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Carl Yastrzemski

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Full Name: Carl Michael Yastrzemski Primary Position: OF,LF,1B
Height/Weight: 5' 11"/175 First Game: April 11, 1961
Birthdate: August 22, 1939 Final Game: October 2, 1983
Birthplace: Southampton, New York MLB Experience: 23 years
Bat/Throw: Left/Right
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Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989



Biography

Carl Michael Yastrzemski was born on August 22, 1939 in Southampton, NY. He had an Hall of Fame 23-year career, playing only for the Boston Red Sox. Primarily a left fielder, he played some first base and DH as he got older.

One of only four Red Sox to have their number retired, Yastrzemski is among the greatest hitters ever to wear a Red Sox uniform. Yastrzemski redefined what power hitting was with his huge, corkscrew swing that would send balls flying down by Pesky's pole from 1961 until 1983. Yastrzemski, also known as "Captain Carl," has been part of some of the greatest teams in Red Sox history, and his presence had a huge impact on those teams during those years.

Yastrzemski grew up in Bridgehampton, Long Island, a small farming community. While attending Bridehampton High School, Yastrzemski set records for baseball, basketball, and football. He set the all time individual conference record for points scored in basketball with 628. He also hit .512 career at Bridgehampton High. These are just a few of the many he set in all three sports.

Yastrzemski attended Notre Dame with a full scholarship to play baseball and basketball there. Due to his exceptional play and potential on the ball field, Yastrzemski signed a contract with the Boston Red Sox in his first year at Notre Dame. Immediately after this, he went to Raleigh, North Carolina and played for the minor league Raleigh Capitals there. In 1959, Yastrzemski led the minors by a margin 64 points with a .377 batting average. He also won the MVP and Rookie of the Year that year. In 1960, he almost won his second batting title playing for the Triple A Minneapolis Millers.

In 1961, Yastrzemski took over for the legendary Ted Williams as the keeper of the Green Monster in Fenway. Because he replaced such a legend, the fans were very critical and skeptical of his performance. They were eager to boo and slow to applaud his efforts. His first two years were viewed as solid but unspectacular. However, 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.

During the 1967 "Impossible Dream" year, Yastrzemski enjoyed his best season, winning the American League Triple Crown with a .326 batting average, 44 home runs (tied with Harmon Killebrew) and 121 RBI. He is the last hitter to have won the Triple Crown and won the Most Valuable Player almost unanimously—one voter chose César Tovar of the Twins. Also, the Yaz grounded into only 5 double plays that entire year. His great defense and explosive offense helped to propel Boston to their first World Series since 1946. However, once again, the Red Sox fell to the St. Louis Cardinals 4 games to 3. The Red Sox offense couldn't overcome the dynamite of Bob Gibson's arm.

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. He had many more strong seasons, consistently finishing in the top ten in the league in many statistical categories.

In 1969, he hit the first of 2 straight 40 home run seasons as he led the Red Sox to third-place finishes that year and the next. Yaz got four hits and won the All-Star Game MVP in 1970, although the American League lost. His .329 batting average that season was his career high. He hit but 61 homers over the next four years as the Red Sox finished second twice and third twice.

Again in 1975 Yastrzemski helped the Red Sox to make it to the Series, this time against Pete Rose and the Cincinnati Reds. Although his numbers were not as outstanding during this season, Yastrzemski still managed to bat .269 and amassed 14 home runs and 60 RBIs.

In 1978, Yaz he also made the final out of the 1978 AL East division one-game playoff with a foul pop to third base. This game featured Bucky Dent's famous shocking homer (although Reggie Jackson's home run was the eventual winning run). It should be pointed out that Yaz was almost the hero of the game: he hit a homer off left handed pitcher Ron Guidry who was having a career year (25 wins, 3 loses and a 1.74 ERA). Veteran Yastrzemski began the scoring with a home run off Guidry in the second, the only homer the Cy Young Award winner allowed to a left-hander all season.

Yastrzemski retired in 1983 at the age of 44. 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), 452 home runs, 1,844 RBI, and a batting average of .285. He had 1,845 walks in his career, sixth all-time. Yaz 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.

Yaz was well-known for his batting stance, holding his bat exceptionally high, giving his swing a large, dramatic arc, and more power at the plate. However, in his later years, he adjusted his stance and held the bat lower.

An eighteen-time All-Star, Yastrzemski was an outstanding defensive player. He mastered the art of playing the tricky bounces that result from line drives hitting Fenway's Green Monster, and won seven Gold Glove Awards in his career.

A record album of the Red Sox's 1967 season, aptly titled "The Impossible Dream", featured a song 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". As one of the top players of his era, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, with the support of 94% of voters.

Yaz's 23 year career was been one of the finest in Red Sox history. With a lifetime batting average of .285, 1844 RBIs, 452 HR, and 3419 hits, he ranks among the top hitters of all time. He retired after 23 years with the Red Sox, and on October 1, 1983, he took his final lap around Fenway. He was honored with an induction into the Hall of Fame in 1989 and was voted in on the first ballot. Yastrzemski's #8 -- the umber 8 from start to finish—was retired on August 6, 1989 and was only the fourth ever retired from the Sox at the time. Carlton Fisk's #27 was added on September 4, 2000.

As of 2006, is currently a roving instructor with the Red Sox.

Statistics

Batting Stats

Year Team G AB R H HR RBI AVG OBP SLG 2B 3B BB SO HBP SH SB IBB GDP
1961 BOS A 148 583 71 155 11 80 .266 .324 .396 31 6 50 96 3 2 6 3 19
1962 BOS A 160 646 99 191 19 94 .296 .363 .469 43 6 66 82 3 2 7 7 27
1963 BOS A 151 570 91 183 14 68 .321 .418 .475 40 3 95 72 1 1 8 6 12
1964 BOS A 151 567 77 164 15 67 .289 .374 .451 29 9 75 90 2 1 6 6 30
1965 BOS A 133 494 78 154 20 72 .312 .395 .536 45 3 70 58 1 2 7 8 16
1966 BOS A 160 594 81 165 16 80 .278 .368 .431 39 2 84 60 1 0 8 10 17
1967 BOS A 161 579 112 189 44 121 .326 .418 .622 31 4 91 69 4 1 10 11 5
1968 BOS A 157 539 90 162 23 74 .301 .426 .495 32 2 119 90 2 0 13 13 12
1969 BOS A 162 603 96 154 40 111 .255 .362 .507 28 2 101 91 1 0 15 9 14
1970 BOS A 161 566 125 186 40 102 .329 .452 .592 29 0 128 66 1 0 23 12 12
1971 BOS A 148 508 75 129 15 70 .254 .381 .392 21 2 106 60 1 0 8 12 14
1972 BOS A 125 455 70 120 12 68 .264 .357 .391 18 2 67 44 4 0 5 3 13
1973 BOS A 152 540 82 160 19 95 .296 .407 .463 25 4 105 58 0 1 9 13 19
1974 BOS A 148 515 93 155 15 79 .301 .414 .445 25 2 104 48 3 0 12 16 12
1975 BOS A 149 543 91 146 14 60 .269 .371 .405 30 1 87 67 2 0 8 12 14
1976 BOS A 155 546 71 146 21 102 .267 .357 .432 23 2 80 67 1 1 5 6 12
1977 BOS A 150 558 99 165 28 102 .296 .372 .505 27 3 73 40 1 0 11 6 10
1978 BOS A 144 523 70 145 17 81 .277 .367 .423 21 2 76 44 3 1 4 8 9
1979 BOS A 147 518 69 140 21 87 .270 .346 .450 28 1 62 46 2 0 3 8 12
1980 BOS A 105 364 49 100 15 50 .275 .350 .462 21 1 44 38 0 1 0 5 9
1981 BOS A 91 338 36 83 7 53 .246 .338 .355 14 1 49 28 0 0 0 4 10
1982 BOS A 131 459 53 126 16 72 .275 .358 .431 22 1 59 50 2 0 0 1 12
1983 BOS A 119 380 38 101 10 56 .266 .359 .408 24 0 54 29 2 0 0 11 13
Total 3308 11988 1816 3419 452 1844 .285 .379 .462 646 59 1845 1393 40 13 168 190 323

Fielding Stats

Year Team POS G GS INN PO A ERR DP TP PB SB CS PkO AVG
1961 BOS A OF 147 146 1269 248 12 10 1 0 0 0 0 0 .963
1961 BOS A LF 147 146 1269 245 11 9 1 0 0 0 0 0 .966
1962 BOS A LF 160 160 1427.2 327 16 11 3 0 0 0 0 0 .969
1962 BOS A OF 160 160 1427.2 329 15 11 3 0 0 0 0 0 .969
1963 BOS A CF 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1963 BOS A OF 151 151 1353.1 283 18 6 3 0 0 0 0 0 .980
1963 BOS A LF 151 151 1351.1 284 17 6 3 0 0 0 0 0 .980
1964 BOS A LF 16 16 136 28 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .967
1964 BOS A OF 148 148 1264 372 19 11 3 0 0 0 0 0 .973
1964 BOS A 3B 2 2 16 0 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1964 BOS A CF 133 132 1128 337 14 10 3 0 0 0 0 0 .972
1965 BOS A RF 2 2 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1965 BOS A LF 123 119 1041 191 11 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 .985
1965 BOS A CF 9 9 71 25 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1965 BOS A OF 130 130 1129 222 11 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 .987
1966 BOS A CF 1 1 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1966 BOS A OF 158 152 1374.2 310 15 5 2 0 0 0 0 0 .985
1966 BOS A LF 157 151 1365.2 307 15 5 2 0 0 0 0 0 .985
1967 BOS A CF 1 1 6 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1967 BOS A OF 161 158 1361 297 13 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 .978
1967 BOS A LF 161 157 1355 289 13 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 .977
1968 BOS A 1B 3 3 20 14 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1968 BOS A OF 155 153 1329 301 12 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 .991
1968 BOS A CF 1 1 9 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .750
1968 BOS A LF 154 152 1320 302 12 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 .994
1969 BOS A LF 140 138 1180.2 237 17 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 .984
1969 BOS A 1B 22 21 179.2 181 21 2 29 0 0 0 0 0 .990
1969 BOS A OF 143 141 1211.2 246 17 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 .985
1969 BOS A CF 4 3 31 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1970 BOS A 1B 93 92 773.1 696 61 8 62 0 0 0 0 0 .990
1970 BOS A CF 3 2 23 6 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .750
1970 BOS A OF 69 66 602 120 3 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 .953
1970 BOS A LF 67 64 579 115 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .967
1971 BOS A OF 146 144 1257.1 281 16 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 .993
1971 BOS A LF 146 144 1257.1 281 17 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 .993
1972 BOS A OF 83 82 710.1 141 10 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 .974
1972 BOS A CF 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1972 BOS A LF 83 82 708.1 143 10 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 .975
1972 BOS A 1B 42 42 371.1 357 33 4 34 0 0 0 0 0 .990
1973 BOS A OF 15 15 134 30 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1973 BOS A 1B 104 103 888.1 912 56 6 85 0 0 0 0 0 .994
1973 BOS A LF 15 15 134 35 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1973 BOS A 3B 33 33 280.1 37 63 12 2 0 0 0 0 0 .893
1974 BOS A DH 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1974 BOS A LF 63 62 537.1 99 2 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 .962
1974 BOS A OF 63 62 537.1 99 2 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 .962
1974 BOS A 1B 84 82 709.2 707 44 2 67 0 0 0 0 0 .997
1975 BOS A OF 8 8 69 15 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1975 BOS A 1B 140 137 1189.2 1202 87 5 103 0 0 0 0 0 .996
1975 BOS A DH 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1975 BOS A LF 8 8 69 15 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1976 BOS A LF 51 51 429.1 95 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .980
1976 BOS A OF 51 51 429.1 93 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .980
1976 BOS A 1B 94 93 818 829 52 2 78 0 0 0 0 0 .998
1976 BOS A DH 10 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1977 BOS A OF 140 140 1194.2 287 16 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1977 BOS A 1B 6 4 50 57 6 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1977 BOS A LF 138 138 1182.2 285 16 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1977 BOS A RF 2 2 12 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1977 BOS A DH 6 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1978 BOS A LF 64 63 552 122 7 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 .985
1978 BOS A CF 7 7 63 14 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1978 BOS A 1B 50 47 409 387 41 3 47 0 0 0 0 0 .993
1978 BOS A OF 71 70 615 136 8 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 .986
1978 BOS A DH 27 25 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1979 BOS A OF 36 36 301.2 63 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .970
1979 BOS A DH 56 55 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1979 BOS A LF 34 34 289.2 56 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .966
1979 BOS A 1B 51 51 440.1 466 55 2 42 1 0 0 0 0 .996
1979 BOS A CF 2 2 12 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1980 BOS A DH 50 49 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1980 BOS A 1B 15 14 130.1 160 10 4 19 0 0 0 0 0 .977
1980 BOS A OF 39 33 302 65 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1980 BOS A RF 4 1 15 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1980 BOS A LF 34 32 284 61 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1980 BOS A CF 1 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1981 BOS A DH 49 49 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1981 BOS A 1B 38 36 327.1 353 34 3 26 0 0 0 0 0 .992
1982 BOS A DH 103 102 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1982 BOS A CF 2 2 17 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1982 BOS A 1B 13 12 104 116 10 0 12 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1982 BOS A OF 2 2 17 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1983 BOS A OF 1 1 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1983 BOS A DH 107 104 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1983 BOS A LF 1 1 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1983 BOS A 1B 2 2 17 22 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
Total 3B 35 35 296.1 37 68 12 3 0 0 0 0 0 .897
Total LF 1913 1884 16476 3517 177 68 27 0 0 0 0 0 .982
Total CF 166 160 1376 409 15 13 3 0 0 0 0 0 .970
Total OF 2077 2049 17896 3941 195 82 30 0 0 0 0 0 .981
Total 1B 757 739 6428 6459 512 41 610 1 0 0 0 0 .994
Total DH 414 404 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Total RF 8 5 44 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000

Transactions

  • Signed as an amateur free agent by Boston Red Sox (November 29, 1958).

Trivia

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