On September 22, the Boston Red Sox dedicated a statue of Bridgehampton native Carl Yastrzemski at Fenway Park, marking 30 years since his retirement from baseball.
Known to baseball fans as Yaz, Yastrzemski is a hall-of-famer and an 18-time All-Star. The statue depicts the moment the legendary left fielder tipped his helmet to the fans before taking his final at bat, though artistic liberty was taken to replace his ball cap with a batting helmet and to add a bat in his left hand.
He was on the Red Sox during his entire 23-year career, and the team notes that at the time of his retirement 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 in a statement when the announcement of the statue was made. “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.”
The statue is 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 made the Yastrzemski statue, according to the Red Sox.
Following the dedication ceremony, Yastrzemski threw 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.