Anthony Young, A Winner

July 11, 1993

One player you won't be seeing at the major league baseball All-Star Game in Baltimore this Tuesday is New York Mets pitcher Anthony Young.

Even casual followers of the game probably know Mr. Young has lost 26 games in a row. The previous record of 23 consecutive L's was set more than 80 years ago by Cliff Curtis of the Boston Braves, a team every bit as hapless as the '93 Mets.

Some say Mr. Young wouldn't be in the majors if the Mets weren't so hard-up for pitching. Then again, he has pitched well enough to post decent numbers -- for almost any team but the Mets.

His 26th straight loss, suffered last Wednesday against the San Diego Padres, was especially gut-wrenching. He worked eight innings, gave up only two runs, struck out seven and walked TTC none. An effort good enough to win nearly any day in the big leagues, right? Not this day, though, not for Hard-Luck Young. His opponent allowed only one hit. And the decisive blow against Mr. Young was a two-out, two-run homer in the eighth by the immortal Archi Cianfrocco, a .196 hitter.

Professional athletes in worse slumps will vent their anger by doing everything from overturning water coolers to punching out scribes. Mr. Young is different. Despite the frustration and the notoriety of his streak, despite the lame offensive support of his teammates (25 runs in his 14 losses as a starter), he always, in the words of one Met, "takes it like a man." He doesn't whine, doesn't complain. He even seems to have a sense of humor about the whole thing.

The example of Anthony Young offers all of us an important lesson:

We should understand that life is going to throw some losses our way from time to time. And when it does, we need to take them in stride and realize we're due to pick up a few wins sooner or later.

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