Only a few players in the history of baseball have made $100,000 in a season. The next one might very well be Carl Yastrzemski of the Red Sox. In Red Sox history, only Ted Williams made that much money. Former Boston General Manager Bucky Harris once said that Williams was paid $125,000 for each of his last five seasons in Boston.
Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle and Frank Robinson are some of the names that come to mind when 100 grand is mentioned. Now, there is a good chance Yastrzemski will be added to that list, and it might happen next year. Manager Dick Williams had planned to give his All-Star outfielder a day off before the stretch run. When Yaz heard of Williams’ plans, he asked for a private conversation with the manager. Behind closed doors, they talked for a few minutes. When the conversation ended, Williams said, “Carl will play tomorrow night. He wants to play.”
Never before in his career had the 28-year-old Yastrzemski hit more than 20 home runs in a season. Never before had he driven in more than 94 runs. And never before had he received the national acclaim and publicity that smothered him as the Red Sox thrilled baseball fans across the nation with their surprising improvement. His home run total currently stands at a major league leading 43 and he has driven in 110 runs. His average also stands at a career best .322. Red Sox players no longer discuss the probability Yaz being named Most Valuable Player. It is a foregone conclusion with them that he will win in a landslide.