This past Saturday evening, prior to watching the Texas Rangers take on the Oakland Athletics, I sat down to watch the pregame show.
Believe it or not, I don’t always watch the pregame show but there was something special in store on this night as the team retired Adrian Beltre’s No. 29 and inducted the recent retiree into the club’s hall of fame.
The ceremony was well done. We got to see and hear from baseball legends, including Beltre’s former Ranger teammate Michael Young.
Upon seeing Young there, I immediately asked myself, “Why in the world haven’t the Rangers retired Young’s No. 10?”
Several people mention that Beltre joins an elite group of Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, Johnny Oates and Nolan Ryan as the only Rangers to have their jersey numbers retired but the more I thought about, the more I racked my brain trying to come up a reason as to why that short list doesn’t include Young, but just couldn’t.
I’m not taking anything away from Beltre. He’s one of my all-time favorite players and there’s no doubt in my mind he’s more than deserving of the honor. I just don’t understand why Young hasn’t had the honor yet himself.
Young hasn’t played since 2013 so it’s not like there haven’t been any opportunities to make it happen. He was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame in 2016 but in my opinion, they should have made it official and retired his jersey number at that time as well.
In his 13 years spent with the Rangers, he became the team’s all-time leader in hits with 2,230 and eventually retired with 2375 hits. He scored 1,085 runs in a Rangers uniform. He helped lead the franchise to its first ever World Series in 2010 and returned a second year in 2011. He earned the nickname, “Mr. Ranger,” and if that doesn’t sum it all up, I’m not sure anything does.
Like Beltre, Young was a solid worker on and off the field, a great teammate who put the team’s needs above his own, changing positions and sacrificing playing time.
He currently serves with the team in the front office as an assistant to general manager Jon Daniels. My guess is there’s something in the works to retire his number eventually but one question I have is “when?”
Even more important than that, to me, is “Why hasn’t it already happened?”