Oct. 27, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Former UC Santa Barbara baseball standout and current Texas Rangers All-Star Michael Young was awarded Major League Baseball's Marvin Miller Man of the Year award.
The Marvin Miller Award is administered by the Major League Baseball Players Trust. Each team nominates one player and the winner is voted upon by all MLB players. The award is presented to "the player in either league whose on-field performance and contributions to his community inspire others to higher levels of achievement."
Young, who is active with his wife Cristina in a number of off-the-field charities, is the first Rangers player to be selected.
"It's a credit to the guys that I'm surrounded by, not to mention the work that my wife has done," Young told mlb.com. "I've been blessed with my career. We are at a point where we want to do everything we can to give back. The families and people we get to meet on an everyday basis by being active in the community is something we've gotten a great deal of joy out of."
Michael and Cristina have been actively involved in Wipe Out Kids Cancer for the past seven years, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending pediatric cancer through innovative research, education and treatment, while providing hope to children affected by cancer.
They have helped furnish an outpatient physical therapy room at Children's Medical Center, providing much-needed equipment; they have raised money for college scholarships and are honorary chairpersons of an annual golf tournament.
Last offseason, Michael and Cristina also undertook a shopping spree with 25 youngsters served by the Hotel Ministry, a branch of Mission Arlington. The shopping trip aided children who live in day hotels and have no real home, providing them with gifts to open on Christmas morning.
"I feel blessed with my career and my life," Young told mlb.com. "My wife and I have a son of our own and we are at a point where we want to do anything we can to give back. It's really where we get the most enjoyment out of through the families we meet and the people we get to meet while being active in our community."
Young is also a member of the Dallas/Fort Worth Action Team, a national youth volunteer initiative administered by the Players Trust and Volunteers of America that actively recruits high school kids to volunteer.
"The one thing I have seen working with these high school kids is that they are ambitious kids, whether it's through their schoolwork, community endeavors or volunteer work," Young told mlb.com. "They're at an age where they are pretty impressionable and they're learning how to share that ambition by getting involved in other people's lives and learning to feel better about themselves by volunteering."