Ross Youngs

Ross Middlebrook Youngs
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 1972
Primary team: New York Giants
Primary position: Right Fielder

Though the career of Royce M. “Ross” Youngs was ended prematurely, he made an impact on the baseball world during the time he was able to spend in the league.

Youngs made his major league debut in 1917 with the New York Giants. His first full season came in the following year, and he was sixth in the league with a .302 batting average.

The left-handed hitter finished his career with a .322 lifetime average and batted over .300 for seven straight seasons, including reaching an average of more than .350 twice. He scored 100-plus runs on three occasions and led National League outfielders in assists three times.

Youngs had his best season in 1920 when he finished second in the NL batting race to Rogers Hornsby, with a .351 average. At just 23 years old, he collected 204 hits, scored 92 runs, had 27 doubles, 14 triples and six home runs. He also notched 78 RBI and walked 75 times. He had a .427 on-base percentage and was third-best in the league with a .477 slugging mark. On May 11 of his season of highlights, Youngs had three triples in one game against the Redlegs, tying a major league record.

Youngs helped his team get to the World Series four years in a row, from 1921 to 1924, and the Giants won the Fall Classic twice, in 1921 and 1922. He became the first player to get two hits in one inning in a Series game in 1921. Youngs had a triple and a double in the Giants’ eight-run seventh inning in Game 3 against the Yankees.

The outfielder’s career ended in 1926 when he was diagnosed with a kidney disorder. He died at the early age of 30. A plaque was installed at the Polo Grounds in 1928 to honor him.

“A brave untrammelled spirit of the diamond, who brought glory to himself and his team by his strong, aggressive, courageous play,” the plaque read. “He won the admiration of the nation’s fans, the love and esteem of his friends and teammates, and the respect of his opponents. He played the game.”

One of the colleagues Youngs had the biggest effect on was his manager John McGraw. Until his own death in 1934, McGraw kept only two framed photos in his office at the Polo Grounds, one of Christy Mathewson and the other of Youngs. The manager also spoke out at his player’s funeral.

“He was the greatest outfielder I ever saw on a ball field,” McGraw said of Youngs. “The game was never over with Youngs until the last man was out. He could do everything a ball player should do, and do it better than most players. As an outfielder he had no superiors, and he was the easiest man I ever knew to handle. In all his years with the Giants, he never caused one minute’s trouble for myself or the club.

“On top of all this, a gamer ballplayer than Youngs never played ball.”

"The game was never over with him until the last man was out. He could do everything a baseball player should do and do it better than most players. He was the easiest man to handle I ever knew. And a gamer player than Youngs never played ball. "
John McGraw

Career stats

ESSENTIAL STATS
Year Inducted: 1972
Primary Team: New York Giants
Position Played: Right Fielder
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Birth place: Shiner, Texas
Birth year: 1897
Died: 1927, San Antonio, Texas
Played for:
New York Giants (1917-1926)
CAREER AT A GLANCE
GamesG
1211
At BatsAB
4627
RunsR
812
HitsH
1491
Doubles2B
236
Triples3B
93
Home RunsHR
42
RBIRBI
592
Stolen BasesSB
153
WalksBB
550
Batting AverageBA
.322
OPSOPS
.839
On Base %OBP
.399
Slugging %SLG
.441