Carl Michael Yastrzemski, better known as "Yaz" or "Captain Carl", was born on August 22, 1939 in Southhampton, New York. The son of a potato farmer, Yastrzemski grew up in the small town of Bridgehampton, Long Island.
He attended Bridgehampton High School, where he set numerous records in basketball, football and baseball. As a basketball player, he set the all-time individual conference scoring record of 628 points. As a baseball players, Yastrzemski hit .512 for his career at Bridgehampton High.
After graduating from high school in 1957, Yastrzemski went on to attend Notre Dame University with a scholarship to play both baseball and basketball. While still in his first year at Notre Dame, his seemingly limitless potential on the ball field led him to sign a baseball contract with the Boston Red Sox.
After signing with the Red Sox, Yastrzemski was immediately assigned to Raleigh of the Carolina League. In 1959, as a member of the Raleigh club, he led the league in batting with a .377 average (64 points higher than his nearest competitor). He was also named the league's Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year. In 1960 he moved up to the Red Sox Triple A Minneapolis team, where he fell just short of winning his second batting title in as many years.
In 1961, Yastrzemski finally arrived in the Major Leagues as the heir apparent to the legendary Ted Williams in left field. For 23 years, Yastrzemski proudly wore his famous "#8" for the Red Sox, with his extraordinary batting style and his unmatched skill in patrolling the grounds in front of the Green Monster. In the Red Sox' 1967 "Impossible Dream" season, he won the American League Triple Crown and was named the A.L.'s Most Valuable Player. At the time of his retirement, Yastrzemski was the all-time American League leader in games played (3,308) and was the only American League player to amass 3,000 hits and 400 home runs (finishing with 3,419 and 452 respectively, to go along with 1,844 RBI). A seven-time Gold Glove winner, Yaz earned the honor of 18 All-Star Game appearances, and is generally considered one of the finest defensive left fielders of all-time.
Yastrzemski officially retired after the 1983 season, taking his memorable final lap around Fenway Park. Elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 1989. Yastrzemski is now a roving instructor with the Red Sox.