Monday, August 28, 2017

Ump Supervisor Larry Young, Cancer-Free, Aims to Inspire

Former American League umpire and MLB Supervisor Larry Young is cancer-free, and wants his journey to inspire others. Young gave an interview to the local Rockford Register Star ( in the apropos town of Loves Park, Illinois, and discussed how his mindset has changed since that dreadful diagnosis.
Larry Young hopes his story can inspire others.
"My first statement was, ‘How long do I have?’...He (the doctor) actually got mad at me," Young said. "He didn’t want me thinking like that."
And now, he isn't.
After Dr. Jonathan Myers performed surgery Jan. 20 at Chicago’s Rush Hospital – along with 16 chemo sessions and 25 radiations – Young is cancer free. 
The 63-year-old umpiring alum noted that the next four years will be crucial, describing how an early suspicion of jaundice led to the discovery of cancer in a portion of the pancreas and ensuing surgery. He has lost 70 pounds during the process, including 50 on purpose: "I was pretty heavy...[now,] I'm in better shape than I've been in a long time."

He credits a strong support group, family and friends, and has a message for others:
"Your health is the most important thing. It doesn’t matter how many houses you have, how much money you have, if you don’t have your health ... that’s the big thing. That changed my whole outlook.
"After having something like this, the other cliché is also true – take one day at a time." 
Young worked on the AL and MLB staffs.
Young spent 25 years in the American and Major Leagues, from 1983 through 2007, and officiated 2,848 regular season games, two Midsummer Classics (1991, 2003), six Division Series (1996, 99, 2000-01, 2003-04), three American League Championship Series (1992, 98, 2002), and two World Series (1996, 2003).

He completed his career with 68 ejections, spanning from Carlton Fisk, Earl Weaver, and Bobby Cox to Jim Edmonds, Mike Scioscia, and AJ Hinch. Said Young, of Cox, "[he] got thrown out more than anybody, but it was business. I ran into him one time after I threw him out. We were walking down the hall like nothing happened. We were talking about our families and said we'd see each other tomorrow."

Biggest Complainer: Although active umpire Joe West recently received a three-game suspension for responding to a USA Today interview question by stating that baseball's biggest whiner has "got to be Adrian Beltre," Young told the Star that "[Jose] Canseco was bad; Rickey Henderson was bad. And some of the pitchers complained a lot," adding, "I can say this now because I'm retired."

Born in 1954 in Dixon, Illinois, Young presently resides in Roscoe, IL, while his work as an MLB Umpire Supervisor takes him from Wrigley Field and US Cellular Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago to Miller Park in Milwaukee. He also serves as coordinator of umpires for the World Baseball Classic and looks forward to the next tournament in 2021. His on-field sleeve number #28 is presently worn by staff umpire Jim Wolf.


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