Michael Young’s major league career comes to an end Friday when he announces his retirement in Arlington Texas where he spent 12 years with the Texas Rangers. The shortstop turned utility infielder and designated hitter spent 13 seasons in the majors where he played for three teams including the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers. Last season, Young was traded to the Dodgers and served as a utility hitter for their post-season run. But as it comes to happen to all professional athletes, time finally caught up to the 37 year-old.
The Rangers issued a statement Thursday night about their former All-Star:
“The Texas Rangers want to congratulate Michael Young on his outstanding Major League career. For 12 seasons in a Rangers uniform, he was a standout performer on the field and the consummate role model in the community.
“Michael is a leader, and he demonstrated those skills every day of the season, year in and year out. We are proud to say that Michael Young is this franchise’s all-time leader in games, at bats, runs, hits, doubles, triples and total bases. He excelled at multiple positions and came through in the clutch.
When Texas advanced to postseason play in 2010 after an 11-year drought, teammates and fans everywhere were especially happy that Michael had reached the playoffs. And he was an integral performer in those Rangers’ back-to-back World Series runs.
“The Rangers wish Michael, his wife, Cristina, and sons Mateo, Emilio, and Antonio the very best as they enter a new chapter in their lives. And we want them to know there will always be a place for the Youngs in the Texas Rangers family.”
Young walks away from the game as one of the most accomplished players of the past decade. In 12 seasons with the Rangers he has amassed several standing records with the team including games played (1,774), hits (2,178), at bats (7,221), runs scored (1,057), doubles (406), triples (55), extra base hits (632), and total bases (3,210). He also played in 43 post-season games with both the Rangers and Dodgers despite not making the playoffs for the first time in his career until 2010.
The seven-time All-Star was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 25th round of the 1994 draft, but did not sign with the team and opted to attend the University of California Santa Barbara. He was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1997 First-Year Players Draft and was traded to the Rangers in July of 2000. The following September, Young would begin his illustrious career in Texas.
Young retires as a career .300 hitter to go along with 2,375 hits, 1,030 runs batted in, 185 homeruns, and an on-base percentage of .346 (according to baseball-reference.com). He was a six-time All-Star while with the Rangers and was named the 2006 All-Star Game MVP. Additionally, his durability on the field resulted in an average of 155 games played a season and Young belted over 200 hits in six seasons, including five straight years from 2003 to 2007. Despite only winning one career Gold Glove Award in 2008, Young finishes his career with a fielding percentage of .979 to go along with 4,319 assists in over 1,800 games played.
It was expected that Young would get offers from several major league teams this upcoming season to play primarily as a utility player, but he ultimately opted to step away from the game to spend time with his family.
“(He’s) one of the greatest Rangers of all time,” said former teammate Mark Teixeira. “A guy who may not have gotten the hype that some players do in Major League Baseball, but inside the game with his colleagues, he was as well respected as anyone in the game.”
Young never got the World Series ring he spent his career chasing and was not able to bring a championship home to Texas. It is unlikely that Young will ever make it into Cooperstown, but in an era surrounded by PED scandals, Michael Young walks away from the game as one of the classiest and most respected players to ever grace the majors.