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Carl Yastrzemski's odd career

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  • willshad
    replied
    I'm too young to remember, but I am curious as to what the general pereception of Yaz was during the 70s. I would think that, after 1967 expectations for him were ridiculously high, and he was seen as a huge disappointment every year except for 1970. Yet, he was still being voted to the all star team every season until 1979, and received MVP votes almost every year until 1978 as well. obviously, the fans as well as the media still viewed him as a great player. Was he just getting votes based on reputation, or because he was so 'beloved'? Anyone could see that he wasn't the player he once was. if you compare him to someone like Tim Raines, who had a similar career path, Raines never made the all star team after age 27, and only had one 17th place MVP finish, despite some solid seasons.
    Last edited by willshad; 01-05-2013, 12:37 PM.

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  • White Knight
    replied
    Originally posted by Nimrod View Post
    Yaz is tied with Cobb for the AL record for most seasons with over 100 hits(22).Pete Rose has the ML record of 23.
    Wow, Jeter only has 17, would love to see him break it but 5 years just to tie the AL record will be tough. Then again, 5 more decent years and he's over 4,000.

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  • Nimrod
    replied
    Yaz is tied with Cobb for the AL record for most seasons with over 100 hits(22).Pete Rose has the ML record of 23.

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  • Herr28
    replied
    I remember reading as a teen back in the late '80s an interview with Yaz. In it he said he didn't think of himself as a great player, just a good one that worked hard every day and was fortunate enough to play in as many games as he did (3,308) over as many years as he did (23). He said that was why he amassed all those counting numbers, staying in relatively decent health over the long haul. Of course that doesn't explain the steep decline, just the steadiness of his long career in Boston.

    Looking at his numbers right now, it is amazing that he managed 3419 hits, 646 2B (only hit 30 once after 1968), and 1844 RBI (only drove in 100+ 5 times and only twice after 1970). He was just a decent hardworking player after 1970. My friend got to meet him in spring training back in the early 1070s (Yaz was his idol) and was surprised that he would downplay his accomplishments. My grandfather met him a couple times in the 1980s and said the same thing. Just wanted to be seen as a steady player, not a superstar.

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  • White Knight
    replied
    Originally posted by leecemark View Post
    --Ted Williams never had 200 hits either. Great batting eyes tend to get less hits cause they are taking the free pass if pitchers are throwing strikes. Of course Yaz only had a few years where he hit like Williams did almost every year and the years he was winning batting titles hits were harder to come by then any other time in baseball history.
    Yes but Ted also doesn't have 3,000 hits, let alone 3,400+.

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  • leecemark
    replied
    --Ted Williams never had 200 hits either. Great batting eyes tend to get less hits cause they are taking the free pass if pitchers are throwing strikes. Of course Yaz only had a few years where he hit like Williams did almost every year and the years he was winning batting titles hits were harder to come by then any other time in baseball history.

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  • White Knight
    replied
    I just realized he has an awful amount of hits for someone that never had a 200+ hit season. I'm going to guess no one else has 3,400+ hits without at least one.

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  • GiambiJuice
    replied
    there's nothing odd about being great during the first half of a career and not as great during the second half of a career.

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  • TonyK
    replied
    Yaz got the most out of his ability and was not a huge physical guy. He made numerous great plays in left field, and I still can picture one play where Yaz threw out a runner at the plate and he ended up on his hands and knees. He was an aggressive baserunner when he was younger and that no doubt contributed to his injuries. I recall he changed his batting stance from time to time.

    But the major reason for his declining numbers was copying my batting stance in the 1970's. ;-)

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  • leecemark
    replied
    --Declining in your 30s is not odd, but abruptly dropping off several levels from your peak and staying at that level for a very long time IS odd. Yaz was quite posssibly the best player in baseball in the back half of the 1960s (or 66-70 to be precise). He was a threat to win the batting title AND hit 40 Hr in those years. After 1970 he was never close to doing either.
    --His batting eye stayed intact, but the results when he actually hit the ball dropped to something close to league average. His BA dropping off is pretty common for even the biggest stars in their 30s, but the accompaning power outage far less so. Young Yaz had a rep for being a superstar from the neck down. He figured things out and put it all together for a tremendous peak. Then he was pretty clearly was not the same guy physically in the 2nd half of his career, but was still able to be a good player because he retained the mental stardom.

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  • Jackaroo Dave
    replied
    Originally posted by willshad View Post
    If you look at it closely, Yaz actually only had three (MAYBE 4) 'great ' seasons. other than that, he was 'good' for many years. In fact, if you take out his three best seasons, he is a very good match for Harold Baines, maybe worse if we consider his huge home/road splits.
    Setting aside the fact that if we gave Harold those four seasons he would waltz into the hall of fame, Yaz has 183 fielding runs above average, Baines -12.

    You know, when I was living in Boston in the 70s, every baseball year would start with "fans" wondering how Yaz was going to let them down this year and would end with them talking about what a mutt he was. But I never heard a word said against his defense, and it was always a pleasure to out to the park and watch him at first or in left.
    Last edited by Jackaroo Dave; 01-03-2013, 12:33 AM.

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  • filihok
    replied
    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    Like I said Yaz was productive in the 1970's but hardly the elite player he was from 1964-70.
    Yaz 62-66: 132 wRC+, 5.6 WAR per 600 PA
    Yaz 67-70: 169 wRC+, 8.5 WAR per 600 PA
    Yaz 71-77: 125 wRC+, 4.0 WAR per 600 PA
    Yaz 78-83: 109 wRC+, 2.0 WAR per 600 PA

    I cut out his rookie season, because it sucked compared to his 62-66. Otherwise, his career falls into 4 pretty distinct categories. He had a huge 4 year run from 67-70. But on either side of that run he was a very good, but not great, player. Then he struggled a bit at the end of his career, understandable as he was in his late 30's and 40's.

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  • Honus Wagner Rules
    replied
    Originally posted by JR Hart View Post
    1973 .296/.407/.463
    1974 .301/.414/.445 led league in runs
    1977 .296/.372/.505 102 RBI

    He was always pretty productive.
    Like I said Yaz was productive in the 1970's but hardly the elite player he was from 1964-70.

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  • willshad
    replied
    If you look at it closely, Yaz actually only had three (MAYBE 4) 'great ' seasons. other than that, he was 'good' for many years. In fact, if you take out his three best seasons, he is a very good match for Harold Baines, maybe worse if we consider his huge home/road splits.

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  • JR Hart
    replied
    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    After 1970 Yaz was still a good productive ballplayer just a far cry from where he was in the 1960's. It's common for many great ballplayers decline in their early 30 as they struggle to be as consistent. But many did and do still have a few elite seasons in their 30's. Yaz never really did. It seems injures were a major culprit. I started following baseball in 1976 (age 7-8) and Yaz was still viewed as a major star. At least that's how I remember it.
    1973 .296/.407/.463
    1974 .301/.414/.445 led league in runs
    1977 .296/.372/.505 102 RBI

    He was always pretty productive.

    Leave a comment:

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