Counting down Ranger All Star performances -- #2, Michael Young

One day before the All Star Game, and we're down to the top two in the all-time Texas Ranger All Star Game performances.  

Today we have our runner-up for the best Ranger All Star performance of all time -- Michael Young, in the 2006 All Star Game.

Five years ago today, on July 11, 2006, the All Star Game was played at PNC Park.  Lone Star Ball was in its second year of existence, and we had a discussion thread for the game and everything.

Michael Young and Gary Matthews, Jr., were the Rangers' representatives for the game.  This was Young's third in a string of what would be six straight All Star appearances, and he was named, along with Miguel Tejada, as the backup to starter Derek Jeter.

The game was a low-scoring affair, with each side logging a solo home run in the second -- Vladimir Guerrero for the A.L., David Wright for the N.L. -- and then N.L. plating another run when Carlos Beltran scored on a two out wild pitch in the bottom of the third to make it 2-1.

There the score stood for much of the rest of the game.  Young entered the game in the bottom of the 5th, playing second base, and got his first at bat of the game in the 7th, flying out with none on and two out against Derrick Turnbow of the Brewers.

In the 9th inning, it looked like that would be Young's only plate appearance of the game...he was due up fifth, and with the N.L. clinging to its 2-1 lead, Trevor Hoffman retired both Jermaine Dye and Miguel Tejada on rollers back to the mound.

Down to its last out, the A.L. had Paul Konerko due up, and he singled on the first pitch he saw from Hoffman.  Jose Lopez pinch ran for Konerko as Troy Glaus came to the plate as the go-ahead run.  Hoffman, who had thrown 6 pitches, all strikes, in the inning, got up 0-1 on Glaus before Glaus ripped a line drive down the line.  Lopez appeared likely to score, but the ball bounded into the stands for a ground rule double, leaving Lopez stuck helplessly at third base.

Up to the plate strode Michael Young with the tying run on third and the go-ahead run at second.  Hoffman, still pumping strikes up there, got ahead 0-2, and the A.L. was not just down to its last out, but was down to its last strike.

And then, on an 0-2 pitch, Michael Young drove the ball in classic Michael Young fashion, "walking the dog" into the right-center gap, and coming around all the way to third on a go-ahead triple.  Young would be stranded at third, as Hoffman got Joe Mauer on the third 1-3 putout of the inning for the third out, but the damage was done.  

Mariano Rivera came into the game for the bottom of the 9th and worked around a Lopez error to close out the N.L. and preserve a 3-2 A.L. victory, and Michael Young was named All Star Game MVP.  A terrific moment in Rangers All Star Game history.

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