Mike Young (manager)

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Michael R. Young

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Minor league manager Mike Young grew up in the Chicago, IL area and attended the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He was the varsity team's MVP in 1978. After graduation, he managed to land a contract to play in the Netherlands thanks to former teammate Rob Bohn who had obtained a job there but had to pull out at the last minute. He played there in 1979 and 1980 and realized that there were other opportunities for American players to ply their skills around the globe. He sent his resume around and was contacted in 1981 by the Queensland Rams, an Australian team, which he also coached and led to a national championship (the Claxton Shield) in 1982.

Because the Australian and American seasons do not overlap, Young was able to pursue opportunities on both continents, and in 1985 landed the job of manager with the Medicine Hat Blue Jays, his first in organized baseball. In 1989, he managed the Bluefield Orioles in the Appalachian League and the Wausau Timbers in the Midwest League in 1990. He was a coach with the Rochester Red Wings in 1991 and 1992, then returned to managing with two seasons in the Cleveland Indians organization.

At the same time, he was becoming a major player in the development of baseball in Australia, landing a coaching job with the Australian national team. He managed the team at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. He was twice named the International Baseball Federation coach of the year, in 1997 and 1999, for his work with the Australian national team, including its results in two Intercontinental Cups: he led the team to a bronze medal in the 1997 tournament and then to a gold medal at home in 1999. Young's work down under coincided with a period when Australian baseball was booming, producing Major League players like Dave Nilsson, Mark Hutton, Cam Cairncross, Shayne Bennett and Chris Snelling, all of whom reached the major leagues. This boom is linked to Mike Young's work, as he is the one who developed the idea of the Australian Baseball Academy, which is jointly funded by Major League Baseball and aims at grooming Australian baseball talent. The number of Australian players signed by MLB has quadrupled since the Academy's foundation.

Young's career took another interesting twist in 2000 when the Australian cricket federation approached him for help. Fielding has long been an under-developed aspect of cricket, as teams have concentrated on developing bowlers (pitchers) and batters. The Australians, observing how fielding was a central part of baseball, decided to exploit an opportunity by having Young coach their players on catching, throwing and positioning. This instruction has proven to be extremely beneficial, and other cricket teams have since approached retired baseball players to assist them in this neglected area of the game.

Year-By-Year Minor League Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs
1985 Medicine Hat Blue Jays Pioneer League 26-44 3rd Toronto Blue Jays
1989 Bluefield Orioles Appalachian League 27-41 10th Baltimore Orioles
1990 Wausau Timbers Midwest League 49-87 14th Baltimore Orioles
1993 Watertown Indians New York-Penn League 46-32 3rd Cleveland Indians Lost in 1st round
1994 Columbus RedStixx South Atlantic League 87-51 1st Cleveland Indians Lost in 1st round
2005 Rockford RiverHawks Frontier League 51-45 6th Independent Leagues Lost in 1st round

Related Sites[edit]