Carl Michael Yastrzemski (/jəˈstrɛmski/; nicknamed "Yaz"; born August 22, 1939) is an American former Major League Baseball player. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989. Yastrzemski played his entire 23-year Major League career with the Boston Red Sox (1961–1983). He was primarily a left fielder, but also played 33 games as a third baseman and mostly was a first baseman and designated hitter later in his career. Yastrzemski is an 18-time All-Star, the possessor of seven Gold Gloves, a member of the 3,000 hit club, and the first American League player in that club to also accumulate over 400 home runs. He is second on the all-time list for games played, and third for total at-bats. He is the Red Sox' all-time leader in career RBIs, runs, hits, singles, doubles, total bases, and games played, and is third on the team's list for home runs behind Ted Williams and David Ortiz.
In 1967 Yastrzemski achieved a peak in his career, leading the Red Sox to the American League pennant for the first time in over two decades and being voted the 1967 American League MVP. Yastrzemski also won the Triple Crown that year, a milestone which was not accomplished again in the Major Leagues until Miguel Cabrera achieved the feat 45 years later in 2012.
Yastrzemski in 1976
|Left fielder / First baseman|
|Born: August 22, 1939|
Southampton, New York
|April 11, 1961, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 2, 1983, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Runs batted in||1,844|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the National|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Vote||94.63% (first ballot)|
Yastrzemski was born in Bridgehampton, New York to Carl Yastrzemski, Sr. and Hattie Skonieczny. Both his parents were of a Polish background, and young Carl was bilingual from an early age. Raised on his father's potato farm, Carl played on sandlot baseball teams with his father, who, he maintains, was a better athlete than he was. Carl also played Little League Baseball. "Yaz" attended Notre Dame on a basketball scholarship (his career Long Island high school scoring mark at Bridgehampton broke one previously held by Jim Brown) briefly before embarking on his baseball career.
Yastrzemski signed with the Red Sox organization, which sent him to the minor-league Raleigh Capitals in 1959, where he led the league with a .377 batting average, They then moved him to the Minneapolis Millers for the post-season and the 1960 season. Yastrzemski, who had studied business at Notre Dame, fulfilled a promise to his parents by finishing his degree at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, in 1966.
Yastrzemski began his major-league career in 1961 and hit his first home run off of former Red Sox pitcher Jerry Casale.  From the beginning, there was tremendous pressure on him to perform, as he succeeded to the position of the great Red Sox legend Ted Williams. He would prove to be a worthy successor at the plate, and a far superior defensive player with a strong arm, expert in playing off the Green Monster, Fenway Park's left-field wall. In 12 years as a left fielder, Yastrzemski won seven Gold Gloves and led in assists seven times.
While his first two years were viewed as solid but unspectacular, he emerged as a rising star in 1963, winning the American League batting championship with a batting average of .321, and also leading the league in doubles and walks, finishing sixth in the Most Valuable Player voting.
Yastrzemski enjoyed his best season in 1967, when he won the American League Triple Crown with a .326 batting average, 44 home runs (tied with Harmon Killebrew) and 121 RBIs. Yastrzemski's Triple Crown win in 1967 was the last time a major league hitter won the Batting Triple Crown until Miguel Cabrera in the 2012 season – conversely six different pitchers have since won the pitchers' version. He was voted Most Valuable Player almost unanimously (one voter chose César Tovar of the Twins). His 12.4 WAR was the highest since Babe Ruth's 1927 season.
1967 was the season of the "Impossible Dream" for the Red Sox (referring to the hit song from the musical play Man of La Mancha), who rebounded from a ninth-place finish a year before to win the American League pennant (their first since 1946) on the last day of the season. With the Red Sox battling as part of a four-team pennant race, Yastrzemski hit .513 (23 hits in 44 at-bats) with five home runs and 16 runs batted in over the last two weeks of the season, and finished a mere one game ahead of the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins. The Red Sox went into the final two games of the season trailing the Twins by 1 game and leading the Tigers by 1/2 game. The Red Sox final two games were against Minnesota with the pennant and home run title (and hence, the triple crown) on the line. In the Saturday game, Yaz went 3 for 4 with a home run and 4 RBI. Klllebrew also homered, but the Red Sox won, 6–4. Thus, the teams went into the final game tied for 1st place, and Yaz and Killebrew were tied with 44 home runs apiece. In the final game, neither player homered, but Yaz went 4 for 4 with 2 RBI in the Red Sox 5–3 win. So in the two games with the pennant on the line, Yastrzemski was 7 for 8 with 6 RBI
The Red Sox lost the World Series four games to three to the St. Louis Cardinals, losing three times to Bob Gibson. However, Yaz batted .400 with 3 home runs and 5 RBI in the series. In that season, Yastrzemski also won the Hickok Belt as top professional athlete of the year and Sports Illustrated magazine's "Sportsman of the Year" Award.
In an article he co-wrote for the November 1967 issue of SPORT Magazine, Yastrzemski credited Boston's remarkable season to manager Dick Williams and an infusion of youth, including Rico Petrocelli and Tony Conigliaro. Referring to Williams, Yastrzemski wrote: "He got rid of all the individuality, made us into a team, gave us an incentive, and made us want to win."
In 1968 Yastrzemski again won the batting championship. Because of the competitive advantages pitchers enjoyed between 1963 and 1968 (prior to the lowering of the pitcher's mound), Yastrzemski's .301 mark in "The Year of the Pitcher" is the lowest average of any batting champion in major league history; however, he was the only hitter in the American League to hit .300 for that season against such formidable pitching, as well as leading the league in on-base percentage and walks.
In 1969, Yastrzemski had the first of two consecutive 40-home run seasons as he led the Red Sox to third-place finishes that year and the next. He got four hits, tying the record, and won the All-Star Game MVP in 1970, although the American League lost. He is one of two players to win the All-Star Game MVP Award despite playing for the losing team, Brooks Robinson having done so in 1966. Yastrzemski's .329 batting average that season was his career high, but he finished second behind the California Angels' Alex Johnson for the batting title by less than .001. In 1970 Yaz led the league in slugging and on-base percentage, finishing third in home runs.
Although he hit but 61 home runs over the next four years (1971 through 1974) as the Red Sox finished second twice and third twice, he finished in the top 10 in batting, and top three in on-base percentage and walks in 1973 and 1974, and led the league in runs scored in 1974.
In the 1975 All-Star Game, Yastrzemski was called to pinch-hit in the sixth inning, with two men on base and the American League down 3-0. Without wearing a batting helmet, he hit Tom Seaver's first pitch for a home run to tie the score. The three-run homer was the only scoring the American League did that night as they lost 6-3.
Yastrzemski and the Red Sox would suffer another World Series loss in 1975, losing four games to three to the Cincinnati Reds. Yastrzemski made the final out in Game 7 on a fly out to center, trailing by one run. Coincidentally, he also made the final out of the 1978 American League East tie-breaker game with a foul pop to third base. This game featured Bucky Dent's famous homer (although Reggie Jackson's home run was the eventual winning run). Earlier in the game, however, Yastrzemski began the scoring with a home run off left-handed pitcher Ron Guidry, who was having a career year (25 wins, 3 losses and a 1.74 ERA). It was the only homer the Cy Young Award winner allowed to a left-hander all season.
On May 19, 1976, Yastrzemski hit three home runs against the Detroit Tigers at Tiger Stadium. He then went to Yankee Stadium and hit two more, tying the major league record of five home runs in two consecutive games. In 1978 Yastrzemski, then 39, was one of the five oldest players in the league. On September 12, 1979 Carl Yastrzemski achieved another milestone becoming the first American League player with 3000 career hits and 400 home runs. In 1982, playing primarily as a designated hitter, an early season hitting streak placed him among the league's leading hitters and saw him featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated and played in that year's All-Star game.
|Carl Yastrzemski's number 8 was retired by the Boston Red Sox in 1989.|
Yastrzemski retired in 1983 at the age of 44, although he stated in his autobiography Yaz that he was initially planning on playing the 1984 season, until he was tired from a long midseason slump. He also stated that had he known how good Roger Clemens would have been as a pitcher, he would have played in 1984 to have had a chance to play with him.
No player has had a longer career with only one team, 23 seasons, a record which he shares with Brooks Robinson of the Baltimore Orioles. His final career statistics include 3,308 games played (second all-time and the most with a single team), 646 doubles, 452 home runs, 1,844 RBIs, and a batting average of .285. He had 1,845 walks in his career, and 1,157 extra base hits. Yastrzemski was the first player to ever collect over 3,000 hits and 400 home runs solely in the American League (the feat has since been accomplished by Cal Ripken Jr.). He was named to the All-Star Game 18 times. Yastrzemski won three American League batting championships in his career. In addition, Yastrzemski only trails Ty Cobb and Derek Jeter in hits collected with a single team, and trails only Cobb, Jeter and Tris Speaker in hits collected playing in the American League. Yastrzemski is also Fenway Park's all-time leader in hits, doubles, and RBI's. By the time of his retirement, he was the all-time leader in plate appearances, since surpassed by Pete Rose.
As one of the top players of his era, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989, his first year of eligibility, with the support of 94% of voters. Notably, this makes him one of the few Hall of Famers to directly succeed another Hall of Famer at the same position. For his entire career with the Red Sox, he wore uniform number 8. The Red Sox retired this number on August 6, 1989, after Yastrzemski was elected to the Hall of Fame. In 1999, Yastrzemski ranked number 72 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players. That same season, he was named a finalist to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. Prior to his induction in the Baseball Hall of Fame, in 1986, Carl Yastrzemski was inducted into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame.
Yastrzemski was well known for his batting stance, holding his bat exceptionally high, giving his swing a large, dramatic arc (unexpectedly so for a well-known "fastball hitter"), and more power at the plate. However, in his later years, he adjusted his stance and held the bat lower. He was also known for modifying his batting helmets by enlarging the right ear hole (for comfort) and removing part of the right ear flap (for better vision of the ball as it was being pitched).
He also stood out for his cagey approach to the game. He would decoy opposing baserunners with his left-field play. On fly balls headed for Fenway's Wall, he would line up as if about to make the catch just in front of the wall, waiting until the last possible moment before wheeling around to play the carom. This would fool baserunners into tagging up for precious extra seconds, preventing them from taking an extra base, and if they tried anyway his deft handling of the bounce and accurate throwing arm were liable to make them pay the price. Once while running the basepaths himself, Yastrzemski found a unique way to induce a throwing error. Thrown out at second base, he failed to head immediately for the dugout, as is customary. Opponents made an protracted attempt at tagging out another runner in a rundown or "pickle", but soon were flabbergasted to see a Red Sox player rounding third and heading for home. A panicked throw to the catcher far missed the mark, allowing Yastrzemski to "score" but more importantly allowing the runner behind him to advance.
A record album of the Red Sox's 1967 season, aptly titled "The Impossible Dream", featured a song by DJ Jess Cain of praise for "The man they call Yaz", which included the line "Although 'Yastrzemski' is a lengthy name / It fits quite nicely in our Hall of Fame." (A link to the song appears below.) The song can be heard, and the album cover can be seen, in the apartment of Ben Wrightman (played by Jimmy Fallon) in the 2005 film Fever Pitch. Earlier in the film, Ben's girlfriend, Lindsay Meeks (Drew Barrymore), not yet familiar with the triumphs and tribulations of the Red Sox, is unable to properly pronounce Yastrzemski's name, and has to be corrected by the surrounding fans: "Ya-STREM-ski!" The final scene of the movie indicates that if the couple's unborn child is a girl she will be named "Carla Yastrzemski Wrightman."
Along with Johnny Pesky, Yastrzemski raised the 2004 World Series championship banner over Fenway Park. He is currently a roving instructor with the Red Sox, and was honored by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch for Game 1 of the 2004, 2007, 2013, and 2018 World Series. In August 2008, Yastrzemski underwent successful triple bypass heart surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. The Red Sox honored Yastrzemski with a statue of him outside Fenway Park on September 23, 2013.
Yastrzemski's son Mike Yastrzemski was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the third round in 1984. He started his career with the Durham Bulls and then eventually played for two AAA-affiliate Chicago White Sox teams in the Pacific Coast League, first with the Hawaii Islanders and then the Vancouver Canadians. He died of a heart attack in 2004 at age 43.
In June 2009, Boston drafted Carl's grandson Michael, an outfielder out of St. John's Prep, in the 36th round; Michael did not sign with the team and went to Vanderbilt. In 2012, Michael was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 30th round, with the 911th overall pick. He signed with the Baltimore Orioles as their 14th round pick in 2013. While with the Aberdeen IronBirds, he started in the 2013 New York–Penn League All-Star Game. Michael started the 2015 season with the Double-A affiliate Bowie Baysox. In May 2016, Michael was moved up to the Triple-A affiliate Norfolk Tides. He split time during the 2017 season with the Tides (81 games) and Baysox (20 games).
Through the end of the 2017 season, on the all-time lists for Major League Baseball, Yastrzemski ranks first for games played for one team, second for games played, third for at-bats, sixth for bases on balls, eighth for doubles, ninth for hits, ninth for total bases, thirteenth for extra-base hits, and fourteenth for RBIs.
| Hitting for the cycle
May 14, 1965
The 1963 Boston Red Sox season was the 63rd season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished seventh in the American League (AL) with a record of 76 wins and 85 losses, 28 games behind the AL champion New York Yankees.1967 Boston Red Sox season
The 1967 Boston Red Sox season was the 67th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished first in the American League (AL) with a record of 92 wins and 70 losses. The season had one of the most memorable finishes in baseball history, as the AL pennant race went to the very last game, with the Red Sox beating out the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins by one game. Often referred to as The Impossible Dream, this was the team's first winning season since 1958, as the Red Sox shocked all of New England and the rest of the baseball world by reaching the World Series for the first time since 1946. The Red Sox faced the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals in the 1967 World Series, which they lost to the Cardinals in seven games.1967 Major League Baseball season
The 1967 Major League Baseball season was contested from April 10 to October 12, 1967. The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Boston Red Sox four games to three in the World Series, which was the first World Series appearance for the Red Sox in 21 years. Following the season, the Kansas City Athletics relocated to Oakland.1968 Boston Red Sox season
The 1968 Boston Red Sox season was the 68th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished fourth in the American League (AL) with a record of 86 wins and 76 losses, 17 games behind the AL and World Series champion Detroit Tigers.1970 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1970 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 41st midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was played on the evening of July 14, 1970, at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, home of the Cincinnati Reds of the National League, and resulted in a 5–4 victory for the NL.This was the first MLB All-Star Game ever played at night, coinciding with prime time in the Eastern United States. (The previous year's All-Star Game was originally scheduled to be played at night, but it was rained out and played the following afternoon.) Every All-Star Game since 1970 has been played at night.
Riverfront Stadium had barely been open two weeks when it hosted its first All-Star Game. The game was hosted by the Cincinnati Reds twice before (1938 and 1953) when their home park was Crosley Field. The Reds would host one more All-Star Game at Riverfront Stadium in 1988. So close was the opening of the stadium and the scheduled exhibition game, that Major League Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn did not confirm that the game would "definitely" be played in Cincinnati until June 1. Atlanta was the alternative site.Undeniably, the most remembered moment of the game was the final run, scored in the bottom of the twelfth by Pete Rose. The ball was relayed to the American League catcher, Ray Fosse, in time to tag Rose out, but the tenacious Rose bowled Fosse over. Both players were injured, Fosse enough to drop the ball, giving Rose credit for the game-winning run.1975 American League Championship Series
The 1975 American League Championship Series pitted the Boston Red Sox against the three-time defending world champion Oakland Athletics for the right to advance to the 1975 World Series. The Red Sox swept the series 3-0 to win their first AL pennant since 1967, and simultaneously end the A's run of three consecutive world championships.1975 Boston Red Sox season
The 1975 Boston Red Sox season was the 75th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished first in the American League East with a record of 95 wins and 65 losses. Following a sweep of the Oakland Athletics in the ALCS, the Red Sox lost the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds in seven games. In their 4 losses in the World Series, they had at least a one run lead in each game, only to let the Reds come back and win all 4, spoiling the Sox's chances at winning the World Series for the first time since 1918, which would have ended the Curse of the Bambino. In game 7, the Red Sox had a 3-0 lead at one point, but the Reds rallied back to spoil the Red Sox chances of a major upset.1977 Boston Red Sox season
The 1977 Boston Red Sox season was the 77th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished tied for second in the American League East with a record of 97 wins and 64 losses, 2½ games behind the New York Yankees.
Lack of pitching depth might have been a hindrance, but the team was helped by a league-leading offense, which during one ten-game span hit 33 home runs. With that kind of scoring, Boston managed to compete with the Yankees and Orioles – leading the division as late as August 22 – but at season's end, not even 97 wins would be enough.1978 American League East tie-breaker game
The 1978 American League East tie-breaker game was a one-game extension to Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1978 regular season, played between the rival New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox to determine the winner of the American League's (AL) East Division. The game was played at Fenway Park in Boston, on the afternoon of Monday, October 2.
The tie-breaker was necessitated after the Yankees and Red Sox finished the season tied for first place in the AL East with identical 99–63 (.611) records. Entering the final day of the season on Sunday, the Yankees had a one-game lead: they lost 9–2 to Cleveland while Boston shut out Toronto 5–0 to force the playoff. The Red Sox were the home team by virtue of a coin toss. In baseball statistics, the tie-breaker counted as the 163rd regular season game for both teams, with all events in the game added to regular season statistics.
Ron Guidry started for the Yankees, while Mike Torrez started for the Red Sox. The Yankees fell behind 2–0, with a home run by Carl Yastrzemski and an RBI single by Jim Rice. The Yankees took the lead in the seventh on a three-run home run by Bucky Dent. The Yankees defeated the Red Sox 5–4, with Guidry getting the win, while Goose Gossage recorded a save. With the victory, the Yankees finished the regular season with a 100–63 (.613) record, and clinched the AL East championship, en route to winning the World Series. This was the first tie-breaker to be contested after the introduction of divisional play in 1969. As of 2018, the '78 Yankees remain the last team to have won the World Series after playing a tiebreaker.1979 Boston Red Sox season
The 1979 Boston Red Sox season was the 79th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished third in the American League East with a record of 91 wins and 69 losses, 11½ games behind the Baltimore Orioles.1982 Boston Red Sox season
The 1982 Boston Red Sox season was the 82nd season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished third in the American League East with a record of 89 wins and 73 losses, six games behind the Milwaukee Brewers.1989 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1989 followed the system in place since 1978.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and
elected two, Johnny Bench and Carl Yastrzemski.
The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider older major league players as well as managers, umpires, executives, and figures from the Negro Leagues.
It also selected two people, Al Barlick and Red Schoendienst.List of Boston Red Sox award winners
This is a list of award winners and single-season leaderboards for the Boston Red Sox professional baseball team.List of Boston Red Sox team records
The Boston Red Sox are a Major League Baseball (MLB) team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They have competed in the American League (AL) since it was founded in 1901, and in the AL East division since it was formed in 1969. Note that before 1908, the team was known as the Boston Americans. The list below documents players and teams that hold particular club records.List of Major League Baseball career games played leaders
This is the list of the top 100 Major League Baseball players in career games played.
Ty Cobb was the first player to reach 3,000 games played. Cobb's record of 3,035 games played lasted for 46 seasons, until Hank Aaron would break the record. Aaron's record was subsequently broken by Carl Yastrzemski in 1983, and finally broken the following season by Pete Rose, who currently holds the record for most games played at 3,562. Rickey Henderson, Eddie Murray, Stan Musial, and Cal Ripken, Jr. are the only other players to play in over 3,000 career games.List of Major League Baseball career plate appearance leaders
In baseball statistics, a player is credited with a plate appearance (denoted by PA) each time he completes a turn batting. A player completes a turn batting when: he strikes out or is declared out before reaching first base; or he reaches first base safely or is awarded first base (by a base on balls, hit by pitch, or catcher's interference); or he hits a fair ball which causes a preceding runner to be put out for the third out before he himself is put out or reaches first base safely (see also left on base, fielder's choice, force play). In other words, a plate appearance ends when the batter is put out or becomes a runner. A very similar statistic, at bats, counts a subset of plate appearances that end under certain circumstances.
Pete Rose holds the record with 15,890 career plate appearances. Rose is the only player in MLB history to surpass 14,000 and 15,000 career plate appearances. Carl Yastrzemski (13,992), Hank Aaron (13,941), Rickey Henderson (13,346) and Ty Cobb (13,087) are the only other players to surpass 13,000 career plate appearances.List of Major League Baseball career times on base leaders
In baseball statistics, the term times on base, also abbreviated as TOB, is the cumulative total number of times a batter has reached base as a result of hits, walks and hit by pitches. This statistic does not include times reaching first by way of error, dropped third strike, fielder's obstruction or a fielder's choice, making this statistic somewhat of a misnomer.
Pete Rose is the all-time leader, being on base 5,929 times in his career. Barry Bonds (5,599), Ty Cobb (5,532), Rickey Henderson (5,343), Carl Yastrzemski (5,304), Stan Musial (5,282), and Hank Aaron (5,205) are the only other players to be on base more than 5,000 times.Mike Yastrzemski
Michael Andrew Yastrzemski (born August 23, 1990) is an American professional baseball outfielder in the San Francisco Giants' Minor League Baseball system. Prior to playing professionally, Yastrzemski played college baseball for the Vanderbilt Commodores. He is the grandson of Carl Yastrzemski.The Sports Museum
The Sports Museum (also known as The Sports Museum of New England) is a non-profit museum currently located in the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The museum was founded in 1977 in nearby Cambridge, Massachusetts before eventually moving to Boston to the Garden, which has been home to Celtics and Bruins for twenty years. The museum's exhibits focus on the history of various sports in the Boston area, including the Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, Boston Marathon, New England Revolution, boxing, college sports, and others. The museum features diverse sports memorabilia, curiosities, and life-size sculptures of Bobby Orr, Larry Bird, Carl Yastrzemski and Ted Williams by Rhode Island sculptor Armand LaMontagne. The museum is normally open daily between 10 AM and 4 PM, but may close when an event or game is scheduled in the Garden. It is located on a subway stop.According to the museum's mission statement: "At The Sports Museum, we celebrate the character of Boston sports -- the unique brand of teamwork, determination, responsibility, courage, fairness, and other qualities of character possessed by our teams and athletes that make Boston "The Greatest Sports City in America." Equally important, we use this distinctly rich heritage to help build character in kids so that they can stand strong in the face of drugs, violence, and other dangers."
Major League Baseball batters who have won the Triple Crown
Italics denotes active player
|J. G. Taylor Spink Award|
|Ford C. Frick Award|
Italics denotes players who have been voted in but not yet inducted.
Members of the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame