Sad news on former Oriole Walter Young

Former Orioles first baseman Walter Young, once rated among the organization’s top prospects, passed away on Saturday from an apparent heart attack. He was 35.

A team official confirmed Young’s death earlier today.

According to this article, Young was working as a resource officer for the Lamar County School District in Mississippi.

orioles-dugout-sidebar.jpgThe Pirates drafted Young in the 31st round in 1999 out of Purvis (Miss.) High School before the Orioles selected him off waivers four years later. Young made his major league debut in 2005, going 10-for-33 with a double and home run in 14 games. The Padres selected him off waivers the following year.

Young played independent ball the final three years of his career, retiring in 2009 after appearing in 41 games for Sioux City and 25 with Edmonton. His only major league experience came with the Orioles in 2005.

Listed at 320 pounds, Young is believed to be the heaviest player to don a major league uniform, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

Young was named the Single-A South Atlantic League’s Most Valuable Player in 2002 after hitting .333 with 25 home runs 103 RBIs and a .563 slugging percentage and leading Hickory to the championship. He made the Single-A Carolina League’s postseason All-Star team in 2003, batting .278 with 20 homers and 87 RBIs for Lynchburg, but the Pirates needed room on their 40-man roster and placed him on waivers.

Young batted .274/.343/.539 with 28 doubles, 33 home runs and 98 RBIs in 133 games at Double-A Bowie in 2004.

I wrote about Young back in 2004 at spring training.

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