Walter Earnest Young Jr.
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 5", Weight 320 lb.
- High School Purvis High School
- Debut September 6, 2005
- Final Game October 2, 2005
- Born February 18, 1980 in Hattiesburg, MS USA
- Died September 19, 2015 in Purvis, MS USA
Walter Young is the heaviest man in major league history, or at least his listed weight is the highest recorded, at 320 lbs. by the time he reached the major leagues; other players, such as Cecil Fielder, may have surpassed him at the end of their careers.
Young was picked by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 31st round of the 1999 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Russell Bowen and was in the Pirates minor league organization from 1999 to 2003, moving no higher than High A. While he hit .300 only once during that time, he slugged over .500 several times. A peak year was in the South Atlantic League where he hit .333 with a .562 slugging percentage for the Hickory Crawdads in 2002.
In 2004, he was in the Baltimore Orioles organization, in Double A ball, and he hit 33 home runs. He was moved up to Triple A ball in 2005 with the Ottawa Lynx, dropping off considerably in power to 13 home runs in 123 games, but getting his chance at the big leagues as he had a .288 batting average and 29 doubles. He spent the month of September with the Orioles, hitting .303 with a home run in 14 games. Just as it looked like he would establish himself in the major leagues, he was released by the O's in January of 2006.
He was picked up by the San Diego Padres but was given only 13 games with the Triple A Portland Beavers before being released again, in spite of slugging three homers during his short stay. He ended up with the Double A Corpus Christi Hooks of the Houston Astros organization, where he hit .277 with 10 home runs in 95 games.
After 2007, Young played for various teams in the independent leagues, including the Winnipeg Goldeyes, Sussex Skyhawks and Sioux City Explorers. He hit .313 with 21 home runs in 95 games for Winnipeg in 2007, and hit well at other stops, but his physique, which was better suited to a professional football defensive lineman than to a baseball player, kept teams in organized baseball from giving him another look. His final stop was with the Edmonton Capitals of the Golden Baseball League at the end of the 2009 season. He was also more of a line drive hitter than a pure slugger, disappointing some observers who wanted to see extraordinary power coming from such a huge body.
He passed away in 2015 of a heart attack, aged only 35. His father, Walter Young Sr., had been a semi-pro baseball player in Mississippi.