Young received the J.G. Taylor Spink Award from the Hall of Fame in 1979. For over 30 years he covered baseball with a breezy style that antagonized many in the game and attracted millions of readers to his column, “Young Ideas.” He began as a messenger boy with the New York Daily News and, in his 45 years there, rose to sports editor. In 1982 he moved to the New York Post.
Young railed against drug abuse, coming down hard on users among athletes. When Dwight Gooden came back from treatment in 1987, Young advised fans to stand up and boo him. He criticized the Commissioner’s office for its lenient drug policy and founded a Memorial Fund for the Phoenix House Foundation Drug Education and Prevention Program. Nobody was immune from criticism; while covering the Dodgers, Young was barred from the clubhouse by two managers.