Thursday, November 24, 2022

1986 Sportflics Decade Greats Carl Yastrzemski


The player: Carl Yastrzemski grew up on a potato farm in Bridgehampton, Long Island, and after briefly attending Notre Dame on a basketball scholarship, signed with the Red Sox organization in 1959. Two years later he was in the major leagues, and immediately became a force in the Red Sox lineup. Yaz was one of the best hitters in the major leagues in the 1960s, with three batting titles between 1963 and 1968. Despite never reaching 200 hits in a season, he twice led the AL in hits during this offensively-challenged era. By far his best season was 1967, when he won the Triple Crown and MVP with a .326 batting average, 44 HR and 121 RBI, as the Red Sox, perennial bottom-dwellers in the American League, won a surprising pennant. Injuries in the early 1970s robbed him of his previous effectiveness, and though he hung on until 1983, he was not really an elite player after 1970.

The man: For a big star in a big baseball town, Yastrzemski has lived a pretty low-profile life. He was not close to his Red Sox teammates, and other than regular appearances at Fenway Park he has mostly stayed out of the spotlight. His grandson Mike Yastrzemski has been the Giants' regular right fielder since 2019.

My collection: I have all of Yaz's base Topps cards from 1967 to 1983.


  1. A potato farm on Long Island? Is that similar to a tree growing in Brooklyn? :)

  2. I had the privilege of starting my card collection back in the early 80's... which means I got a chance to see and learn about Yaz during his final seasons. I can still remember treasuring this bonus card I pulled from a pack of 1984 Donruss that featured him and Johnny Bench. There was also that cool retirement card that Topps produced for the pair and Gaylord Perry.