Two excellent players who could have continued their careers decided not to. On Thursday, Michael Young and Lance Berkman, who played in the same state, but never on the same team retired.
Young played nearly all his career with the Texas Rangers and finished with the Phillies and Dodgers. Berkman was a longtime Houston Astro, but ironically ended last year with the Rangers after Young had been traded.
Neither is a likely Hall of Famer, but each should get plenty of votes.
Young has the better case. He had 2,375 hits, including six years of more than 200 and a lifetime average of exactly .300.
He once hit 52 doubles, but wasn’t thought of as a power hitter. Young had just two seasons of 20 or more home runs, and impressively his two seasons with more than 100 RBIs came when he hit 14 and 11 homers.
Young won the Gold Glove as a shortstop in 2006. Strangely for an excellent hitter, Young didn’t hit brilliantly at Oriole Park, batting .272 in 49 games.
Berkman had a lifetime batting average of .293, never had 200 hits in a season, had six years of more than 30 homers and 100 RBIs. He was a six-time All-Star and won a World Series in 2011 when he played for the St. Louis Cardinals.
We didn’t see a lot of Berkman in Baltimore. In 12 games, he batted .279 with three home runs.
Five years from now, Young whose statistics compare with Hall of Famers Barry Larkin and Ryne Sandberg might be looked upon as a candidate. In the current environment with so many qualified players, he’d get overlooked.
Berkman doesn’t have as good a case, but his stats were excellent.
Both had offers to continue, but they decided not to go on. Happy retirement to both.