Baseball Card Chat with Michael Young
During his first decade as a Texas Ranger, Michael Young has been called a lot of things and worn a lot of gloves. A seven-time American League All-Star, Young has been an all-star as a second baseman, third baseman, shortstop and designated hitter. Young saw playing time at first base for the first time in his career starting last year, and he’s proved he can field that position with excellence.
He has been in the big leagues for 13 seasons now, but like many kids growing up, he collected baseball cards. A Dodger fan during his childhood years, the California native collected every card he could.
Baseball Youth: Talk about your baseball card collecting as a kid growing up.
Young: It was easy when I was younger. There was Topps, Fleer and Donruss. It was easy to kind of collect those three companies. Right when I started growing out of that phase, they started coming out with god knows how many companies they have now. It was probably pretty good timing.
Baseball Youth: Did you collect only Dodgers players? If not, on whom did you focus?
Young: I collected everything. I was a baseball fan, so I collected everything. Every good player, I tried to get all of their stuff.
Baseball Youth: Since you were such an avid collector when you were younger, what was it like for you the first time you saw yourself on your own baseball card?
Young: It was a little weird, but I had already been out of it for a while at that point. It was pretty cool. It’s something that I think we’re all used to at this point, but it was pretty cool to have something that I know meant a lot to me as a young kid. To now be part of that was pretty cool.
Baseball Youth: Do you or does anyone in your family save any of your cards for you?
Young: No, I don’t. I don’t have any cards. My kids don’t. It’s not really something that we try to focus on in my family.
Baseball Youth: On average, how much fan mail do you think you receive?
Young: I don’t know. It’s tough to say. I try and get to it as quickly as I can, but it’s tough. Ordinarily, I get to most of it in the offseasons. It’s really tough to handle all of it during the season. I get crates at a time and usually try to knock them all out.
Baseball Youth: Back when you collected cards, there weren’t such things as autographed inserts and game-used jersey cards. What do you think of those kinds of cards that are a staple now?
Young: Yeah, pieces of jerseys, they put everything in there now. If kids get the same enjoyment out of it now that I got out of it then, great.
Interview by Baseball Youth contributing writer Steve Hunt