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Michael Young's No. 10 to be retired by Rangers

@Sullivan_Ranger
June 18, 2019

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are retiring Michael Young's number, completing a summer of honoring three prominent players from the teams that went to two World Series in 2010-11. Young's No. 10 will be retired before the Rangers' game against the Mariners on Aug. 31 at Globe Life Park. The Rangers

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are retiring Michael Young's number, completing a summer of honoring three prominent players from the teams that went to two World Series in 2010-11.

Young's No. 10 will be retired before the Rangers' game against the Mariners on Aug. 31 at Globe Life Park. The Rangers retired Adrian Beltre’s No. 29 on June 8, and they are inducting Josh Hamilton into the club’s Hall of Fame on Aug. 17, before a game against the Twins.

“Honestly, it’s pretty difficult to put into words,” Young said. “A lot of thank yous to go around, obviously my family and friends, both here and California, and to this organization for giving me this incredible honor. Part of me is still trying to process this whole thing and recognize what it means. Being a part of Adrian’s ceremony and seeing the emotion that he had, how much it meant to him. I am sure I am going to go through something similar.”

Young will be the fifth former Ranger to have his uniform retired, along with Nolan Ryan (34), Ivan Rodriguez (7), former manager Johnny Oates (26) and Beltre. The Rangers have also joined the rest of Major League Baseball in retiring No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson.

“We are hitting a point where we are starting to recognize how many great players we had,” Young said. “That usually coincides with a team’s success, and we had that and we had some good players to back that up.”

Young is not the only prominent member of the Rangers to wear the No. 10 uniform. Former All-Star catcher Jim Sundberg wore it from 1974-83, and again in '88-89 before he retired.

“If somebody asked me about No. 10, I would be quick to point out Jim Sundberg’s career as well,” Young said. “It’s important to recognize that. He had an incredible impact on this organization. If I was able to carry that torch, that’s something I would be very proud of.”

Young, originally acquired in a trade with the Blue Jays in 2000, played for the Rangers from '01-'12 and ended up playing in 1,823 games, the most in club history. He is also the Rangers' leader in runs scored, hits, doubles, triples and total bases. He won the American League batting title in '05 and was the Most Valuable Player of the '06 All-Star Game, when he hit an eighth-inning, two-run triple off Padres reliever Trevor Hoffman to give the AL a 3-2 victory.

Young was originally drafted by the Blue Jays out of UC-Santa Barbara in 1997 and was playing at Double-A Tennessee in the summer of 2000. Esteban Loaiza was one of the Rangers' starting pitchers, but had run afoul of Oates. The manager finally reached a boiling point that July, giving a rare ultimatum to general manager Doug Melvin.

Loaiza had to go, or Oates wouldn't re-sign with the Rangers. Melvin worked out a deal, trading Loaiza to the Blue Jays for Young and pitcher Darwin Cubillan on July 19, 2000. Otherwise Young would have stayed in the Blue Jays' organization.

“I remember being in Double-A with the Blue Jays and finding out I had been traded to the Rangers and being really bummed at the time,” Young said. “At the time I thought about nothing but being in the Major Leagues for the Blue Jays. I think about my good fortune all the time. [Texas] has become home for me. On the field and off the field, this was a really lucky break.”

Young became the Rangers' starting second baseman in 2002 and moved to shortstop in '04 after Alex Rodriguez was traded to the Yankees. Young stayed at short for five years, winning an AL Gold Glove Award in '08.

Then the Rangers asked Young to move to third base in 2009 to make room for rookie Elvis Andrus. Young wasn’t happy about it, but made the move. He also wasn’t happy about being shifted off third base when Beltre was signed as a free agent in '11. That caused ill feelings on both sides, but eventually cooler heads prevailed and Young stayed with the Rangers for two more seasons as a utility player before being traded to the Phillies.

“Position changes were fine,” Young said. “When I first retired, I think about the things I could have done differently in my career. There were times I thought about what my career could have looked like if I had stayed at second base my entire career because that was my natural position. I went to short and third and fought as hard as I could because I knew I wasn’t as good as I was at second.

“But, having said that, if I don’t move off second, I don’t play with Alfonso Soriano or Ian Kinsler. If I don’t move off short or third, I don’t play with Elvis or Adrian. Those are things I really enjoyed in my career.”

In addition to his play on the field, Young’s work in the community earned him two Major League Baseball Players Association Marvin Miller Man of the Year Awards (2008 and 2011) and the Rangers 2010 Jim Sundberg Community Achievement Award. He was also nominated multiple times for the Roberto Clemente Award.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.