August 19, 2008

Here’s a little prayer that the most important Cardboard God of them all is OK. He’s been hospitalized with chest pains.

Update: According to the Boston Globe, Yaz will be undergoing bypass surgery.


  1. 1.  As a Yankee fan for over 40 years, I’ve been able to hate a lot of Red Sox. Yaz was never one of them. Get well quick.

    I can’t think of him without feeling some pangs of nostalgia for the old-fashioned newspaper box score. For years he was just Yastr’ski.

  2. 2.  1 : I don’t like to think about this, but I guess he was a Yankees fan growing up on Long Island. He almost was a Yankee himself; they offered him a contract, but I guess Carl’s dad had been noticing how the loaded Yankees stockpiled talent and kept guys languishing in the minors for years. The Red Sox were a surer bet for a clear path to the majors. And if reputations held form, spendthrift Boston owner Tom Yawkey probably offered considerably more money than Yankees penny-pinching GM George Weiss.

  3. 3.  Amen to that. Hope he’s OK. Growing up one of my favorite cards was the 1978 Yaz, staring up at the sky, squinting out the sun, almost 2 decades into his career, and readying himself to destroy what was probably another in a long line of unfortunate AL hitters. I’m from Wisconsin and I gotta bring the truth. Yaz was the man. Hang in there, Carl.

  4. 4.  I meant unfortunate AL pitchers. Geez, I’m like the guy who trips while slamming the door at the end of an argument. Sorry.

  5. 5.  I meant unfortunate AL pitchers. Geez, I’m like the guy who trips while slamming the door at the end of an argument. Sorry.

  6. 6.  I just added a link in the post to a short update story in the Globe that reports that Yaz is going under the knife.

  7. 7.  Synchronicity, indeed. I was just reading Sparky Lyle’s “Bronx Zoo” where he was writing about the “Impossible Dream” season in which he pitched out of the bullpen so successfully.

  8. 8.  I was 2 when Yaz played his final year. A quick look at his postseason batting explains a lot. .369 avg, 24 hits in 17 games. What a beast.

  9. 9.  Yaz was in for six hours of triple bypass surgery:


    8 : In addition to his postseason heroics, Yaz was ridiculously hot in the last weeks of the great ’67 pennant race. He also had an RBI-per-game pace in the last week of both the ’77 and ’78 AL East division races. There was no one you’d rather see up there in a big spot, which adds a painful twist to the fact that he made the last out (as the potential tying run) in the ’75 World Series and made the last out (with the tying run on third) in the ’78 one-game playoff. The coda to these popups was his last at-bat, where everyone was hoping for a “Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu” homer and he popped out to the second baseman.

  10. 10.  By far my favorite player of all time.

    Just last week, a local bar in Fort Myers holds a weekly trivia contest for prizes.

    Our team was holding a slim lead over 20 other teams and the final question category was movies.

    The host starts the question… In the movie the Shining, Shelley Duvall defended herself with from Jack with a bat signed by….

    The milli-second the word bat was out of her mouth I was already finished writing the answer.

    We won the game, no other team got the answer correct.

    Another team asked us what the answer was, and I told him you would never know.

    He was a Yankee fan.

    Godspeed Captain!

  11. 11.  10 : Nice.

    My friend Matt prescribes that the patient now lay off the kielbasa and the heart-straining stress of watching Manny Delcarmen blow late-game leads.

  12. 12.  Josh,
    You’ve been there…me too. And yes, you captured the moment. I can almost smell the fresh-cut grass in the neighborhood again. As the third of three boys growing up in West Hartford, CT we listened to every BoSox game on the crackling AM radio my mom and dad had in the kitchen. The drama, the heros, the pain. Yaz was my hero, and mine only. My older brothers would mention Ted or one of the guys on the current roster who was hot, but I’d always stick with number 8.
    I had the chance to see a game at Fenway once, the memory is still a blur of excitement…the crowds around the park and walking in, my dad trying to bribe the box seat usher for better seats (I thing it cost him a fin to get us closer), sneaking in our own sandwiches and home-made root beer (my dad worked 16 hours a day, so money was always tight) the Monster looming in front of us (“how they gonna hit it over that, dad?”).
    I’m right-handed. I remember my dad asking me when I was a tike and just learning to swing a bat “why are you swinging left-handed?”. My answer? “Because Yaz does, dad.”
    Godspeed Carl.

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