August 19, 2008

Baseball Hall of Famer YAZ hospitalized : BOSTON - Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, the last player to hit for the Triple Crown, was hospitalized for tests Tuesday after experiencing chest pains.
The popular Yaz was an 18-time All-Star and spent his entire career in Boston, taking over left field for Ted Williams in 1961 and playing through 1983.

posted by knowsalittle to baseball at 04:40 PM - 9 comments

For many years I rooted against Yaz and Fisk to make the playoffs because as a Cardinal fan, I was always worried about the World Series showdown, and I knew Yaz would never let the '67 series define him (not that is was his fault in any way that the Sox lost; credit that to Gibson). I knew that if the Sox ever met the Cardinals in the WS again, Yaz would kill us. There has been a short list of TRULY humble superstars, despite their All-Time greatest lifetime performances in MLB baseball over the last 70 years (Gherig, DiMaggio, Ryan, and Gwynn just to name VERY few). I defy anyone to offer a reasonable discussion why Yaz isn't one of his generation's best, both in the field and in humility. Triple Crown, MVP, first ballot HOF, 18 (yes I said 18) time All-Star, and seven Gold Gloves. Obviously one of the most defining achievements in his spectacular career is that Yaz took Ted Williams' spot in Fenway, and it was hard to tell. Please let Yaz be OK, please.

posted by knowsalittle at 05:02 PM on August 19, 2008

Ditto knowsalittle. Yaz is one of the all-time greatest and classiest players to ever wear a uniform. I pray for his fast recovery.

posted by Shotput at 05:40 PM on August 19, 2008

Being on the Simpsons has become one of the most important signatures in ANY professional actor's or athlete's career. For those of you remember, Millhouse's 'final' request in the AtomMan comic book episode is that all he wanted in the whole world was the "Carl Yastrzemski with the big sideburns". Yeah, so did I. I had almost every card in that set, yet I spent $30 to get it in VG condition just to have it.

posted by knowsalittle at 08:42 PM on August 19, 2008

Growing up as a Reds fan, I hated the Red Sox. But Yaz was one of my favorite players, anyway. I would mimmick his stance and swing when we played wiffle ball. I even wore number 8 when I first started playing baseball. Several years after his playing days, I had the pleasure of meeting him (at a Notre Dame function--he is an Irish alum.) He couldn't have been a more cordial man. It only re-enforced him as one of my all-time favorite players. Tonight when I hit my knees, I will pray for his quick and full recovery.

posted by jagsnumberone at 11:58 PM on August 19, 2008

I am a very big Red Sox fan and I don't like seeing a legend, or anybody for that matter, have to go through this. From what I've read Yaz is doing well. A thing like this can really bring you down to earth and cause you to realize that no one, not even a great, such as Carl Yastrzemski, is immortal. I will pray for a quick and speedy recovery and another 69 years of life. Get well soon Yaz and happy birthday.

posted by sox1903 at 12:18 AM on August 20, 2008

I was a teenager on Boston's North Shore during the unforgettable "Summer of '67". I'll never forget Yaz and 'Cardiac Kids' of the Red Sox coming within a whisker of the '67 World Series. If it weren't for a guy named Gibson, who knows.

Happy Birthday, Yaz, and get well soon.

posted by X9X at 07:24 AM on August 20, 2008

Yastrzemski is another of those names that is the definition of baseball. Someone gave me a mint condition Yaz rookie card, which I still have (still mint) if anyone is interested. Best regards and get well soon, Yaz!

posted by dyams at 08:22 AM on August 20, 2008

I was living in "the Valley" out in western Mass. in 1967 when the Sox pulled their magic act. I was one of the few people in town who were not of Polish descent. It was unbelievable what Yaz meant to that community. It wasn't obsession. It was religion. Wish I had a loaf of the Yaz bread that they sold in the stores. I can still see the wrapper in my mind.

To get some perspective on how well Yaz played left field at Fenway, it's great to remember what other players have looked like out there under the Monster. There were guys on various teams over the years who were probably more athletic than Yaz who looked clumsy and clueless in left field compared to him.

I just can't imagine anyone getting more out of their ability than he got out of his.

And very few players spent their careers in the totally best, pre-ordained spot on earth for them to be. Yaz and New England: truly a match made in heaven.

That bat raised way up high and straight in the air, waiting for the pitch. The mainmast of Old Ironsides, once removed.

posted by beaverboard at 08:24 AM on August 20, 2008

Obviously one of the most defining achievements in his spectacular career is that Yaz took Ted Williams' spot in Fenway, and it was hard to tell.

Very well phrased, k-a-l.

According to sources in the Boston globe, Yaz underwent a triple bypass and is doing well.

posted by Howard_T at 01:31 PM on August 20, 2008

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