Ross Youngs

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Ross Youngs
Ross Youngs.jpg
Youngs with the Giants in 1920
Right fielder
Born:(1897-04-10)April 10, 1897
Shiner, Texas
Died: October 22, 1927(1927-10-22) (aged 30)
San Antonio, Texas
Batted: LeftThrew: Right
MLB debut
September 25, 1917, for the New York Giants
Last MLB appearance
August 10, 1926, for the New York Giants
MLB statistics
Batting average .322
Home runs 42
Runs batted in 592
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svgEmpty Star.svgEmpty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svgEmpty Star.svgEmpty Star.svg
Induction 1972
Election Method Veterans Committee

Ross Middlebrook "Pep" Youngs (April 10, 1897 – October 22, 1927) was an American professional baseball player. Nicknamed "Pep", he played ten seasons in Major League Baseball for the New York Giants from 1917 through 1926, playing right field almost exclusively. Youngs was a part of the Giants teams that won four consecutive National League pennants and the 1921 and 1922 World Series.

Professional baseball is played in leagues throughout the world. In these leagues and associated farm teams, baseball players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system.

Major League Baseball Professional baseball league

Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization, the oldest of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league. The NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1876 and 1901 respectively. After cooperating but remaining legally separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000. The organization also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises 256 teams affiliated with the Major League clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament.

Right fielder the outfielder in baseball or softball who plays defense in right field

A right fielder, abbreviated RF, is the outfielder in baseball or softball who plays defense in right field. Right field is the area of the outfield to the right of a person standing at home plate and facing towards the pitcher's mound. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the right fielder is assigned the number 9.

Contents

From Shiner, Texas, Youngs excelled at baseball and American football at the West Texas Military Institute. After beginning his professional career in minor league baseball, the Giants signed him in 1916. Youngs had a lifetime .322 batting average with the Giants and batted over .300 nine times in his career, including eight consecutive seasons. His career was cut short by illness, however, as he died at the age of 30 of Bright's disease.

Shiner, Texas City in Texas, United States

Shiner is a city in Lavaca County, Texas, United States. The town was named after Henry B. Shiner who donated 250 acres (1.0 km2) for railroad right of way. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 2,069.

American football Team field sport

American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, which is the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, which is the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, and otherwise they turn over the football to the defense; if the offense succeeds in advancing ten yards or more, they are given a new set of four downs. Points are primarily scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.

Batting average (baseball)

In baseball, the batting average (BA) is defined by the number of hits divided by at bats. It is usually reported to three decimal places and read without the decimal: A player with a batting average of .300 is "batting three-hundred." If necessary to break ties, batting averages could be taken beyond the .001 measurement. In this context, a .001 is considered a "point," such that a .235 batter is 5 points higher than a .230 batter.

Youngs was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972 by the Veterans Committee. His election was not without controversy, [1] however, as the Veterans Committee consisted of his former teammates, and charges of cronyism were leveled against the committee. [2] [3]

National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Professional sports hall of fame in New York, U.S.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is an American history museum and hall of fame, located in Cooperstown, New York, and operated by private interests. It serves as the central point for the study of the history of baseball in the United States and beyond, displays baseball-related artifacts and exhibits, and honors those who have excelled in playing, managing, and serving the sport. The Hall's motto is "Preserving History, Honoring Excellence, Connecting Generations."

The Veterans Committee is the popular name of various committees of the National Baseball Hall of Fame that elect participants other than recently retired players.

Early life and minor leagues

Youngs was born in Shiner, Texas, the second of three children, all sons. [4] His father was a railroad worker, [5] but suffered disability and moved his family to San Antonio where he worked as a rancher. Youngs' mother ran a small hotel in San Antonio and Youngs had a paper route. [4]

San Antonio City in Texas, United States

San Antonio, officially the City of San Antonio, is the seventh-most populous city in the United States, and the second-most populous city in both Texas and the Southern United States, with more than 1.5 million residents. Founded as a Spanish mission and colonial outpost in 1718, the city became the first chartered civil settlement in present-day Texas in 1731. The area was still part of the Spanish Empire, and later of the Mexican Republic. Today it is the state's oldest municipality.

Youngs was educated at West Texas Military Institute. [4] He received offers for scholarships to play college football but passed on these, as he preferred baseball. [4] He made his professional baseball debut for the Austin Senators of the Texas League in 1914. Appearing in 17 games, he hit just .145 for the class-B Senators and, in 1915, found himself down in the Class-D leagues, playing for Brenham of the Middle Texas League and the Waxahachie Athletics of the Central Texas League; both leagues disbanded during the season. [4] In 1916, playing in the infield for the Sherman Lions of the Class-D Western Association, he hit .362 as a switch-hitter, drawing the attention of the New York Giants, who purchased his contract in August for $2,000 ($46,049 in current dollar terms). [4]

College football collegiate rules version of American/Canadian football, played by student-athletes of American/Canadian colleges and universities

College football is American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities. It was through college football play that American football rules first gained popularity in the United States.

The "Austin Senators" is the name of various minor league baseball teams based in Austin, Texas, United States which played on-and-off between 1898 and 1964. Different incarnations of the Senators have played in the Texas League, Texas-Southern League (1896), South Texas League (1906) Middle Texas League (1915) and Texas Association (1925-1926). In 1915, the Senators moved to the Middle Texas League and won two games as the "Austin Representatives" before relocating to Taylor, Texas due to severe flooding. From 1956-1967 they were affiliated with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves. For the final three seasons of their existence, they were known as the "Austin Braves." After the 1967 season, the team relocated to Shreveport, Louisiana, depriving Austin of professional baseball for the rest of the twentieth century.

Texas League baseball league operating at Class AA level of Minor League Baseball in Texas, USA

The Texas League is a Minor League Baseball league which operates in the South Central United States. It is classified as a Double-A league. Despite the league's name, only its four South Division teams are actually based in Texas; the four North Division teams are located in surrounding states of Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri. The league maintains its headquarters in San Antonio.

New York Giants

Youngs reported to spring training in Marlin, Texas with the Giants in 1917. They initially assigned him to the Rochester Hustlers, a team in the International League with which the Giants had a working relationship. Giants manager John McGraw told Mickey Doolan, the manager of the Hustlers, "I'm giving you one of the greatest players I've ever seen. Play him in the outfield. If anything happens to him, I'm holding you responsible." [4] In 140 games with Rochester, Youngs hit .356, earning himself a late-season promotion to the big league club. [4] McGraw gave Youngs the nickname "Pep" due to his hustle [6] and soon began to groom Youngs to become his successor as Giants' manager. [4]

Spring training training during the spring season, in baseball

In Major League Baseball (MLB), spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Spring training allows new players to try out for roster and position spots, and gives established players practice time prior to competitive play. Spring training has always attracted fan attention, drawing crowds who travel to the warm climates of Arizona and Florida to enjoy the weather and watch their favorite teams play, and spring training usually coincides with spring break for many US college students.

Marlin, Texas City in Texas

Marlin is a city in Falls County, Texas, United States. The population was 6,628 at the 2000 census but decreased by 10% to 5,967 in 2010. Since 1851, it has been the third county seat of Falls County. Marlin has been given the nickname "the Hot Mineral Water City of Texas". Mineral waters were found there in 1892.

International League Minor League Baseball league of AAA teams operating in the eastern United States

The International League (IL) is a Minor League Baseball league that operates in the eastern United States and is headquartered in Dublin, Ohio. Like the Pacific Coast League and the Mexican League, it plays at the Triple-A level, which is one step below Major League Baseball.

Youngs made his major league debut on September 25 and played in seven of the last nine games of the season for the eventual National League (NL) pennant-winners: six in center field and one in right. In those seven games he went 9-for-26 (.346) with two doubles and three triples. [4] In 1918, regular Giants right fielder Dave Robertson left the team to manage a local military ballclub, [7] and Youngs was given the full-time job out of spring training. Batting exclusively left-handed, Youngs responded by batting .302 in 121 games, finishing sixth in the league. [4] [8] It would be the first of seven straight seasons in which he hit .300 as a regular, and the second of eight overall counting his brief stint in 1917. He also finished sixth in the NL with a .368 on-base percentage (OBP). [8] The next season Robertson was traded to the Chicago Cubs for pitcher Phil Douglas, leaving Youngs to become a fixture in right field for the Giants. [9] Youngs finished third in the NL in 1919 with a .311 batting average. [10] His .351 batting average in 1920 was second in the NL to Rogers Hornsby. [11]

Catching a ball in 1922 Rossyoungs-sept24-1922.jpg
Catching a ball in 1922

Youngs batted .327 in 1921, good for ninth in the NL. [12] In Game 3 of the 1921 World Series Youngs became the first player to record two hits in the same inning of a World Series game. The Giants defeated the New York Yankees [4] as Youngs batted .280 in the series. [13] Youngs hit for the cycle on April 29, 1922. [14] He finished the regular season ninth in the NL in OBP (.398) and tied for ninth in stolen bases (17), [15] proceeding to hit .375 in the 1922 World Series as the Giants again defeated the Yankees. [4] Youngs led the NL in runs scored in 1923, with 121, and his .348 batting average was the eighth best in the league. [16] Youngs batted .356 in the 1923 World Series, which the Giants lost to the Yankees. [13]

Youngs batted .356 during the 1924 season, finishing third in the NL. [17] In the final series of this season, the Giants were playing the Philadelphia Phillies at the Polo Grounds and battling for the pennant with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Jimmy O'Connell, an outfielder for the Giants, offered Phillies shortstop Heinie Sand $500 to intentionally lose the games ($7,310 in current dollar terms). Sand rejected the bribe and reported it to Phillies manager Art Fletcher. It eventually led to the lifetime suspension of O'Connell and Giants coach Crazy Dolan by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis. O'Connell implicated teammates Youngs, George Kelly, and Frankie Frisch as co-conspirators; [18] Landis, however, cleared the trio of any wrongdoing. [19]

Youngs slumped to a .185 batting average during the 1924 World Series, which the Giants lost to the Washington Senators. [20] Continuing to struggle in 1925, Youngs batted .264, his only season with a batting average below .300, [4] but improved to .306 in 95 games during the 1926 season. [4] Toward the end of his career, Youngs taught Mel Ott, his eventual successor, how to play right field in the Polo Grounds. [4]

Illness and death

Youngs's career was abruptly cut short in 1926, when he was diagnosed with the kidney disorder that, at the time, was called Bright's disease. He had been exposed to streptococcal infection in 1924. [21] Too ill to play after August 10, 1926, Youngs returned home on McGraw's insistence [4] [6] and received a blood transfusion in March 1927. [22]

Youngs died of Bright's disease on October 22, 1927, at the age of 30. He went from weighing 170 pounds (77 kg) during his playing career to 100 pounds (45 kg) by the time of his death. [4] In Youngs' obituary in The New York Times , Giants manager John McGraw called Youngs "the greatest outfielder I ever saw on a ball field." [6] The Giants honored Youngs with a bronze plaque on the right field wall of the Polo Grounds; [23] although the Giants intended to pay for it, fans expressed their desire to contribute and, even though contributions were limited to $1 per person, donations paid for the plaque entirely. [4]

Legacy

Over his ten-year career, Youngs posted 812 runs, 42 home runs, 592 runs batted in (RBI), 153 stolen bases, a .322 career batting average, and .399 career on-base percentage. He batted .300 or higher in every season until 1925, and higher than .350 twice. Youngs scored 100 or more runs three times and posted a career high 102 RBI in 1921 and 10 home runs in 1924. During his tenure with the team, the Giants went to the World Series four consecutive years (1921–1924) and won twice (1921, 1922). Youngs was a favorite of McGraw, who kept only two pictures in his office: one of Christy Mathewson and one of Youngs. [4] Rosy Ryan, a teammate with the Giants, and Burleigh Grimes, who played against Youngs as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, considered Youngs the best player they ever saw. [24]

Youngs was included in the inaugural balloting for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936, but received less than 5% of the vote from the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA). Youngs remained on the ballot every year through 1956, receiving his highest vote total in 1947 with 22%. [25] Ford C. Frick, Commissioner of Baseball, and former teammate Bill Terry both championed Youngs' candidacy. [4]

Former Giants teammates Terry and Frankie Frisch joined the Veterans Committee in 1967 and aided the elections of several of their former teammates, including Youngs in 1972. [26] In addition to Youngs, Terry and Frisch shepherded the selections of Giants teammates Jesse Haines in 1970, Dave Bancroft and Chick Hafey in 1971, George Kelly in 1973, Jim Bottomley in 1974, and Freddie Lindstrom in 1976. [25] [2] Youngs died at the earliest age of any current Hall of Famer. [27] Youngs is the only member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame from San Antonio and was inducted into the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. [28] Shiner, the town in which Youngs was born, hosted a baseball tournament in his honor at Clipper Field from 2001 through 2003. [5] [29]

Youngs' selection, along with some of the other selections made by Terry and Frisch, has been considered one of the weakest in some circles. [2] According to the BBWAA, the Veterans Committee was not selective enough in choosing members, [30] and charges of cronyism were later leveled against the committee. [2] [3] This led to the Veterans Committee having its powers reduced in subsequent years. [31] Baseball statistician Bill James recognized this and wrote that Youngs does not belong in the Hall of Fame. [32] In 1981, however, Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig included Youngs in their book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time. They explained what they called "the Smoky Joe Wood Syndrome", where a player of truly exceptional talent but a career curtailed by injury or illness should still — in spite of not owning career statistics that would quantitatively rank him with the all-time greats — be included on their list of the 100 greatest players. [33]

Personal life

Youngs married Dorothy Pienecke, a woman from Brooklyn who he met while vacationing in the Berkshires, in October 1924. Their daughter Caroline was born in December 1925. [4] Dorothy feuded with Youngs' mother, however, and the couple separated before the birth of Caroline, whom he never met. [4] Youngs was considered friendly and generous, loaned money constantly, and was reportedly owed $16,000 at the time of his death ($230,774 in current dollar terms). [4] Youngs enjoyed playing golf and was considered the best golfer in the major leagues. [4]

See also

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References

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Preceded by
Dave Robertson
Hitting for the cycle
April 29, 1922
Succeeded by
Jimmy Johnston