Boston Red Sox MVPs: Listing the top ten
Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Carl Yastrzemski – Left Field
1967 Stats: 161 G, .326/.418/.622, 189 H, 112 R, 44 HR, 121 RBI
The top slot for MVP goes to Yastrzemski and it is based as much on the magnitude of his performance as to the long-term impact that it keyed.
The Red Sox prior to 1967 were a disappointing and dismal team with a too long list of poor performances. In 1966, the Red Sox had finished ninth in a ten team league and that was typical of the Yaz years circa 1961-1966.
Yastrzemski had reasonable success as a player, although he was never into the elevated power class of Williams, who Yastrzemski had replaced in left field. A batting title in 1963, leading the league three times in doubles, three All-Star appearances and a pair of Gold Gloves. Then came 1967.
If there was a big play to be made Yastrzemski did it with the bat, glove, and arm. A Triple Crown tells the story as does the name Cesar Tovar (who?). Tovar got a first place MVP vote since he managed a remarkable .267 average and a dynamic six home runs and 47 RBI for the Twins. Blame that on a Twins “writer.”
Yastrzemski topped off the season with a .400 average in the World Series along with three home runs and five RBI in the Red Sox loss to St. Louis in seven games. That brings us back to the true impact of that team that spurred a revival of baseball in Boston that has never looked back.
The success of the franchise has magnified despite some speed bumps along the way but year after year the crowds have continued to pour into Fenway Park and the Red Sox have become relevant. Without Yastrzemski’s brilliant season and the WS that it brought about that revival may never have taken place.
Next: Red Sox all-time 25-man roster