Yaz: The Unlikely Triple Crown Winner

Back in 1967, actually the first season I remember paying attention to baseball, nobody could have predicted what would happen.  The Red Sox had finished 9th in 1966 with a 72-90 record and Yaz had finished with 16 home runs, 80 RBI and a .278 ave.  In fact, Yastrzemski had never hit more than 20 home runs in a season, which he did in 1965.  He did win a batting title in 1963, but never had a 100 RBI season.  Who could have predicted what was to come in 1967?

Yaz claims he was so wrapped up in the pennant race he didn't know he won the triple crown until reading it in the paper the next day after the season ended.  The Sox entered the last weekend of that season a game behind the Twins and tied with the Tigers.  They also had the luxury of playing the Twins that weekend, so they controlled their own destiny.  They would beat the Twins both games, with Yaz going 7-8 for the weekend and the Tigers lost the second game of a doubleheader.  Also that weekend, Yaz homered to tie Harmon Killebrew for the HR lead.  "Killer" was also the only one close to him in RBI that season 121-113, and by going 7-8, he put enough room between him and Frank Robinson(Triple Crown winner the previous season) for the batting title .326-.311.

Yaz would go on to hit 452 lifetime home runs and had 2 other 40 HR seasons, but until that magical '67 season, no one saw it coming that he would hit 44 hr's.


1 comment:

  1. This is a great piece, Hersh... thanks for posting.

    ReplyDelete

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