Former Rangers infielder and icon Michael Young is stepping away from the game after 14 years. Young, 37, told Fox Sports he wanted to spend more time with his wife and three young boys. He will officially announce his retirement at 4 pm Friday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Coming home to Arlington for his final act in the pros is the kind of thoughtful gesture that won Young the hearts of Rangers fans, even while the team struggled to produce winning seasons.
A seven-time All-Star with the Rangers, Young also won the 2005 A.L. batting title and a Gold Glove at shortstop in 2008. He first came on with the Rangers in 2000, when the team was in the first stages of a decade-long post-season slump.
Young was a fan favorite for his durability, leadership and focus. Originally a second baseman, Young moved to shortstop in 2004 to appease new team member Alfonso Soriano. He was an All-Star five times at the position, but he moved again to third base in 2009 to make way for Elvis Andrus. In 2011, Young moved yet again to DH/utility infielder when the club signed third baseman Adrian Beltre.
Though there was friction with management behind closed doors, it never spilled onto the field. Young made the All-Star game after moving to third, and then again after becoming a do-it-all.
Young was a constant with the Rangers during his time, and he was finally rewarded with American League championships in 2010 and 2011. He retires a .300 hitter with 2,375 hits and 1,030 RBIs.
He was, for lack of a better term, a consummate professional. After the 2012 season, the Rangers traded Young to Philadelphia, who traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers before the 2013 trade deadline, but to many, he will always be a Texas Ranger legend.