WASHINGTON -- A taste of Boston's famed Fenway Park came to the nation's capital Tuesday in the form of baseball fans' culinary delights and a tribute to retired Red Sox' star Carl Yastrzemski.
'Yaz,' as the former slugger is known, was treated to a double-barrelled retirement party of sorts by the Massachusetts congressional delegation.
First, House Speaker Thomas 'Tip' O'Neill and Rep. Silvio Conte, the delegation's resident baseball expert, hosted a luncheon for Yastrzemski and the Bay State's congressmen.
Later, several hundred members of Congress, aides and others gathered in a committee hearing room in the Rayburn House Office Building where 'Yaz' was the guest of honor at a reception featuring such baseball food fare as hot dogs, kielbasa, peanuts, popcorn and beer.
'Congress Welcomes Yaz' read a bold red and white banner hanging in the room.
Many of the faithful, cameras in hand, lined up to shake hands, seek autographs or just talk baseball with the man who labored 23 years for the Red Sox.
Praise for No. 8 was flowing, as Conte called him 'all of New England's favorite slugger,' and Rep. Edward Boland, D-Mass., led the crowd in a rendition of 'Take Me Out To The Ballgame.'
'Sorry, Yaz, but we couldn't convince Chairman (Clement) Zablocki to paint the walls green for the day,' said Conte to the cheers of the crowd.
'This might not be the 35,000 people at Fenway,' said Yastrzemski, 'but it's just as loud.'