Forty-five years ago, one player put the entire Red Sox team on his back and carried it to a wholly unexpected World Series berth. Sox followers have long revered Carl Yastrzemski for the 1967 “Impossible Dream” season, in which he won baseball’s triple crown — leading the league in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in. Now, they have two more reasons to think about Yaz.
First, another player, Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers, has finally equaled Yastrzemski’s accomplishment, winning a triple crown and carrying a flawed team to a division championship. But this isn’t an event that diminishes the mystique of Yastrzemski. There had been triple crowns before — even just a year before — Yaz’s. But the fact that 45 years elapsed until the next one only highlights the extraordinary difficulty of the feat.
Second, this year’s pathetic Sox season should remind older Bostonians of just how bad the team was in the years leading up to 1967; the last time before this season that the Red Sox lost 90 games was 1966. Fans can only hope another Yaz emerges to rescue them from the abyss.