Tusa: Mookie Betts vs. Carl Yastrzemski

From Alfonso Tusa at The Hardball Times on February 7, 2020:

Back in the old days, baseball teams’ rosters remained very similar year after year. Al Kaline with the Detroit Tigers, Mickey Mantle with the New York Yankees, Bob Gibson with the St. Louis Cardinals, Jim Palmer with the Baltimore Orioles, Roberto Clemente with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Sandy Koufax with the Dodgers, Hank Aaron with the Braves, Willie Mays with the Giants, Johnny Bench with the Cincinnati Reds, Bob Feller with the Cleveland Indians, and Carl Yastrzemski with the Boston Red Sox.

Maybe you could claim that before him Ted Williams was the image of the Red Sox. But maybe the facts of that unforgettable season of The Impossible Dream carved in stone the name of Yaz as the perennial Red Sock. In the second or third game of that season, while Billy Rohr was working on a no-hitter in Yankee Stadium, Yastrzemski made a fantastic catch by diving in shallow left field to keep the no-hitter going. While Rohr lost the no-no in the ninth on an Elston Howard hit, that’s the kind of play that sets the chemistry of a team.

Even in that magical 1967, Yastrzemski needed the support of the rest of the team, from George Scott, Rico Petrocelli, Reggie Smith, Joe Foy, Mike Andrews, Tony Conigliaro (before August 18), Jerry Adair, through Jim Lonborg, Jose Santiago, and Gary Waslewski. Before the game on Saturday, September 30, 1967, Yaz looked for Santiago somewhere in the bullpen. Santiago promised to avoid Harmon Killebrew hitting one outside the park. Yaz promised to hit one for him.

Read the full article here: https://tht.fangraphs.com/mookie-betts-vs-carl-yastrzemski/

Originally published: February 13, 2020. Last Updated: February 13, 2020.