Michael Young Poised To Become Rangers All-Time King of Knocks
In a decision former Rangers GM Doug Melvin called a coin flip, the Rangers chose Michael Young as the final throw in player in a deal with the Toronto Blue Jays on July 19, 2000.
Melvin said they chose Young because of his ability to play multiple infield positions. No one, including myself, could have predicted the hit machine Young would develop into in the shadow of Alex Rodriguez.
His first hit came as a second baseman against Sidney Ponson of the Orioles while playing second base and wearing number 2.
When he breaks the record for hits as a Ranger currently held by Pudge Rodriguez, he will do so playing third base and wearing number 10.
That is the sole reason why Michael Young is the face of the Rangers franchise and why his teammates and fans are really hoping his efforts will be rewarded with a ring before his career with the Rangers is done.
When the Rangers traded Alex Rodriguez to the Yankees after the 2003 season Michael Young offered to move to shortstop to keep newcomer Alfonso Soriano from becoming a distraction in Spring Training.
It was during the 2004 season that Young came out of the shadow of Alex Rodriguez and became the leader of a group of kids not knowing they weren't supposed to be contenders.
With Young leading the way the Rangers had their first winning season since 1999 and nearly stole the division title that season.
2005 was a dramatic step backward for the Rangers franchise, but Young kept hitting even though he was about to endure the second rebuild of his career.
The Rangers had a plan; Young accepted it and did his part to bring along a young Ian Kinsler at second base after the departure of Soriano.
Before the 2009 season the Rangers asked Young to move to third base as top prospect Elvis Andrus was ready and the Rangers needed an improvement at third base.
Initially Young balked at the move, but after thinking about it he knew it was right for the team and committed himself to becoming the best third baseman he could be.
Even with the distraction of learning a new position, Young kept hitting.
Now the Rangers are for sale and in bankruptcy despite having a winning team on the field and Michael Young is still hitting through any and all distractions.
Despite a slow start in April, Young is hitting .323 and is two hits away from passing Pudge as the Rangers open up a series against the Marlins tonight in Miami.
The Rangers all time hit king is about to be crowned and this time it truly is the best hitter in the history of this team.
I only hope the record setting hit is a hard liner to right on a two strike count.
Nothing would be more fitting than that.