Celebrating Boston Red Sox baseball great Carl Yastrzemski.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Meet Yaz' nephew Jeff, a mechanic for Kevin Harvick, Inc.

Jeff Yastrzemski landed at KHI a little under two months ago from Braun Racing -- and immediately learned that his new employer was a Yankees fan.

"I wear my Red Sox hat around the shop all the time, so he gives me a little bit of grief," Yastrzemski said, referring to Harvick. "The last series the Red Sox and Yankees had, we made a bet with each other. If the Red Sox win the series, he had to wear a Red Sox hat for a week and if the Yankees won, I would wear a Yankees hat for a week."

Ugh. Find another driver, Jeff!

Friday, September 07, 2007


Check out the throw he makes to cut the runner down at home at 2:35. Goosebumps.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Ultimate Grinder

Bob Ryan in Baseball Digest, November 2000

What Yaz did was last long enough at a high enough level to construct a new image, that of the Ultimate Grinder. He came, as he often pointed out, from tough Polish stock, and he was not afraid of work. The game never came easy for him, but had the combined body and will (one disabled list visit in 23 years) to simply Be There, day-in, day-out, for 16 post-`67 years.

The appropriate milestones, which always meant more to everyone else than to him, came and went. He got his 400th home run and 3,000th hit seven weeks apart in 1979, and when the cheers had died down, he went back to work, playing fiercely and aggressively from the end of the Carter administration to the three-quarters mark of the first Reagan administration.

His toughness, his consistency, and his unmatched work capacity remain his legacy, but also consider this, again courtesy of Gammons: In the 22 biggest games of his career (games played for a pennant in `67, `72, and `75, the 1975 ALCS, and his two World Series), he batted .414, slugged .702, and knocked in better than a run a game.

He knew what he wasn't (Ted Williams, for example), but he also knew what he was. How's this for an honest self-appraisal at the time of his 1983 retirement?

"I think the best way to sum it up," Yaz said, "is that I wasn't the greatest home run hitter that ever lived. But I hit home runs. I have the extra-base hits. I have the total bases. I have the RBI. I wasn't the greatest average hitter that ever lived, but I wasn't too bad. Three thousand, four hundred base hits. I had walks starting innings, and they help win ballgames. Defensively, I wasn't bad.

"I'd go against anybody in a seven-game series," he concluded. "You put eight Yastrzemskis out there, I'll take my chances."

Wednesday, September 05, 2007



Grounded Into Most Career Double Plays: Cal Ripken 350; Hank Aaron 328; Carl Yastrzemski 323.

Apparently, you have to be a pretty good player to qualify for this one; all three leaders are in the Hall of Fame. Ripken's record appears safe for a while. With Julio Franco (312) out of work, the closest active player is Ivan Rodriguez (265).

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Carroll Hardy

Trivia from Jim Higgins at the Barre Montpelier Times Argus ...

Last week I asked: Who was the only major league player to ever pinch hit for both Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski? It was Carroll Hardy. He hit for Williams in 1960 and Yaz in 1961, his rookie year.

Congrats to Karen Andresen, Jeff Cook, Al Fraser, Sean Bradley, Bill Fraser, and Jim Slotter.

Cook noted that Hardy was the ONLY person to ever pinch hit for Ted Williams in the major leagues, although many players pinch hit for Yaz.

Bradley added that Hardy played for the NFL's 49ers for one season in the 1950s and that he also pinch hit for Roger Maris when they both played in Cleveland.

Too bad no mention of whether Hardy got on base.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Shades of Billy Rohr

Congratulations to Clay Buchholz!

Billy Rohr is one of those guys and New England baseball fans over the age of 50 remember April 14, 1967, when Rohr took a no-hitter into the ninth inning in his first game in the big leagues. The game was played in Yankee Stadium and Whitey Ford was the other pitcher and Jackie Kennedy and her young son were in the stands.

Serving notice that this would be a special year for himself and the Sox, Boston left fielder Carl Yastrzemski made a running, leaping, over-the-shoulder catch of a Tom Tresh drive to start the ninth inning.

Rohr, of course, was denied. Veteran Yankees catcher Elston Howard cracked a clean single to center with two outs and Rohr settled for a 3-0 shutout. Though history eluded him, immortality did not.

Rohr would win only two more games in his major league career, but he'll live forever in Boston baseball lore.

And now there is Buchholz, who wasn't even supposed to be pitching last night.