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Ross Youngs

Ross Youngs

Position(s):
OF, 2B
Nicknames:
Pep
Born:
April 10, 1897
Bats:
Left
Throws:
Right
Height:
5' 8"
Weight:
162 lbs
Major League Debut:
9-25-1917 with NY1
Hall of Fame:
1972

Intro

A fine outfielder with an excellent arm and a beautiful batting stroke, Ross Youngs died tragically at the age of 29 when he was struck with Bright's Disease. Purchased for $2,000, he was one of John McGraw's favorite players and he played on four Giant pennant-winning teams in the 1920s, providing exuberant hustle and an aggressive approach on the basepaths. He is credited with teaching Mel Ott the finer points of playing right field in the Polo Grounds.

Quotes About

"He was a smaller Ty Cobb. He was built like Enos Slaughter - had the same hustle, and even more ability." — Waite Hoyt "Everybody has Cobb. Ruth and Speaker on his all-time outfield. But, somehow, I've got to find a place for Pep Young. Don't ask me to take one out, I've just got to put Pep in there somewhere." — Ford C. Frick

Quotes From

"Base stealing is one thing that you have to learn. A man is born with a good batting eye. There is a certain fielding sense which seems to come naturally to some, although of course, it may be greatly developed. But base stealing is by no means a thing of speed alone."

Minor Leages

In 1916, he batted .354 for Rochester in his first full professional season, playing for former big league infielder Mickey Doolan, who was instructed by John McGraw to "not mess this kid up."

Replaced By

Heinie Mueller

Best Season

Youngs was just 23 years old when he finished second in the National League to Rogers Hornsby in the batting race. Youngs hit .351 with 204 hits, 92 runs scored, 27 doubles, 14 triples, six home runs, 78 RBI and 18 steals. He walked 75 times, and he had a fine OBP his entire career, drawing 160 more free passes than strikeouts. In '20 he posted a .427 OBP and a .477 slugging mark, which was third in the loop. His other benchmark season was 1924.

Factoid 1

Ross Youngs became the first player to collect two hits in one inning in a World Series game, in 1921. In Game Three against the Yankees, he stroked a double and a triple in the Giants' eight-run seventh inning.

Factoid 2

Giants Hall of Fame outfielder Ross Youngs was originally signed as a second baseman. His errant throws from that position in his first pro season, led John McGraw to move him to right field.

Transition

Youngs spent his entire career with the Giants. Manager John McGraw commented in 1919: "I said early this year that I wouldn't trade Young for [Edd] Roush. That seemed an absurd statement to some, but it was the sober truth."

Strengths

His baserunning. According to sportswriter Sam Crane: "Quick as a flash to take advantage of a momentary fumble by an opponent, he is off like the wind to stretch his hits." In this sense, and in many others, such as his love and respect for the game, his hustle on the field at all times, and his aggressive style in breaking up double plays, Youngs resembled George Brett.

Weaknesses

No glaring weaknesses.

Feats

On May 11, 1920, Ross Youngs hit three triples in a game against the Redlegs, tying a major league record.

Description

"Fast, energetic, ambitious, with a nimble brain, a sure batting eye, and a remarkable throwing arm." — sportswriter Sam Crane

Notes

Was originally pursued by Detroit, but accepted a chance with the Giants because he felt he had a better chance to break into their outfield... Finished fifth in 1924 National League Most Valuable Player voting... Was considered by many to be the best golfer in baseball... As a 16-year old in San Antonio, he was discovered by famed scout Dick Kinsella... Youngs' high school baseball team (West Texas Military Academy) won the Texas state championship in 1913... Also starred as quarterback on his high school football team... Hit .409 in May of 1919, but just .257 in June. His average was over .430 in late May of that season, but dipped below .300 in early August. He rallied late in the season to finish at .311... At the time of his death, Youngs was estranged from his wife, from whom he had filed a divorce. The couple had one daughter, Caroline, was was two years old when her father died. Caroline made the acceptance speech when Youngs was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972.

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Tagged:
1972 Hall of Fame, Baseball History, John McGraw, Mel Ott, New York Giants, Polo Grounds, Ross Youngs

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