Rangers will re­tire Michael Young's No. 10 jersey in Au­gust

Big Spring Herald - - SPORTS - By STEPHEN HAWKINS AP Base­ball Writer

AR­LING­TON, Texas — Michael Young was re­ally bummed about be­ing traded to the Texas Rangers in the sum­mer of 2000.

Texas be­came home for the kid from Cal­i­for­nia, and later this sum­mer the Rangers will re­tire the No. 10 jersey of the former seven-time All-Star in­fielder, who has played more games and has more hits than any player in fran­chise his­tory.

"Part of me is still re­ally try­ing to process this whole thing and rec­og­nize what it means," Young said Tues­day.

Young, part of the fran­chise's only two World Se­ries teams, will be the fifth Ranger to have his num­ber re­tired by the club, and the sec­ond this sea­son.

The Rangers' an­nounce­ment came only 10 days af­ter former third base­man Adrián Bel­tré's No. 29 jersey was re­tired, with Young part of that cer­e­mony. Young will be hon­ored Aug. 31 be­fore a game against Seat­tle.

A Dou­ble-A player when he got traded from Toronto, Young's only thoughts then had been about mak­ing the ma­jors with the Blue Jays. His first two big league games were for Texas at the end of the 2000 sea­son.

Young was called up for good in May 2001 to be the ev­ery­day sec­ond base­man for the Rangers, and stayed through 2012. His fi­nal sea­son in 2013 was split be­tween Philadel­phia and the Los An­ge­les Dodgers.

"If the fans thought I played hard and my team­mates thought I was a good team­mate, I can't re­ally ask for any­thing for more," he said. "I'd be very, very con­tent and happy with that."

In his fran­chise-record 1,823 games played, Young also set Rangers records with 2,230 hits, 1,085 runs scored, 415 dou­bles and 55 triples — all still stand to­day. He started at all four in­field po­si­tions and won a Gold Glove at short­stop in 2008.

Young switched to short­stop in 2004 af­ter Alex Rodriguez was traded, then moved to third base when 20-year-old short­stop Elvis An­drus de­buted in 2009. He be­came a util­ity in­fielder and des­ig­nated hit­ter when Bel­tre was signed in 2011.

While Young used to think about how his ca­reer might have gone had he stayed at sec­ond base, the switches al­lowed him to have team­mates like Al­fonso So­ri­ano, Ian Kinsler, An­drus and Bel­tré.

"Those are all things that I re­ally, re­ally en­joyed in my ca­reer," Young said. "I do think it prob­a­bly took maybe a lit­tle some­thing away from what I could have ac­com­plished per­son­ally, but that's all right. I'm to­tally fine with that."

The 42-year-old Young re­turned to the Rangers as spe­cial as­sis­tant to the gen­eral man­ager in Novem­ber 2014.

"To see who he is now, to see the im­pact he's made on this or­ga­ni­za­tion, it's ev­ery­thing that I preach and be­lieve in," said first-year Rangers man­ager Chris Wood­ward, who like Young is 42 and grew up in Cov­ina, Cal­i­for­nia. "Lead­er­ship at that level, the hu­mil­ity about him now, the hum­ble­ness, to want­ing to learn."

The other num­bers re­tired by Texas are the No. 7 of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, the No. 26 of the late Johnny Oates, the man­ager for their first three AL West tiles over a four-year span in the late 1990s, and the No. 34 of Hall of Fame strike­out king Nolan Ryan. Ma­jor League Base­ball re­tired No. 42 in 1997 to honor Jackie Robin­son.

No­body has worn No. 10 for Texas since Young's last game there in 2012. The most no­table No. 10 pre­vi­ously was Jim Sund­berg, a six-time Gold Glove catcher for the Rangers from 1974-83.

"If some­one asks me about No. 10, I'd be quick to point out Jim Sund­berg's ca­reer as well," Young said. "I think it's im­por­tant to rec­og­nize that. He had an in­cred­i­ble im­pact on this or­ga­ni­za­tion as well, and if I was able to carry that torch a lit­tle bit, that's some­thing I'd be very proud of."

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