Celebrating Boston Red Sox baseball great Carl Yastrzemski.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Bridgehampton White Eagles

Painful start to the ALDS as the White Sox paste Boston 14-2 thanks in no small part to a double dinger contribution from White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Boy, did Clement look bad! At least the Red Sox weren't depending on him in an elimination game against Cleveland.

Chicago Tribune columnist Mike Downey points out that Pierzynski hails from the same Long Island hometown as another Polish ballplayer. In fact, the Yaz connection is pretty tight!

Pierzynski is from Bridgehampton, N.Y., where his father played a little semipro ball. A photograph of that team includes a batboy with another long, Polish name - maybe you've heard of him? Carl Yastrzemski? He played a little Boston Red Sox ball, you may recall.

The semipro team was the Bridgehampton White Eagles.

In time, [Yaz] became the batboy for the Bridgehampton White Eagles. The team was an outgrowth of the social club for Polish-Americans founded by, among others, the Yastrzemskis. ``We used to hire bands and run dances,'' recalled Tom Yastrzemski, Carl's uncle and godfather, during a visit to the farmhouse that has been in the family for the better part of the century. ``We put the money we made into uniforms.''

All five Yastrzemski men played for the White Eagles. So did the Skoniecznys, brothers of Carl's mother, Hattie. Several cousins filled out the roster but the catalyst was Carl Yastrzemski Sr. He was the shortstop and he hit enough line drives in his youth to pique the interest of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

``They offered a Class D contract for $75 a month,'' the father once recalled, ``and the kid was born by then. I had to say no and stay on the farm. I'm not sorry.''

Oddly, if you ever looked at the back of a Yaz baseball card, his hometown is always listed as Southhampton instead of Bridgehampton.

No special significance to the White Eagles - Sing Sing ticket. Just an image I found floating around the web. 1936 was three years before Yaz was born and I'd imagine it's likely his dad was in the lineup that day against the Prison Nine.

Wells vs. Buehrle tonight at 7:05. Let's go Red Sox!!


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