Young shares Series experience with college coach
KC hurler organizes Halloween party for players' kids
NEW YORK -- Royals right-hander Chris Young repeatedly has said he believes crediting wins to a pitcher is absurd, since a whole lot of other guys have as much or more to do with the result.
For the record, Young pitched four innings and ended up with a no-decision in Saturday night's 5-3 victory over the Mets in World Series Game 4 that moved the Royals to a game from clinching their first World Series championship since 1985.
But long before the Series even began, Young made a winning decision.
At 36 and having played with five teams in 11 seasons, Young has seen baseball from perspectives beyond the mound. For example, after the Royals defeated the Blue Jays to advance to the World Series, he noticed younger teammates' children weren't exactly excited. Halloween conflicted with Game 4.
Young did some fast thinking.
He already had decided he would invite his coach at Princeton, Scott Bradley, to share the World Series experience -- a poignant invitation, considering Young's father, Charles, died Sept. 26. Young, noting that Bradley's wife, Liz, is an event planner, thought about his teammates and asked for a Halloween party at the team's hotel. It went off well Saturday afternoon, and parents and kids alike went to bed with a big win that night.
"I stopped in and saw a little bit of it," Young said. "I'm glad all the kids got to experience Halloween.
"Some of them are too young … They know what Halloween is. They don't know the significance of the World Series. I'm sure they'll all appreciate it one day. For those kids who sacrificed for us all year, to have Halloween was pretty cool to see."
Young's Series began eventfully, with three stalwart innings Tuesday night in the 14-inning Game 1 victory in which he was credited with a win. The Royals were looking for nothing spectacular Saturday.
After burning through much of their bullpen in the 9-3 loss in Game 3, the Royals just didn't want him to turn into a pumpkin before the carriage got to the middle innings. A homer by Michael Conforto was the only big mistake, as Young finished with three strikeouts and turned the game to the bullpen.
"I wasn't worried about bouncing back," Young said. "I felt my stuff was pretty good. I made the mistake to Conforto and he punished it. He's a good hitter. Beyond that, I was pretty happy with the way I threw the ball."
He'll share that happiness with Bradley, who has grown into a mentor and friend.
Young invited Bradley to Game 1, knowing he wasn't going to pitch unless circumstances became unusual. The long game qualified. The two didn't have much time to catch up.
Young made the invite to his Game 4 start a special one.
"Chris made a big deal," said Bradley, who said he has known Young for 17 years after making him part of his first recruiting class. "He said, 'Coach, my Dad can't come, so I'd love to have you at the ballpark. Come into the city, take the family bus over, stay over the night. So he got my wife and I and my son a hotel room for tonight."
Young said, "I haven't had a chance to catch up with him much because I was focused on the game. I'll catch up with him [Sunday]. I'm just thrilled that he could be here and be part of it. He is certainly a big reason for where I am today."