Number 8 Takes The Field Again

Carl Yastrzemski has made his annual arrival to Red Sox Spring Training. In retirement Yaz has kept a low profile, and his visits to the Red Sox complex are no exception. Yaz is typically working with minor leaguers at the outermost fields. Most of the players that Yaz offers pointers too never sniff the majors.

Yastrzemski is continuing a tradition that is almost as old as Spring Training itself of retired greats looking to give back to the next generation of players coming up. People who thought Pedro Martinez's and Jason Varitek's instructional roles were for publicity are ignorant to this. In Yastremski's case, Ted Williams was a mentor to him as a rookie. As Yastrzemski struggled during his rookie season, Tom Yawkey flew in Williams to help Yaz break out of his funk.

Having replaced Williams as the most highly touted Red Sox prospect in years. Yaz was the face of the Red Sox for his entire career. After 23 years, it's understandable that the man has sought his privacy in his retirement. Yaz will never be the hero to Red Sox fans that never saw him play like Williams was, but it's doubtful that he's concerned with that. Some retired players look back on their own careers with the same reverence a retired auto worker might look back on his.

Yaz probably comes to camp just looking to give back and try to help like Williams helped him. For a few days every spring #8 takes the field for the Red Sox again, and then goes back to living his life.