NO. 8 IS HOME TO STAY
The victory trot has become a walk. The nerves of steel are tattered and work hard to hold back the tears. Carl Yastrzemski came back yesterday for his special day at Fenway Park and was as appealing as he had ever been in his illustrious career. . . . With pride and humility, and just a hint of the emotion he'd kept inside all the years he toiled before the Fenway Faithful.
Yaz came home for good yesterday. No. 8 joins the numbers worn by Ted Williams (9), Joe Cronin (4) and Bobby Doerr (1) on the facade of the roof above right field. All four players are members of the Hall of Fame. All are a permanent part of Fenway Park.
There was never any question yesterday that No. 8 belonged among the others. As if on cue, the fans cast their ballots with a three-minute ovation before the ceremonies began, and never stopped cheering. . . .
"This is my home," said Yastrzemski later. "Boston. New England. I thought I was pretty calm coming in here after the Hall of Fame. But the fans at Fenway Park always amazed me. I couldn't believe that reception I received.
"…I've always had tremendous happiness coming to this ballpark," said Yaz. "The first two years were difficult for me. Wondering if I'd made the right decision or not. Never in my life did I think I'd make the Hall of Fame and have my number retired. I was competitive because of my size. I worked, and just working so hard overshadowed everything, and never gave me a chance to think about it. I never enjoyed it after a game in which I did well. I was always thinking about tomorrow.
"I remember all those years sitting at my locker, beating my head up against the wall when I did badly. Then, when I did well, I'd stop and start thinking about tomorrow, and never did cherish the great moments I had. But maybe that's why I had the ceremonies two weeks ago and today. I just never dwelled upon the success. . . . "The Boston Globe, July 8, 1989.