More than five years after saying goodbye to his baseball playing career, Michael Young is finally starting to appreciate the things that he did over 13 MLB seasons.
All but one of them was for the Texas Rangers.
Young rates as the franchise leader in games (1,823), at-bats (7,399), runs (1,085), hits (2,230), doubles (415), triples (55), multi-hit games (651) and total bases (3,286).
Young was an American League batting champion, a seven-time AL All-Star, an All-Star Game MVP, a Gold Glove winner and a two-time Marvin Miller Man of the Year winner.
Those are all things worth cherishing.
“I’m starting to get to a point where I’m enjoying it,” Young said. “For five years I thought about everything I should have done better.”
The Rangers will give him one more honor Aug. 31, when they retire his jersey No. 10 in an on-field ceremony. He will join Nolan Ryan (34), Ivan Rodriguez (7) and Adrian Beltre (29) as the other three players to have Rangers jerseys retired.
Beltre’s jersey was retired earlier this month, and the club has also retired the number worn by former manager Johnny Oates (26) and MLB trailblazer Jackie Robinson (42).
For Young, the ceremony will be a celebration of the World Series teams he played on in 2010 and 2011, as well as the strides the organization made over 12 seasons they had Young.
“Being in a position where I see the organization when I stopped playing and when I got here, I’m very pleased with where we were,” Young said. “I’m not saying that’s because of me, but I’m very thrilled that I was part of that ride.”
The Rangers announced their plans for Young at noon Tuesday, seven hours before the Cleveland Indians powered up against Adrian Sampson and Drew Smyly en route to a 10-3 victory over the Rangers.
The Indians connected for four home runs, three off Smyly. The left-hander surrendered back-to-back-to-back homers in the seventh inning.
Young had departed Globe Life Park well before then, though he might have been watching at home. A Dallas resident, Young works for the team as an assistant to general manager Jon Daniels.
Young is also boyhood friends with manager Chris Woodward, who said that Young embodies everything he wants the current Rangers to become -- hard working, a leader, humble, open to coaching.
“He still wants to learn,” Woodward said. “We talk about with our younger players, trying to get them to think about things on a different level. Sometimes what you’ve done your whole career and your whole life doesn’t have to be you. There’s so much information now. It’s hard to imagine him being a better player, but I said, ‘I guarantee you, Mikey, if you played right now you’d probably be about 5 percent better because you’re open to new things.’”
Aside from the team success earlier this decade, Young said that the 2006 All-Star Game in which he was the MVP rates as one of his top individual moments. He made no secrets about wanting to go to the All-Star Game, and only Rodriguez has been to more in Rangers history.
Young had reconciled the multiple position changes, which came with some disagreement with Daniels, and the 2012 trade to the Philadelphia Phillies that ended his run with the Rangers.
He was part of the June 8 ceremony honoring Beltre and saw the impact it had on the usually stoic future Hall of Famer. Young is bracing for the same meaningful moment.
“A part of me really is trying to process this thing and recognize what it means,” Young said. “Being a part of Adrian’s ceremony and seeing the emotion he had and how much it meant to him, I’m sure I’m going to go through something similar. I’m really going to try to enjoy this entire process.”