Yondu was the leader of the Ravagers, a group of space pirates. In 1988 he captured Peter Quill when Quill was a young boy, just after his mother had died. Yondu was supposed to deliver the boy to his father, but he decided to keep Quill and raised him as his own, while keeping him safe from the other Ravagers.
He sent Quill on many dangerous missions to find artifacts. One such mission was to find the Orb of Morag. He was meant to get money from a Broker on Xandar but when he was told that Quill had not sold him the Orb in fear that it was too dangerous he went out in search of Quill. After a game of "cat and mouse", Yondu met up with Quill once more. Yondu was convinced by Quill to help in battle against Ronan's forces and save Xandar.
After the battle, Yondu was tricked by Quill and given a second orb that actually contains a troll doll off of Quill's ship. When Yondu discovered the trick, he started to laugh.