Thursday, August 6, 2009

TTM - Gerald Young

Today we have another TTM autograph. I just love getting these back. It's always nice to come home to a gift in the mail. Today it's Gerald Young.

Gerald Young was born on October 22, 1964 in Tela, Honduras. He was a major league outfielder known for his long strides and blazing speed. He was however considered somewhat of a "hot dog" because of what appeared to be a lackadaisical style (including unnecessary basket catches) He was the first person born in the Honduras to play Major League Baseball.

Young was drafted in the 5th round of the 1982 MLB amateur draft by the New York Mets along with Rafael Palmeiro and Dwight Gooden as part of a draft class that set a major league record for a single team when 12 of those players reached the major leagues. Boy, if only we kept him and Palmeiro, both right from the start.

Young was traded to the Houston Astros, and made his Major League Baseball debut with them on July 8, 1987. He showed promise by hitting .321 and stealing 26 bases for the Astros, finishing 5th in National League Rookie of the Year voting despite playing less than half a season with the major league club. Young's best season in the major leagues would come the following year, 1988, when he finished 2nd in the NL with 65 steals. 1989 was disappointment for Young offensively, although he did manage to finish 8th in the league in steals (34) and accomplish a rare defensive feat by recording 412 putouts with only one error and adding 15 outfield assists.

Young would spend the next three seasons splitting time between the Astros, their Triple A affiliate the Tucson Toros, and the disabled list (with an assortment of injuries). Although he was successful at the minor league level, always hitting over .300, his batting statistics for the Astros never replicated his earlier success.

At the end of the 1992 season, the Astros granted Young free agency and he signed with, and became an inaugural member of the expansion Colorado Rockies team that began play in Major League Baseball in 1993.

Young appeared in his final game on August 11, 1994, playing for the St. Louis Cardinals. He was released that October by the Cardinals. In January 1995, Young was charged with cocaine possession when Houston Police Department officers found a crack pipe with cocaine residue in the vehicle that he was driving. He would never play major league baseball again.

He currently participates in youth baseball camps throughout the country.

He finished his career batting .246 with 446 hits and 155 stolen bases.

Thank you Mr. Young.

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