Young named 2016 Rangers HOF inductee

Young named 2016 Rangers HOF inductee

ARLINGTON -- Michael Young hasn't played for the Rangers since 2012, but his presence is still felt on the team.

"No doubt," third baseman Adrian Beltre said. "Sometimes when you get to a team, you really know there is a leader on the team who has everything under control and everybody follows. We still follow the rules that Mike put in place here. When he comes in here, he is still one of the guys."

The Rangers are inducting Young into their Hall of Fame on July 30 before hosting the Royals.

A seven-time All-Star, Young played for the Rangers from 2000-12 and earned the club's Player of the Year Award five times. He won the American League batting title in 2005, the Most Valuable Player Award in the 2006 All-Star Game and the AL Gold Glove Award at shortstop in 2008.

"It means a lot," Young said. "Obviously nowadays it's rare that a player spends as much time with a team but it was a great time for me ... reaching new heights. To be in one place like that for a long time and have the relationship with the fans, it's very special."

Michael Young on time in Texas

Young has a prominent place in the Rangers' record book as their all-time leader in games played (1,823), at-bats (7,399), runs (1,085), hits (2,230), doubles (415), triples (55) and total bases (3,286).

But it was the prominent place he held in the Rangers' clubhouse as their team leader, especially on two World Series teams, that makes him one of the most revered players in club history.

"Michael was the main guy when I got here," shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "For him to move to third and let me play shortstop ... he helped me every single day. He helped me on the field as well as off the field. I learned everything from him. He led by example. I always called him captain."

The Rangers acquired Young on July 19, 2000 in a trade with the Blue Jays. He made his Major League debut at the end of the '01 season and became their second baseman the following year.

He moved to shortstop in '04, when Alex Rodriguez was traded to the Yankees and then to third base in '09 to make rookie for Andrus. The Rangers signed Beltre in '11, and Young became a utility player, although he still played regularly.

Beltre said talking to Young before signing here convinced him that it would work out.

"We all knew the situation," Beltre said. "I wouldn't have been comfortable if he wasn't comfortable. He said, 'We need you to help us win.' It was the final straw to help me come here."

Young talks induction with Emily

Young said it wasn't just him.

"We had a lot of good leaders," Young said. "There were a lot of guys wired right who showed up ready to roll. We expected to kick the tails of the other team. It was a good vibe to have. So many guys were great friends and wired the same way I was. It was a good feeling."

Young said there were many great moments from his time in Texas, but going to the 2010 World Series was at the top of the list.

"That wasn't our best team," Young said. "Our best team was in 2011, but that whole season. ... I never saw so many red and blue hats all over town like that. To be in the middle of that was a lot of fun."

Young retired after spending '13 with the Phillies and Dodgers. He is back now with the Rangers as a special assistant. He said he doesn't have the time to be a coach or think about managing, but he loves what he is doing.

"This gig has been great," Young said. "I feel I have a valuable role in the organization. I still communicate with the guys on the team and I have a mentorship role with the guys in the Minor Leagues. I love it."

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.