On Carl Yastrzemski

On Carl Yastrzemski

My family always rooted for the underdog.


I grew up in Texas rooting for Carl Yastrzemski, the great left fielder for the Boston Red Sox. Yaz was the up-and-coming hero, leader of the Red Sox when Red Sox Nation was just beginning. And most important, Yaz and the Sox were the underdogs. In my family’s worldview, we rooted for the underdog, and nowhere more than in baseball.

On the rare Saturday afternoon when the Sox were on TV, my dad and I would watch the game. He would rant against the hated Yankees, who persecuted his beloved Brooklyn Dodgers when he was a kid, and were now doing the same to Yaz and the Red Sox.

I was 9 when Yaz won the Triple Crown and led the Sox to the American League pennant for the first time in twenty-one years. But the Sox would have to wait until 2004 for ultimate glory. That season has a lot of memories for me too. My mom and I saw the Red Sox play the Yankees at Fenway during the Democratic convention—the last baseball game we saw together. The Sox won that day, and they kept on winning—all the way to the World Series.

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