Get well, Yaz!

August 20, 2008

As a Polish-American kid growing up in New England, I idolized Carl Yastrzemski (I could spell his name just now without having to look it up!). He was the best hitter on some pretty average Red Sox teams, but also won the Triple Crown and led the previously hapless Sox to the 1967 AL pennant. No one has won the Triple Crown since. He played in another World Series in 1975, but was unfairly blamed for the team's failures in between. I remember hearing fans boo him in Fenway in the early 70s–I guess he was supposed to win the Triple Crown every year.

But he was widely adored in Red Sox Nation during the last years of his career–I remember the Patriots showing his at-bats on their video board during his last game in 1983–and has assumed his rightful spot in the Sox eternal constellation of stars, just below Ted Williams. My parents gave me a Yaz autographed baseball for Christmas a few years ago and it is one of my most treasured posessions.

Yesterday Yaz had triple bypass surgery. He is almost 69–just a year older than my mom. I wish him a full and speedy recovery.

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