The Rangers honored Michael Young in a pregame ceremony Saturday night, as the city of Arlington named May 17 “Michael Young day”.
Along with the ceremony came a $10,000 donation to the Michael Young Family Foundation, a speech from Vernon Wells, a four-day trip to Disney World from his former teammates, and a special tribute that included messages from Mike Napoli, David Murphy, Derek Jeter, Mike Modano and Cliff Lee, just to name a few.
“Just seeing some former teammates up on the screen, guys I’ve played with and against over the years, it really means a lot” said Young. “It was incredibly well done. I couldn’t have asked for anything close to that and I’m not even sure I deserve it.”
You deserve it Michael. After an amazing career, Young retired with the Rangers on January 31, 2013, as the franchise’s all time leader in hits, runs, doubles, triples, and total bases. Young was a 7-time All-Star, owns 5 Rangers player of the year awards, and seven seasons in which he batted over .300, another club-record. I could go on about all of the achievements Young has accomplished, but it’s easier to tell you that simply put, Michael Young is the greatest Texas Ranger of all time.
On and off the field, Young will always be regarded as one of the DFW greats. Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Witten were both at the ceremony tonight, honoring their baseball counterpart, and supporting their friend. Young knows that his bond with the other Dallas legends is special, and thinks it has a lot to do with the place they all call home.
“I don’t think you see that in very many towns” said Young. “We all know each other, we all keep in touch, we all pull for each other. We’ve spent a massive chunk of our careers playing in the same town, we have the same fans. I think it’s very special.”
At some point, Young is sure to make his way back to baseball, though he guaranteed no new positions will be taken on this year. Young has always been a profound speaker, and says he wouldn’t mind getting involved in broadcasting. Besides that, he did say he had one other idea in mind.
“I’d like to think that I have something to offer” said Young. “I have knowledge I’d like to pass down to young kids. The idea of working with young kids in the minor leagues and boosting their careers is something that appeals to me.”
A large part of Young’s role as a Ranger was as a mentor to younger players, such as Elvis Andrus, that entered the organization. The thought of Young offering the same mentorship to the likes of Joey Gallo, sounds both incredible and necessary. This is the first summer Young has had off since he was ten, and he says he misses baseball, so maybe this one summer off will be enough and the Rangers can snag him soon.
Though he’s busy spending time with his family, Young tries to take the time to watch the Rangers on TV whenever he can, and says he enjoys being able to sit back and dissect the game. It’s been a rough season for Young to watch, specifically with all of the injuries that have occurred, but he does have a special, real, message for his former team on how to deal with all the hardships.
“I’ve never seen anything like that” said Young. “But as far as all the guys that have gotten hurt, it stinks but the show must go on man. This is the big leagues. Stuff happens. It’s the way it goes up here.”
So thank you, Michael Young. For everything you have done, and all of the things you have yet to do. Now and always, Texas forever.