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Former Cubs pitcher Anthony Young dies at 51

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The affable righthander held a dubious major-league record.

Otto Gruele/Getty Images

This story actually broke on Tuesday evening, but due to the crush of news Wednesday and Thursday, it had to wait till today to post. It’s still worth your time.

Anthony Young, who pitched in 52 games for the Cubs in 1994 and 1995, died Monday of complications from a brain tumor in his hometown of Houston.

Former Mets pitcher Turk Wendell said in a statement that Young revealed earlier this year at the Mets' fantasy camp that he had been diagnosed with a brain tumor.

"Anthony was a true gentleman," Wendell said. "At this year's fantasy camp, he told us he had a brain tumor. That was Anthony. He never ran away from anything."

Wendell and Young were Cubs teammates.

If you recall Young’s name at all, you probably do because he holds the major-league record for consecutive losses for a pitcher, 27. This record was set while he played for the Mets in 1992 and 1993.

Truth be told, this record should never have been set, and the Cubs were involved. Young started against the Cubs at Wrigley Field June 1, 1993 and pitched one of the better games of his career: six shutout innings, allowing only three hits. At the time, his loss streak was at 19.

Dallas Green, who was the Mets manager at the time, lifted Young after just 84 pitches with the Mets leading 1-0. He must have figured that the Mets would win the game and end Young’s streak.

The Cubs scored eight runs off the Mets’ bullpen, so Young wound up with a no-decision that day.

About two months later, on July 28 at Shea Stadium, Young finally got a win after the streak was extended to 27:

That night, Young was summoned in the ninth inning against the Florida Marlins and gave up the go-ahead run on a bunt single, putting him in position for a 28th straight loss.

Instead, the Mets rallied for two runs in the ninth for a 5-4 victory. Young got the win and was mobbed by his teammates.

"That wasn't even a big monkey that was on my back,'' Young said. "It was a zoo. The guys treated it like I had won a World Series game for them.''

Here’s video from that game:

Young was known throughout baseball as one of the good guys. After he left the big leagues, according to the ESPN.com article above, he worked in youth baseball in Houston.

Anthony Young was 51 years old, way too young to go. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.