Know Thy Phillies History: Mike Young

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, December 21, 2012 10:59 AM | Comments: 7
Fun Stuff, Posts, Trivia

http://i.ebayimg.com/t/1988-Mike-Young-Philadelphia-Phillies-Baseball-Press-Photo-/00/s/MTAyM1g4MTI=/$(KGrHqZ,!oEE63WY+DDeBO4mqe!Mcw~~60_35.JPGSometimes, I am amazingly impressed by the Phillies Nation community with their knowledge. The one-off-references and jabs provided on here and on Twitter are shining examples of how Philadelphia has among the most dedicated fans in baseball. An off-handed Don Money comment on Twitter resulted in several responses. Money was the starting third baseman for the Phillies in 1972 that Mike Schmidt ended up replacing despite the fact that Money was a pretty decent hitter and excellent defender. There will be more on that one in the future.

Anyhow, in wading through old Phillies data on FanGraphs, I stumbled upon something that nobody has seemed to point out, something so big, so important, that I am now disappointed as a Phillies fan. No Phillies fan, to my knowledge, has yet made the joke that Michael Young is not the same Mike Young that played with the Phillies. I could be wrong, after all, the internet is a pretty big place, but I am genuinely disappointed at the lack of recall of Mike Young #1.

Maybe not disappointed; disappointed is the word most parents use to make their children know they really, really are upset. The somber approach. I guess I am not so much disappointed as I am surprised that nobody recalled or made reference to the first Mike Young, the decent, pretty-good-sometimes-but-never-great outfielder who was the Phillies’ prize in the 1988 Rick Schu and Jeff Stone-to-Baltimore trade.

Young’s time in Philadelphia was so brief that it was easy to miss him. Young wore what would be John Kruk‘s 19 and hit .226/.343/.342 in 175 PA through August 1988 as a Phillie before being traded to the Brewers. Young had shown a brief flash of great potential in his age 24 and 25 seasons with the Orioles, posting 2.6 and 3.6 fWAR seasons in 1984 and 1985 respectively. By 1987, Young’s power was zapped and his OBP had decreased to .328. Young obviously was not the player that he was in 1985 for the Phillies in 1988 but it was worth the risk to swap for Stone, whose never-reached potential put him on many-a-Phillie fans’ despised list, and Schu, a 26-year old reserve third baseman who played just above replacement-level in his first go-round in Philadelphia.

Young’s contributions to the team were small, one of many small contributions to one of the worst Phillies’ teams of not only that era but of all time. The 1988 Phils under Lee Elia went just 65-96, a 14.5 game drop-off from 1987′s record. Amazingly, this was not good enough for last place in all of the National League – that mark belonged to the Braves, who went 54-106, good enough for the league to ignore two rained out games.

With the internet being as big and vast as it is, I’m sure someone had made the connection, either via a joke or some sort of Tweet. Personally, with all of the folks making the “Phillies just keep getting older joke”, I would have went the “Phillies are getting so old, they picked up a 52 year-old outfielder” route, but that’s just me.

Avatar of Ian Riccaboni

About Ian Riccaboni

Ian Riccaboni has written 826 articles on Phillies Nation.

Ian's athletic achievements include getting stuffed by NBA center Aaron Gray in high school and hitting .179 over four years for NYU against D-III, NAIA, JuCo, and NCBA schools. Ian hopes his athletic successes will help him achieve his dream of becoming the underground Bob Uecker.

  • Posts: 0 George

    Thanks, Ian. Those were some painful years, and I’m sure everyone will appreciate being reminded of all those great players like Young, Stone, and Schu. :-)

    I think I made a remark once about a team with Michael Martinez clones at all nine positions. The ’88 Phils were just such a team.

    • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

      What is this, save on the keyboard day? Typing Stone covers both Ron and Jeff with 5 quick alphas?

      I recall the analogy to 9 Minis back in the day. Thought it was a little extreme.I might be talked into a team of 9 Martinez’s, but not 9 Mike Martinez’s.

      Par exemple

      1B Tino Martinez
      2B Mini Mart inez
      SS Osvaldo Martinez
      3B Edgar Martinez
      LF Jesus Martinez
      CF Dave Martinez
      RF Reginald Marrtinez Jackson
      C Vic Martinez

      P Petey Martin Martinez
      P Ramon Martinez
      P Dennis Martinez
      P Unknown Martinez

      Closer Tippy Martinez

      Mgr. Ozzie Guillen Martinez

      Speaking of baseball back in the day, light traffic weekend anticipated around here, do zi’ll branch ever so slightly the Hall votes are getting some pub. Roundabouts a month ago, I saw some Vegas odds on the candidates, extensive list that it is, and 2 guys stood out as real good wagers, at least as I read the odds. Morris was like 15-1 to make it, which is totally stupid. since he’s 014 of late, so you’re gonna bet and lay ridiculous odds. Just because it’s his last standard year, heel, been a ghood many guys who went 0-15.

      With the bucks you could save by not laying the odds, Barry Bonds getting in is a tremendous underdog pick. I forget the odds, like 10-1 against, or some ridiculous figure for a guy of his stature. You play the underdog there, the payoff’s great. Will Bonds get in? Put it this way Guys like Mac are at 20%. Bonds gets some comments like he was a HOF guy before roids,
      and non negative comments of that nature. I figure unlike Mac at 20, Bonds could (easily?) get 40% yes votes, in need of 75% and as a massive underdog, that’s worth a small pittance on a large handicap. Not a bad risk.

      • Posts: 5283 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        Ozzie Gullien Martinez? Now that’s either politically incorrect, extremely insensitive,
        or very very funny, I’ll choose the latter. If you can’t make it, fake it right?

        BTW I didn’t know that was Reggie’s real middle name, so your comment is both funny and informative. (in a trivial way)

      • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

        I actually thought that was dicey territory after I sent it. I thought of writing Tony LaRussa Martinez, but that struck as plain stupid, and just went with Ozzie as a well known manager of Spanish descent in the absence of knowing any Martinez that’s called shots from the dugout.
        Shoulda skipped The Skip.

  • Posts: 7 Ryk

    Avatar of Ryk

    Try this one, Ian. Hearing the name Jeff Stone reminded me of the dude who bashed Nancy Kerrigan’s kneecap at the Olympics. Originally Jeff Gilooly, he changed his name to Jeff Stone a few years after the incident. This led (possibly) Don Tollefson to get the Phils’ Stone’s opinion. I wish I had video of his answer. Jeff Stone was at the best of times, the most incoherant interviewee of all time. This one was no exception.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    OT question:

    When a team executes a players option what amount is used towards the LT? The option salary or the option salary – the buyout(since it was already counted)?

  • Avatar of "Big Ed" Delahanty

    That’s one helluva line-up. Lol.

    Those were very dark years in Philly. (Shudder).
    Especially that year. Good God. Reminds us of how good we have it now.

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