A Biography in 1,000 Players No. 26 Carl Yastrzemski (Number 6 Left Field)

A lot of people say that I have Carl Yastrzemski overrated. They said he had three excellent seasons (1967, 1968 and 1970) and his stats aren’t that great after that. The do have a point. He goes from 9.5 WAR in his third best season to 6.6 in his fourth best season. Since I rated three seasons of peak, they have a point. I also rated 6 seasons of prime, which covers that.

Critics also say Yastrzemski had a long career giving him credit for more WAR and Win Shares as a mediocre player. It is true that he had 4 mediocre seasons starting at the age of 40, but gets more WAR and Win Shares, practically Win Shares.  One writer wrote an article that Al Kaline was a better player. Well Yaz has 96.4 career WAR and Kaline has 92.8 WAR giving Yaz a slight age. However, win I figured WAR won-loss Yaz had a 162-62 won loss record with a 72.4 winning percentage. Kaline had a 146 and 35 record with a 80.8 winning percentage.  Yaz has 16 more victories but 27 more losses. This is a good argument for Kaline. When I do a formula, I developed of based on won loss I came up with they both have the same amount of points, but Kaline is ahead by a fraction. I have Kaline rated 51st, but another way they are just about equal. If I did this over again, I would use the new formula. However, I don’t plan to rate 1,000 players again. That was a lot of work.

Carl Yastrzemski’s best year 1967 was when I was 8. I was just becoming a baseball fan and the Twins were in the pennant race. Carl Yastrzemski was having super season. He won the triple crown leading the lead in home runs, runs batter in (RBIs) and batting average. Not only that the Twins came into the last two games ahead of Boston in the pennant race and were playing in Boston. To make a sad story short, Yaz had a great series getting some key hits in those games and Boston won the pennant and got to play in the World Series. I did a lot of growing up that weekend. In the next 8 years, the Vikings lost 4 Super Bowls. Sports taught me a lot when I was young, sometimes too much.

However, it didn’t stop me from wanting a Carl Yastrzemski Action Baseball Game for Christmas. I remember going shopping before that Christmas. I really really wanted that game. We saw it in the store, but my parents didn’t buy it. Then my Dad had to go “pick up” something. We waited a long time for him. At least long for an 8-year-old. I saw my Dad coming with a lot of packages. My Mom practically started pushing my little brother and me to the car telling us to hurry up and get in. I never told anybody, but I did see something in my quick glance that looked like the baseball game. I was happy even though this meant there was no Santa Claus. My Dad finally told me about Santa two years later.

I remember when we told my daughter about Santa. We expected this to be traumatic because she was a strong believer. My wife did the talking and accepted this right away. Must have talked to the other kids at school. She said since she was so good when she heard the news, could we pretend that Santa was still giving her presents. For some strange reason we agreed. She had presents at the foot of her bed (from Santa) through at least a couple years through college.  She has always been smarter than me.

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Author: Douglas Byzewski

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