Carl Yastrzemski, the baseball hall-of-famer, 18-time All-Star and Bridgehampton native known as “Yaz,” will be honored with a statue unveiled at Fenway Park on September 22, just 10 days before the 30th anniversary of his retirement from baseball.
The Boston Red Sox said Wednesday that the statue will depict the moment the legendary left fielder tipped his helmet to the fans before taking his final at bat. He was a Red Sox player during his entire 23-year career, and the team notes that at that time he had played the most Major League games, 3,308, that any player had ever played.
“This is quite an honor,” the 74-year-old Yastrzemski said. “To have a bronze statue at Fenway Park is something I never could have imagined, and I am very grateful to the Red Sox for this kind gesture.”
It will be placed between the only other two statues the Red Sox have ever commissioned, one of Ted Williams and one named “The Teammates,” which depicts Dom DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky, Bobby Doerr, and Williams. The same sculptor who made “Teammates,” Toby Mendez, is making the Yastrzemski statue, according to the Red Sox.
The statue will be dedicated at an 11 a.m. ceremony on September 22, after which Yastrzemski will throw out the first pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Little League field on School Street in Bridgehampton is across from Yastrzemski’s childhood home. According to his official website, Yastrzemski grew up the son of a potato farmer and he graduated with a .512 batting average in 1957 from Bridgehampton High School, where he played baseball as well as basketball and football. He went to Notre Dame University on a baseball and basketball scholarship, and signed with the Red Sox while still a freshman.
Yastrzemski was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 1989.