Michael Young meets with upset fan, 3
Gavin's mother, Kim, videotaped her son as she told him the news that Young might not be with the Rangers anymore. The video, which became an instant YouTube sensation, shows Gavin, sitting at the kitchen table in his Weatherford, Texas, home, taking his Rangers cap and dropping it on the floor while lowering his head in disappointment.
It prompted Young, with the help of his wife, Cristina, to organize a meeting with Gavin at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington's merchandise store last Wednesday, a few days before Young left for spring training.
"It was great to meet him. He's a good kid, and we had a fun time," said Young, who bought Gavin some souvenirs. "The young fans are the best part of the game."
Young is the father of two boys, 5-year-old Mateo and 16-month-old Emilio.
"What 3-year-old gets to meet their baseball idol and hero?" Kim Justice said. "Michael walked in and Gavin expected him to be in his uniform. He asked him, "Are you Michael Young?" He looked at me and asked the same question."
Said Young: "He had no idea because I wasn't in my uniform, but I think when he saw an 8x10 [photo in the store], he figured it out."
Young and his young fan walked around the store, tried on a few caps and talked about baseball.
"I was really impressed with Michael," Justice said. "He is the nicest guy. He squatted down and talked with Gavin on his level. It was really neat as a mom to see someone of his popularity and status make an attempt to communicate with a 3-year-old like that."
When stories came out about Young requesting to be traded by Texas, Justice said she mentioned it to Gavin and he immediately looked confused. She grabbed her phone and began recording, something she does all of the time.
"He's very articulate for a 3-year-old and it's funny to hear what comes out of his mouth," Justice said. "He's a huge Rangers fan. It turned into this big, melodramatic 3-year-old reaction. I didn't know he would be that upset. But his hero might be gone, and there are grown men out there that might drop their hat on the floor and do the same thing. It kind of exploded overnight online and I didn't expect that."
Justice said the family attended 20 to 25 games last season and plan to go to more in the coming season. They also put their names in the lottery for Opening Day tickets.
"[Gavin] asks me about Michael every day," Justice said. "He asks, 'Is he still with the Rangers? He's not going to the Yankees, is he?' I tell him he's still with the Rangers and we hope he doesn't go to the Yankees or anywhere else."
Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com.
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