Maine Baseball HOF
Young, Ken (1991)
A native of Ogunquit, Young was a 6-foot-3-inch, 180-pound right hander who played in the Portsmouth Sunset League. He mixed a fast ball, curve and change, all out of the same motion. Clyde Sukeforth, (charter member, Maine Baseball Hall of Fame 1969) a catcher with the Brooklyn Dodgers, remembers Young. “I heard about him from a number of scouts who said we had a pretty good pitcher from Maine".
in 1940, Young was signed to his first professional contract by Bobby Coombs (Maine Baseball Hall of Fame 1970) who had major league experience with the Philadelphia Athletics and New York Giants. Offers also came from the Boston Braves and Athletics.
Young completed spring training at Shreveport, La. then was assigned to Marshall in the East Texas League, went to Houma, La. in the Evangeline League then back to Marshall on recall.
The league folded and Young, a free agent, signed with Oklahoma City Managed by Rogers Hornsby (Baseball hall of Fame 1942). He was sent to Salina, Kansas and from there to Wichita where he had a 16-3 season.
“This young kid, has everything going for him to be a major league pitcher" said Carl Hubbell (Baseball Hall of Fame 1947). He has the best change of pace I ever saw.
In the Navy during World War Il, Young played at Sampson Naval Base where the team manager was Johnny (Double No-hit) Vander Meer and the team record was 28-0.
Young was also stationed at Camp Bradford, Va. and pitched the first home game before 35,000 servicemen and women, beating Camp Lee 4-3. He shut out Fort Riley 9-0 on one hit. The only hit by the opposing team was by a shortstop named Jackie Robinson.
But sea duty followed and an injury ended Young's baseball career.
he spent three months in a naval hospital before returning to Maine. Ken Young's big league aspirations ended with an injury during World War Il military service, but he continued to scout for the St.Louis Cardinals until 1950 and still receives calls to look at young players.
"If the war had not come along, Ken had plenty of stuff to become a better than average major league pitcher’ Coombs said. "It was time to call it a day after 12 years of baseball", he said.