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Thursday, January 30, 2014
Michael Young retires after 14 years

By Richard Durrett
ESPNDallas.com

Longtime Texas Rangers infielder Michael Young will announce his retirement Friday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, the team announced.

Reports surfaced the past few weeks that Young was contemplating whether to play another season, likely in a backup role, or stepping away from the game to spend more time with his family.

Young, who still has a home in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, split the 2013 season between the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting .279 in 147 games.

But Young's legacy was built in Texas and he will retire a Ranger. He played 13 seasons and 1,873 career games with the organization, appearing in two World Series and wound up in 43 postseason games despite not playing in one at all until 2010.

"The Texas Rangers want to congratulate Michael Young on his outstanding major league career. For 12 seasons in a Rangers uniform, he was a standout performer on the field and the consummate role model in the community," the Rangers said in a statement.

"Michael is a leader, and he demonstrated those skills every day of the season, year in and year out. We are proud to say that Michael Young is this franchise's all-time leader in games, at bats, runs, hits, doubles, triples, and total bases. He excelled at multiple positions and came through in the clutch."

Young finishes his career with a .300 batting average and a .441 slugging percentage. He won a batting title in 2005 with Texas and was named to seven All-Star teams. He finished in the top-10 of the MVP voting twice (eighth in 2004 and 2011) and won a Gold Glove at shortstop in 2008.

Young was a durable player, never ending up on the disabled list and averaging 155 games per season in his 12 full seasons. The most action he missed during a season was 30 games (in large part because of a hamstring issue) in 2009. And he moved all around the infield, breaking in with Texas as a second baseman and then moving to shortstop when the club traded for Alfonso Soriano in 2004. He shifted to third base to allow Elvis Andrus to jump up from Double-A and play at shortstop every day in 2009. He then moved into a designated hitter and "super utility" role with the Rangers when Adrian Beltre signed a five-year deal prior to the 2011 season.

"(He's) one of the greatest Rangers of all time," said former teammate Mark Teixeira. "A guy who may not have gotten the hype that some players do in Major League Baseball, but inside the game with his colleagues, he was as well respected as anyone in the game."

Young came to Texas as part of a three-player deal with the Blue Jays for pitcher Esteban Loaiza in 2000. Young made his big league debut late that same season and then was a part of the Rangers' lineup for good in late May of 2001.

Young made the decision to waive his no-trade clause and approve a deal in December 2012 to the Phillies when it was clear his role was going to be further reduced with other young players needing time in the lineup.

Young was a consistent hitter, belting out more than 200 hits in six of his 12 full seasons in the big leagues, including five straight campaigns from 2003 to 2007.

FoxSports.com was first to report that Young was retiring.