Jaffe: The irresistible pull of a Yastrzemski in Fenway

From SABR member Jay Jaffe at FanGraphs on September 19, 2019:

A Yastrzemski hit a home run in Fenway Park on Tuesday night, and if you’re any kind of student of baseball history, you might have felt some goosebumps. Two hundred miles away in the Yankee Stadium press box, I certainly did, because I’m old enough to remember the final years of the career of Carl Yastrzemski, a former Triple Crown winner and inner-circle Hall of Famer who retired in 1983 while owning the all-time lead in games played (3,308, since surpassed by Pete Rose) and the number eight spot on the all-time hit list (3,419, now ninth). I also recall the flicker of promise that was his son’s professional career in the mid-1980s, and the sad news that he passed away in 2004 at the too-young age of 43. With all that in mind, I can’t help but pull for Mike Yastrzemski, a 29-year-old rookie who on May 25 of this season became the first grandson of a Hall of Famer to play in the majors.

I was hardly alone. By all accounts, the youngest Yaz — who lists at nearly the same size (5-foot-11, 180 pounds) as his grandfather (5-foot-11, 175 pounds) and swings from the left side — was welcomed with open arms for his Fenway debut. He strolled across the outfield grass with “Poppy Yaz” prior to the game, receive a warm ovation upon coming to the plate to lead off the contest, and, in the fourth inning, sent a Nathan Eovaldi fastball 401 feet to center field

Read the full article here: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-irresistible-pull-of-a-yastrzemski-in-fenway/

Originally published: September 20, 2019. Last Updated: September 20, 2019.