Michael Young's 2,000th Hit: 3 Reasons He's the Face of the Rangers Franchise
On a night that saw game time temperatures well above 100 degrees, the heat certainly wasn't enough to keep the sellout crowd away.
The final game of a three game series with the Cleveland Indians in Arlington, Texas, was all about the "Face of the Franchise" as he added yet another notch to his Major League belt.
Michael Young did something last night that no other Texas Ranger had ever accomplished: he collected his 2,000th career hit.
As the old adage states, no matter how the hit looks, it's "a line drive in the paper." And whether it be a home run, like Jeter's 3,000th hit, or a dribbler down the line, like Young's 2,000th, the only thing that really matters is that it's a hit—and one of historic proportions.
Here's a look at how Michael Young, the Texas Rangers' do-it-all utility man is truly, the "Face of the Franchise."
Reason No. 1: Michael Young Can Do It All
Michael Young came to Texas via the Toronto Blue Jays' organization in the middle of the 2000 season in a trade for Esteban Loaiza.
Originally a second baseman, Young famously moved to short stop once Alex Rodriguez was traded to New York, and Alfonso Soriano insisted on playing second base.
Young selflessly and quite satisfactorily moved to short stop, and although his range can be argued, the fact that he won a Gold Glove patrolling the position after the 2008 season cannot.
When Hank Blalock became unable to stay on the field consistently due to injuries—and the emergence of slick-fielding Elvis Andrus—Young made the move to third base prior to the 2009 season.
Unhappy about the switch at first, he begrudgingly made the move, and didn't embarrass himself or anyone else at the "hot corner".
With the signing of hotshot third baseman Adrian Beltre last off-season, Young was asked to move once again—this time to a role as "super utility man"—playing some second, first, third and serving primarily as a designated hitter.
Once again, Young has embraced—and excelled—in his new found role.
Reason No. 2: Young's a Team Leader
Michael Young isn't flashy. You won't catch him staring-down a pitcher after one of his many game-changing hits.
Michael Young isn't selfish. How many Major Leaguers would have made as many moves from position-to-position as Young has? Sure, he has regularly asked for a trade in Spring Training. Most would.
What separates Young from the others though, is that after Spring Training ends and the regular season begins, it's back to business as usual for the right-handed slugger.
Young always shows up for work, and has a penchant for clutch hits that can change the outcome of a ball game.
Young's quiet approach to the game itself is something that has made him one of the most respected players in the game today. Young shows the same lasting reverence—not just to his contemporaries and fans—but the game of baseball itself.
The approbation of Michael Young certainly doesn't stop on the diamond. He's a fan favorite of the Rangers' faithful, and now with his 2,000th hit already in the books—Michael Young's popularity—and the adoration by his fans and fellow ball players, is destined to climb even higher.
Reason No. 1: Michael Young Can Flat-out Hit.
Throughout his illustrious career, Michael has had plenty of milestones.
In 2005, he won a batting title, as he hit .331. He also led the league in hits that season as well, with 221.
Young is a 7-time All-Star. He's won a Gold Glove, playing, essentially, out of position.
Michael Young had a key, game-changing home run in last year's American League Division Series between his Texas Rangers and the team that had the AL's best record in 2010, the Tampa Bay Rays.
And now that Young has reached the 2,000 hit club—something no other Texas Ranger has ever accomplished—the 34-year-old is just a few more productive seasons away from inclusion to an even more exclusive club, the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
Regardless, for the remainder of his career, the Texas Rangers have their "face", and that is Michael Young, the Face of the Texas Rangers' Franchise.