Today In History - Yaz's 8 is Retired

Today at Mitchell & Ness we pay tribute to Carl Yastrzemski, whose number eight was retired by the Boston Red Sox thirteen years ago today. "Yaz", as   Yastrzemski is more commonly known, had a 23-year career entirely in Boston, where he is revered as one of the greatest players in Red Sox history.

Yaz was born August 22, 1939 in Southampton, New York. A prep star in baseball and basketball at Bridgehampton High, Yaz earned a scholarship to play both sports at Notre Dame.  The Red Sox offered Yastrzemski a contract which he accepted after impressing in just a sole season with the Fighting Irish. Yastrzemski flew through the minors, making his major league debut in 1961.

A left fielder, Yaz was raised to replace the legendary Ted Williams, who had retired the year previous. Williams, now coaching, would act as a hitting mentor for the young outfielder. Yastrzemski began his Red Sox career in unspectactular offensive fashion, but won plaudits with his sterling defense. It would not be until 1963 that Yaz began to be renowned as a rising star, as he won the AL Batting title and earned his first All-Star appearance. That All-Star appearance would start off a chain of Yaz being chosen for 15 of the next 16 All-Star games.

Yaz's breakout season though came in 1967, a memorable year for all Red Sox fans. Yastrzemski took home the AL Triple Crown that year, with a .326 batting average, 44 home runs (tied with Harmon Killebrew) and 121 RBIs, along with the AL MVP. Yaz is still the last batter to win the Triple Crown. Coinciding with Yaz's star season was a Red Sox renaissance, as Boston reached the World Series for the first time since 1946. Yastrzemski was phenomenal in that series, batting .400 with three home runs, but the Red Sox fell to the Cardinals in seven games.

Yastrzemski continued to lead the Red Sox into the seventies, playing increased first base as well for the team. However, the Orioles and Athletics dynasties of the era kept the Red Sox from returning to the World Series. But Yaz and his Red Sox would have one more chance in 1975.

After winning the AL East, the Sox were able to take out the three-consecutive World Series winning A's in a three game sweep. But the World Series would prove fruitless again, as the Big Red Machine of the Cincinnati Reds won in seven games. Yaz, despite slowing down at this point in his career, came up big again in the postseason for the Red Sox, hitting .350 in that postseason. It would be his last trip to the Fall Classic.

Yastrzemski kept trucking for the Red Sox, playing until he was 43 after the 1983 season. His retirement was felt across baseball, but what he had accomplished throughout his career was staggering. 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 finished his career with 3,308 games played (second all-time and most with only one team).

Wearer of number eight for his entire career, Yaz's iconic number was retired by the Red Sox in 1989. A first ballot Hall of Fame induction came the same year. Known as one of the greatest all-around players of his era, Yaz stands as one of the most durable and likable players of his era.

Mitchell & Ness honors Yaz with three jerseys from throughout his legendary career, which you can check out here. Here's our jersey from Yaz's legendary 1967, where he won the Triple Crown:

 

August 6, 2012 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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Today Is All About 1975

After making a run for the pennant in the previous year the outlook for the 1975 season would be filled with high hopes. After suffering a knee injury in June 1974 tearing several knee ligaments Carlton Fisk would return for a full season after being told that he would never play again. Two phenom, power hitting rookies would also be added to the '75 roster - Fred Lynn & Jim Rice. Although there was much reason to be hopeful for the coming season fans were still feeling the lingering devistation from the injury plauged and devastating slump that finished up the 1974 season leaving them in 3rd place.

 Red Sox 1975 - Carlton Fisk

As pre-season got under way news of the two rookie phenoms spread like wildfire with pictures and stories being delivered from Florida. This got Red Sox fans thinking. This optimism was short lived when Fisk was hit in the right arm and suffered a break. Rick Wise would also be returning from a injury suffered in '74 as well. He would help beef up the rotation which included Luis Tiant and Bill Lee. Also included in the line up would be Carl Yazstrzemski who would start at first base and Rico Petrocelli at third.

Red Sox 1975 - Carl Yastrzemski  Red Sox 1975 - rico Petrocelli

April brought the season opener with the Red Sox defeating the Miwaukee Brewers with Sox pitching ace Tiant on the mound. After the first week the Red Sox would tie for first place with Milwaukee. By the end of april the Sox would fall from first place and not regain their position until the end of May.

Red Sox 1975 Fred Lynn  Red Sox 1975 - Jim Rice  Red Sox 1975 Bill Lee 

June 24, 2010 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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Miscellaneous Fact # 1

Listed below are the top fiveRed Sox Career Home Run Hitters

# 1 Ted Williams

# 2 Carl Yastrzemski

# 3 Jim Rice

# 4 Dwight Evans

# 5 Manny Ramirez

June 22, 2010 | E-mail | Comments (1) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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This Day in History....

                        

On May 25, 1981, Carl Yastrzemski, nicknamed "Yaz," played in his 3,000th major league game, scoring the winning run in Boston's 8-7 victory over Cleveland. Yastrzemski joined Ty Cobb, Stan Musial, and Hank Aaron as the only major leaguers to appear in 3,000 games.

Carl Michael Yastrzemski was born on August 22, 1939 in Southampton, Long Island. He went on to attend Notre Dame University with a scholarship to play both baseball and basketball. Yastrzemki had some big shoes to fill when he began his major league career with the Boston Red Sox. Red Sox legend Ted Williams retired in 1960 and Yaz arrived in 1961 to succeed him in left field.

1967 was Yastrzemki’s best season.  Known for his extraordinary batting style, he went on to win the American League Triple Crown with a .326 batting average, 44 home runs, and 121 RBIs.  This year was also the season of the “Impossible Dream” for the Red Sox. The team rebounded from a ninth-place finish a year prior to win the American League pennant on the last day of the season.  

Yastrzemski played his entire 23-year career with the Boston Red Sox, wearing number 8.  He finally retired after the 1983 season after playing in 3,308 games for Boston, the most appearances by a player in a Red Sox uniform. Elected to baseball's Hall of Fame in 1989, he is also one of only five former Red Sox players to have his number retired. At the time of this retirement, Yastrzemski was the all-time American League leader in games played (3,308) and accomplished 3,419 hits and 452 home runs.

 

 

Awards and Recognitions with the Boston Red Sox:

  • All-Star Game MVP - 1970
  • Batting Champion - 1963, 1967, 1968
  • Batting Triple Crown - 1967  
  • Gold Glove - 1963, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1977
  • Home Run Champion - 1967
  • Most Valuable Player - 1967
  • RBI Champion - 1967 

 

May 25, 2010 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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