July 1990: 29.

91 Jeff Hanna, “New Home for Cy Twombly in NYC,” The Columns, June 13, 2012, https://columns.wlu.edu/new-home-for-cy-twombly-in-nyc, accessed June 16, 2021.

92 “W&L Alumni Honor Coach,” (Lynchburg, Virginia) News, February 24, 1968: 12.

Full Name

Edwin Parker Twombly


June 15, 1897 at Groveland, MA (USA)


December 3, 1974 at Savannah, GA (USA)

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