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Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Eric Young went out and proved he was an All-Star caliber player; Saw 15 ML seasons

The Rockies already had a second baseman in Eric Young. But, going into 1996, they wanted to sign Craig Biggio, The Asbury Park Press wrote

Instead, the ended up settling on Young - and Young just went out and made his first All-Star team, The Press wrote.

"(Colorado) said they wanted an All-Star caliber player, so I wanted to bring my performance up to an All-Star level," Young told The Press. "I had something to prove. The Biggio thing escalated my drive."

Young made that All-Star game in his fifth big league campaign. He went on to see a total of 15 major league seasons for a total of seven major league clubs

Young's career began in 1989, taken by the Dodgers in the 43rd round of the draft out of Rutgers University.

Young started with the Dodgers in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He moved to high-A Vero Beach in 1990, then AA San Antonio in 1991 and AAA Albuquerque for 1992.

Then, in July 1992, Young made the Dodgers in Los Angeles. He got into 49 games and hit .258. The Rockies then selected him in that offseason's expansion draft. 

He proceeded to not only start the season with Colorado, he became the club's first batter and hit the team's first home run in Denver. The team, though, later switched him from second base to the outfield

"I really don't have a preference as far as which position I play," Young told The Bridgewater Courier-News that August. "I just want to play. My only goal this year was to establish myself as a major-leaguer and I think I've done that."

Young continued with the Rockies into 1997. He hit .324 in his All-Star season, with 53 stolen bases. 

He returned to the Dodgers in mid-1997, then moved to the Cubs in 2000. He then went through the Brewers, Giants, Rangers and Padres organizations. He last played with the Padres and Rangers in 2006.

Young also saw a brief stint with the Rangers' AAA team in Oklahoma City and he spoke to The Daily Oklahoman about wanting to continue to play to play with or against his son, then a Rockies minor leaguer,  Eric Young Jr.

"That's what's keeping me around, besides my passion to continue playing," Young told The Daily Oklahoman that August. "My son and I both have the desire to play with or against each other in at least one major league game. Then I'll officially pass the torch to him."

Young didn't get to play with his son in the majors, but his son did make it there. Eric Young Jr. saw 10 seasons in the bigs. He debuted three years after his father retired. Eric Young Sr.'s career ended after that 2006 campaign, with 1,730 games played, 465 stolen bases and a career average of .283.

The elder young has since gone on to be a coach. He's served as a first base coach with the Diamondbacks, Rockies and Braves, including for the 2021 champion Braves. 

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,835
Made the Majors:1,289-33.6%-X
Never Made Majors:2,546-66.4%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:527-X
10+ Seasons in the Minors:322

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