August 28, 1951 |
|April 13, 1976, for the Cincinnati Reds|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 29, 1989, for the Cincinnati Reds|
|Runs batted in||422|
|Career highlights and awards|
Joel Randolph Youngblood III (born August 28, 1951) is a former professional baseball player. He was a versatile player, who could play many different positions, as well as pinch hit. After his playing career ended, he served as the third base coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Youngblood was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds out of Stephen F. Austin High School in the second round of the 1970 Major League Baseball Draft. After six seasons in their farm system, in which he batted .275 with 47 home runs and 274 RBIs, he made his major league debut on April 13, 1976. He batted only .193 for the "Big Red Machine" the season they swept the National League Championship Series and World Series, but he made his one and only appearance as a catcher that season.
St. Louis Cardinals
During Spring training the following season, he was dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals for Bill Caudill. He hit a home run in his first at-bat as a Cardinal, albeit during an exhibition game. In 25 regular season games with the Cards, Youngblood batted .185 with just one run batted in and no home runs.
New York Mets
On June 15, 1977, the New York Mets traded Tom Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds for Pat Zachry, Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson and Dan Norman, and Dave Kingman to the San Diego Padres for Bobby Valentine and minor league pitcher Paul Siebert. Somewhat more quietly that day, they also acquired Youngblood from the Cardinals for Mike Phillips. To make room for Youngblood on the Mets' active roster, player-manager Joe Torre retired as a player.
With the Mets, Youngblood emerged as something of a "star" on the team that consistently finished last or close to it throughout his time in New York City. He was the sole Mets representative on the National League team for the 1981 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. In that strike-shortened season, Youngblood hit .350 in 143 at-bats to mark his career-high.
On August 4, 1982, Youngblood became the only player in history to get hits for two different teams in two different cities on the same day. After Youngblood had driven in two runs with a single in the third inning for the Mets in an afternoon game at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs, he was replaced in center field by Mookie Wilson, and traded to the Montreal Expos for a player to be named later (On August 16, the Expos sent Tom Gorman to the Mets to complete the deal). Youngblood rushed to Philadelphia in order to be with his new team, and hit a seventh-inning single. Interestingly, the two pitchers he hit safely against, Ferguson Jenkins of the Cubs and Steve Carlton of the Philadelphia Phillies, are both in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
San Francisco Giants
Following the season, he signed as a free agent with the San Francisco Giants. As a utility player, he appeared in 124 games for the 1983 Giants. In 1984, his role with the Giants became more defined as he made 117 appearances at third. His low fielding percentage (.887) at that position returned him to his utility role for the remainder of his Giants career.
Youngblood signed as a free agent with the Cincinnati Reds for 1989. After one season back with the Reds, Youngblood joined the Sun City Rays of the Senior Professional Baseball Association in 1990. He was batting an average of .326 with four home runs and 16 RBI, just when the league folded during the midseason.
Youngblood served as a coach for the Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers and Baltimore Orioles in the 1990s. He also managed the Kane County Cougars, an Orioles farm club in the Midwest League, in 1992. In 1999 he left baseball to work in sales for a computer company, but returned in 2007 to take a coaching job with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. After serving as a minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator, Youngblood joined the Diamondbacks as third base coach on July 3, 2010. In 2011, he returned to the position of outfield/baserunning coordinator for the Diamondbacks organization.
- "Cincinnati Reds 7, Montreal Expos 0". Baseball-Reference.com. April 25, 1976.
- "Youngblood Goes to Cardinals". Sunday Daily Sentinel. March 29, 1977.
- Herschel Nissenson (March 30, 1977). "Youngblood Socks Homer for Cards in First Time At Bat". Williamson Daily News.
- Eric Simon (January 22, 2007). "The Top 50 Mets of All Time: #43 Joel Youngblood".
- "New York Mets 7, Chicago Cubs 4". Baseball-Reference.com. August 4, 1982.
- "Philadelphia Phillies 5, Montreal Expos 4". Baseball-Reference.com. August 4, 1982.
- Mark Lelinwalla (February 14, 2009). "Where are they now? Former Mets OF Joel Youngblood can still do it all". New York Daily News.
- D-backs announce Minor League coaching staffs MLB.com, December 13th, 2010. Retrieved September 3rd, 2011.