Anthony Young has died. The former New York Mets pitcher was 51, and was best known for setting the major-league record with 27 consecutive losses in the 1990s. According to CBS Local, he was in a hospital in his hometown of Houston, Texas.
How did Young die?
According to Sports Illustrated, Young died as a result of an inoperable brain tumor. The tumor was discovered in January, after Young began experiencing vision problems. “I was having blurred vision and my wife took me to the emergency room,” he told Sports Talk 1240 host Bill Donahue in February, “They found out that I had a brain tumor in my brain stem, which is too dangerous to try to get a biopsy, so we treated it like it was cancer.”
Young subsequently underwent chemotherapy to treat the tumor, and reported at the time that things were improving. “I’m doing great,” he said. “I never got sick, I drove myself every day to chemo. I never missed a day of work. I go to work every day. … Everything is going fine. I had a MRI the other day and the tumor actually shrunk some.”
Former MLB player Lenny Harris tweeted that Young had fallen into a coma on Monday night. He was officially pronounced dead the following afternoon.
Young played six seasons in the MLB, three with the New York Mets, two with the Chicago Cubs, and one with the Houston Astros. Most fans will remember him for his historic losing streak, however, which consisted of 14 losses as a starter and 13 as a reliever, between May 6, 1992 and July 24, 1993.
The notoriety even earned Young an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. When the streak finally ended, his teammates were quick to celebrate and congratulate him. Watch the celebration below.
In a statement released after his death, fellow Mets player Doug Flynn said “A.Y. took a lot of kidding about his losing record. But he was the victim of some bad luck during the streak. He knew that he was a better pitcher than his numbers.” Former Mets pitcher Turk Wendell added that “Anthony was a true gentleman. At this year’s fantasy camp, he told us he had a brain tumor. That was Anthony. He never ran away from anything.”
Read the full statement below.
After retiring, Young went on to become a youth pitching coach in Houston. He continued to give lessons even while undergoing treatment for his tumor. In a 2009 interview with New York Daily News, Young reflected on life and his pitching legacy: “I got a bad rap on that, I always said I didn’t feel like I was pitching badly. It just happened to happen to me… It was just destiny, I guess. [But] Life is good. I’m a grandfather. It’s been a pleasure watching my kids grow up and I’m keeping busy with baseball.”
Numerous MLB figures and fans have paid tribute to Young on social media. Check out some of the most notable tweets below.