Note: This page is for 1970s first baseman John Young; for others with the same name, click here.
John Thomas Young
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 3", Weight 210 lb.
- School Fullerton College, Chapman College
- High School Mount Carmel High School (Los Angeles)
- Debut September 9, 1971
- Final Game September 25, 1971
- Born February 9, 1949 in Los Angeles, CA USA
- Died May 8, 2016 in Los Angeles, CA USA
John Young grew up in south Los Angeles, CA and attended a local parochial school, Mount Carmel High School. He is the only major leaguer to have come out of that school, located in an area of the city that has produced countless big leaguers. He played in the minors for 1969 to 1977, but his major league career consisted of only 2 games with the Detroit Tigers in September of 1971. He was a first baseman throughout his career and had a few good hitting years in the minors. He hit .297 with 20 doubles and 17 homers for the Montgomery Rebels of the Southern League in 1971, then in 1975 and 1976 hit .330 and .321 in consecutive years for the Arkansas Travelers of the Texas League. In 1972, he hit .311 for the AAA Evansville Triplets, but his season was cut down to 30 games by an injury, and he fell to .241 the next season with the same team, apparently putting an end to his status as a prospect.
After his playing career, John became a scout around his old neighborhood, signing players such as Shane Mack, but over the years he became concerned that less and less baseball was being played because of gang infestation and a general degradation of playing facilities. In 1989, he founded the "Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities" (also known as "RBI") program to encourage participation in youth baseball and provide a positive activity for kids that would keep them off the mean streets. With the support of Major League Baseball, the program grew tremendously, now encompassing over 240 sites around the world. James Loney and Coco Crisp are among the graduates of the program to reach the major leagues. MLB later completed RBI by creating the Urban Youth Academy to bridge the gap between RBI and the college or professional ranks.
- Rick Obran: "The Sandlot Mentors of Los Angeles", in Jean Hastings Ardell and Andy McCue, ed.: Endless Seasons: Baseball in Southern California, The National Pastime, SABR, Number 41, 2011, pp. 23-27.
- Tracy Ringolsby: "RBI program creator John Young dies at 67", mlb.com, May 9, 2016.