Floyd Youmans was once a rising star in MLB, and now he’s ferrying folks around as an Uber driver.
Pedro Moura of the Orange County Register ran into the former phenom — once compared to Doc Gooden before his career petered out with the Montreal Expos — while covering the league’s Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tn.
It was quite the round-about-way for Youmans to be participating in the game he loves after years of trying to make a niche for himself in MLB following his calamitous exit, but there it was, nevertheless.
Youmans was on his way up as a burgeoning big-time flamethrower when he entered a rehabilitation center for alcohol abuse in 1987, and the next year he admitted to using cocaine. His career took a nose dive from there, and he was never able to get back into the game, either as a pitcher or as a coach. As Moura puts it, “he has come closer to accepting he is not welcome in this world.”
Moura took advantage of the chance encounter and did what he does best, which is ask questions that matter. In this case, he delved into life after baseball for the former MLB pitcher.
“To be honest with you, when I picked you up, it made me a little sad, because I’m not involved in baseball,” Youmans told a meetings-bound rider in his Denali. “It’s strange how it goes. You feel a little sad, because you know how good you were, and now you’re not even relevant when it comes to the game. Once you’re out of baseball, no one pays you any attention.”
Now married to a doctor and enjoying a “productive” day-to-day life, Youmans looks back on his youth with regret, knowing his pursuits were “silly.”
He’s moved past all that, however, and is finding comfort in finding meaning in his life, as it is now.
“You spend so much time chasing trying to get back to somewhere,” he said. “But where you’re at might be better than where you’re trying to get.”
Wiser words were ne’er spoken.