Celebrating Boston Red Sox baseball great Carl Yastrzemski.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

An All Star from the Neck Down

The Red Sox square off against the White Sox today in Game 1 of a surprisingly rivalry-less A.L. Wild Card series.

In June 67, White Sox skipper Eddie "The Brat" Stanky was asked if he considered Yaz an All-Star and offered nastily that Yastrzemski was "an All-Star from the neck down."

The FlyingSox Network records the thoughts of a few of the Chisox players who were in the mix of the 1967 pennant chase on Stanky and Yaz.

Catcher J.C. Martin:

    ML: Eddie Stanky arrived as manager for the 1966 season. He was a lot different from Lopez. What was he like to play for?

    JC Martin: "He was tough. He was so different from Al. He intimidated. He’d fine guys for anything. He knew baseball... no question, but he couldn’t manage people. After a little while the players would lose interest and loyalty. He actually pumped up the other team more because he was always getting on them. I’ll never forget, it was in 1967 we got into Boston and went to bed. The next morning I pick up a Boston paper and see this big headline..’Yaz an All Star from the neck down...’ Stanky ripped him to the press. Man, Yaz wound up hitting everything we threw at him but the rosin bag! "

Outfielder Ken Berry:

    Ken Berry: “It didn’t make a difference to me. A lot of the guys would laugh about it. Eddie just didn’t like Yaz for some reason. Eddie could be that way. If he didn’t like you, he’d do anything he could to get into your head. I’m sure there were times when Eddie regretted something he said or done but he wasn’t going to show any weaknesses by apologizing for it.”

Pitcher Joel Horlen:

    JH: “What I remember is a funny story between me and Carl Yazstremski. I’m in the clubhouse before the game relaxing and reading the paper by my locker. I had the paper in front of me and it basically blocked my vision. I glanced down and I saw these feet wearing a pair of shower shoes that had ‘Yaz’ written on them right in front of me. I just had on a pair of shorts and my shower shoes at the time. So I put down the paper and there’s Carl looking at me. Now I was never a big guy to start with. I was six feet maybe 175 pounds and by July I’ve already lost weight. Carl looks me over and says, ‘you mean that friggin’ skinny, shallow body has been getting me out all season?’ I laughed and said ‘yea and it’s gonna keep getting you out!’ (laughing)

    ML: At the end of August, the beginning of September the Sox went into Boston for what was at that time, the biggest series of the season. As a backdrop to it the Red Sox players and fans were angry at Sox manager Eddie Stanky over his comments about Yazstremski. Red Sox coach Eddie Popowski said Boston would ‘knock the tar’ out of the Sox. Boston fans threw garbage at you guys during the games but the Sox won three of four... you handled Jim Lonborg 4-1 in the Saturday ‘game of the week’ on national TV. I imagine that was a tough series for you guys because of Stanky’s comments wasn’t it?

    JH: “I remember that game beating Lonborg. That’s the way Eddie was. Our deal was that it didn’t matter what he said, we had to go out and win games.”


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