Dmitri Young Biography

Dmitri Young Biography Claim to Fame: MLB Outfielder, first baseman
DOB: October 11, 1973
Diabetes Type: 2

Quote: I was actually relieved [about the diagnosis] because it answered pretty much every question that I had -- my mood swings, the inability to lose weight. I don't have the spots anymore, but I had a lot of spots from the diabetes.

Dmitri Dell Young was born on October 11, 1973 in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He attended Rio Mesa High School in California and as a senior, batted .425 with 11 home runs, 31 RBIs, 37 runs, and 8 doubles, earning him the USA Today High School All-American honors.

At 6'2" tall and 295 pounds, Young was a first round draft pick in the 1991 June amateur draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. But after punching a fan that had been heckling him in 1995, Young was suspended from the Texas League. A year later, he had a big year at Triple-A Louisville and was chosen as a Triple-A All-Star first baseman and the St. Louis Cardinals Minor League Player of the Year.

1997 was Young's first full season in Major League Baseball with the Cardinals. He was then traded to the Cincinnati Reds and selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the expansion draft, then traded back to the Reds. He primarily played the outfield and first base. In 2001, Young was traded to the Detroit Tigers. He is the only player to hit three home runs in one game at Comerica Park.

Young went through a divorce in 2006 and treatment for alcohol and substance abuse, as well as depression. He pleaded guilty to the assault of a young woman and spent 30 days in a rehabilitation center. After failing to appear for a pretrial hearing, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. It was then that Young revealed that he had been struggling with alcoholism.

The same year, Young learned he had diabetes. "It's a lot tougher than people imagine," he told ESPN. Young takes insulin injections up to four times a day, and while he's learned to eat better foods to manage his diabetes, doctors continue to change his medications.

"There's so much about it I don't even know," Young told The Washington Post. "I learn constantly when I meet people, things that they do to help manage it. I didn't even know that before I do any sort of physical activity, my blood sugar has to be well above 150, so when I do crash, I crash back to normal. It's a constant process."

2007 brought Young a two-year, $10 million extension with a vesting option. He won the Player's Choice National League Comeback Player of the Year award upon the season's close. But in September of 2008, Young was declared officially out for the season because of his diabetes.

In March of 2010, Young announced his retirement and was introduced as the new Vice President and Senior Advisor of Baseball Operations of the Frontier League's Oakland County Cruisers, an independent professional baseball team. At 36 years old, Young retired with a .292/.351/.475 lifetime batting line over 13 professional seasons with the Nationals, Tigers, Reds, and Cardinals.

Later, in July, Young was arrested at Central Illinois Regional Airport on preliminary charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana while attempting to board a flight to Ft. Lauderdale. He claimed that he was using the substance for medicinal purposes.

"I am doing fine, and I am not calling from jail. Without getting into the legalities that are still pending, I have the medical condition, of course being diabetic and having all these old aches and pains. Been to rehab before. And upon retirement been consulting with a doctor about having something to alleviate some of the pain that I've been going through in all my career."

Young later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana. A second count of possession related to his July arrest was dismissed. He was given 18 months court supervision and ordered to pay $750 in court costs and fines. Under the terms of his court supervision, Young cannot violate any criminal statute or ordinance of any jurisdiction.

Find more athletes with diabetes.

Last Modified Date: May 16, 2013

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by Brenda Bell
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