Thursday, September 12, 2013

Yastrzemski Joins The 3,000 Hit Club

On Sept. 12, 1979, Boston Red Sox great and Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, becomes the fifteenth player to get 3,000 hits with his hit on this in day history.

Yastrzemski joined 14 players including Cap Anson, Honus Wagner, Nap Lajoie, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Eddie Collins, Paul Waner, Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Al Kaline, Pete Rose and Lou Brock in the 3,000 hit club.

Since Yastrzemski got hit 3,000, 13 players have joined the 3,000 hit club including Rod Carew, Robin Yount, George Brett, Dave Winfield, Eddie Murray, Paul Molitor, Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, Cal Ripken Jr., Rickey Henderson, Rafael Palmeiro, Craig Biggio and Derek Jeter.

Yastrzemski played his entire 23-year baseball career with the Boston Red Sox (1961–1983). He was primarily a left fielder, with part of his later career played at first base and as a designated hitter.

Yastrzemski is an 18-time All-Star, and the 1970 All-Star Game MVP. He is the possessor of seven Gold Gloves, including three consecutive from 1967-1969. He is a member of the 3000 hit club, and the first American League player in that club to also accumulate over 400 home runs.

Since then Cal Ripken Jr. has matched the feat.

He is second on the all-time list for games played, and third for total at-bats.

He is the Red Sox' all-time leader in career RBIs, runs, hits, singles, doubles, total bases, and games played, and is second on the team's list for home runs behind another Red Sox great, Ted Williams, his predecessor in left field.

In 1967, Yastrzemski achieved a peak in his career, leading the Red Sox to the American League pennant for the first time in over two decades, in that season being voted the American League MVP, and was the last winner of the Triple Crown for batters in the major leagues until Miguel Cabrera achieved the feat in 2012.

Sports Illustrated named Yastrzemski the Sportsman of the Year after winning the Triple Crown.
Yastrzemski retired in 1983 at the age of 44, although he stated in his autobiography Yaz that he was initially planning on playing the 1984 season, until he tired from a long midseason slump. He also stated that had he known how good Roger Clemens would have been as a pitcher, he would have played in 1984 to have a chance to play with him.

Yastrzemski would finish his career with a .285 career batting average with 3,419 hits, 452 home runs and 1,844 RBIs.

Yastrzemski was inducted into the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989 with 94.63 percent of the vote on the first ballot in which he appeared.

In 1999, Yastrzemski ranked number 72 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players. That same season, he was named a finalist to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

As of the 2008 baseball season, on the all-time lists for Major League baseball, Yastrzemski ranks at number one for games played for one team, a record shared with Baltimore Orioles great and Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson.

Yastrzemski is number two for games played with 3,308, number three for at-bats, number six for hits with 3,419, number six for bases on balls with 1,845, number eight for total bases, number eight for doubles with 646, number nine with 1,157 extra base hits and 12 for RBIs with 1,844.

In addition, Yastrzemski only trails Ty Cobb in hits collected with a single team, and trails only Cobb and Tris Speaker in hits collected playing in the American League, both of whom played before World War II.