Saturday, April 25, 2015

HALL OF FAME #17: ROSS YOUNGS: CLASS OF 1972

Next up on the Hall of Fame Inductee hit parade is former New York Giants player Ross Youngs, who was inducted into the Hall by the Veteran's Committee in 1972, and not without controversy.
Take a look at my card design card first:


Now while the man had a very productive, yet short and tragic career, baseball historians such as Bill James cite Youngs as one of the "questionable" inductees selected by his cronies Bill Terry and Frankie Frisch who led the committee then.
Along with other inductees around this time (Jesse Haines, George Kelly, Chick Hafey, Dave Bancroft), Youngs does indeed seem like he falls a bit short of true Hall of Fame standards.
Granted, if not for the tragic fact that Youngs died at the age of 30 of "Bright's Disease", he may have well put up some serious Hall-worthy numbers.
But as it stands, in his abbreviated ten-year career, he batted .322 while collecting 1491 hits, 812 runs scored and 592 runs batted in, with 153 stolen bases over 1211 games and 4627 at-bats.
He posted two 200-hit seasons, scored 100+ runs twice, drove in 100+ once and batted .350+ twice before his illness ended his career in 1926.
While the numbers he put up season to season were above average, it does leave you scratching your head compared to the careers of some other guys.
Nevertheless, his former manager John McGraw considered him one of his favorite players, and even opposing player and fellow Hall of Famer Burleigh  Grimes commented that Youngs was the best player he ever saw.

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