Ask a fan of the Boston Red Sox who their favorite player in team history is and you’ll likely hear one of two answers: Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski. Each answer is just as correct a choice as the other, as both are deserving of such praise. Williams might be more well known outside of the team’s circles, simply by virtue of his status as one of the game’s greatest hitters of all time. Yastrzemski, however, has just as much of a legacy and joined Williams with another honor early Sunday morning when the team unveiled a statue of the former left fielder outside of Fenway Park.
Yastrzemski was never one to demonstrate much emotion on the field during his playing days. Now 74 years old, he was brief in his response to the team’s gesture:
It means tremendous importance to me. This is an important to me as being elected to the Hall of Fame and having my number retired. It’s a tremendous honor.
A 23 year veteran who spent his whole career with Boston, Yastrzemski batted .285/.379/.462 with the Red Sox. His 1967 season had been the last time anyone hit for the Triple Crown before Miguel Cabrera accomplished the feat last season. Yastrzemski hit 44 HR and drove in 121 RBI that year, the only time he’d ever lead the league in either category during his career.
Yastrzemski’s statue can be found outside the right field entrance to the stadium. It can be found inbetween two existing statues – one of Williams and one that’s become known as “Teammates” that features Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr, and Johnny Pesky. A number of Yastrzemski’s former teammates – including Jim Rise, Dwight Evans, Bill Lee, and Luis Tiant – were in attendance for the ceremonies that lasted about a half hour.