Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski was honored with a statue outside an entrance at the legendary Fenway Park, commemorating the 23-year career of the former Triple Crown winner.
Yastrzemski, who was inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame in 1989, finished his career with 3,419 hits, 452 home runs, and 1,844 runs. Known as "Yaz" by many of his teammates, Yastrzemski went on to win three batting titles, seven Gold Gloves, and was named to the All-Star team 18 times.
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"It means tremendous importance to me," Yastrzemski said during the ceremony Sunday, according to The Associated Press.
"This is as important to me as being elected to the Hall of Fame and having my number retired. It's a tremendous honor."
Several current Red Sox players, who just helped the team clinch the American League East title, and a few of Yastrzemski's old teammates attended the ceremony.
"In a way there's a lot of similarities, playing as a great, great unit," said Yastrzemski, comparing his team in 1967 to the current lineup that bounced back from a losing season to win the AL East pennant. "Different guys doing something every day. That's what you need to win the division, which they did. The comparison I make is it was a very tight unit. I'm just waiting for the playoffs. I can't wait for the playoffs to start."
Mayor Thomas Menino and Sox owners Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino participated in the ceremony while a barbershop quartet sang "The Impossible Dream," according to the Boston Globe
. Former Yastrzemski teammates in attendance included Luis Tiant, Frank Malzone, Bill Monbouquette, Bob Stanley, Jim Rice, Dwight Evans and Bill Lee.
Yastrzemski's statue, which is outside of Fenway Park's Gate B, joins the statue of Red Sox Hall of Famer Ted Williams and another titled "teammates" with images of Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky, and Bobby Doer.
"The greatest Red Sox player is Carl Yastrzemski," Dwight Evans told the crowd, recalling how he lived with Yastrzemski when they were young.
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