Carl Michael Yastrzemski ( /jəˈstrɛmski/; nicknamed "Yaz"; born August 22, 1939) is a former American Major League Baseball left fielder and first baseman. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989. Yastrzemski played his entire 23-year baseball career with the Boston Red Sox (1961–1983). He was primarily a left fielder, with part of his later career played at first base and as a designated hitter. Yastrzemski is an 18-time All-Star, the possessor of seven Gold Gloves, a member of the 3000 hit club, and the first American League player in that club to also accumulate over 400 home runs. He is second on the all-time list for games played, and third for total at-bats. He is the Red Sox' all-time leader in career RBIs, runs, hits, singles, doubles, total bases, and games played, and is second on the team's list for home runs behind another Red Sox great, Ted Williams, his predecessor in left field. In 1967, Yastrzemski achieved a peak in his career, leading the Red Sox to the American League pennant for the first time in over two decades, in that season being voted the American League MVP, and being the last winner of the triple crown for batters in the major leagues.
Yastrzemski was born in Southampton, New York to Carl Yastrzemski, Sr. and Hattie Skonieczny. Both his parents were of a Polish background, and young Carl was bilingual from an early age. Raised on his father's potato farm, Carl played on sandlot baseball teams with his father, who, he maintains, was a better athlete than he was. "Yaz" attended Notre Dame on a basketball scholarship (his career Long Island high school scoring mark at Bridgehampton broke one previously held by Jim Brown) briefly before embarking on his baseball career. His Notre Dame teammates nicknamed Yastrzemski "Murph," in an ironic bid to impute an Irish flavor despite his obvious Polish origins.
Yastrzemski signed with the Red Sox organization, which sent him to the minor-league Raleigh Capitals in 1959, where he led the league with a .377 batting average, They then moved him to the Minneapolis Millers for the post-season and the 1960 season. Yastrzemski, who had studied business at Notre Dame, fulfilled a promise to his parents by finishing his degree at Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass., in 1966.