Yastrzemski reflects on 1967 Triple Crown win

Yastrzemski reflects on 1967 Triple Crown win
September 27, 2012, 1:44 am
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BOSTON -- No player in either league has won baseball's Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski did it in 1967. Detroit's Miguel Cabrera has a chance to it with a week to go in the season.
Yastrzemski thinks it's only a matter of time.
"Somebody's going to do it,'' said Yastrzesmki, who was part of the All Fenway Park Team introduced Wednesday night before the final home game of the season, "whether it's Cabrera this year or (somebody) next year or the year after. I'm surprised that it's gone this long, to be perfectly honest.
"When (Pete) Rose beat (Ty) Cobb's hit record, I never though that would happen. When (Cal) Ripken broke (Lou) Gehrig's consecutive game record, I never thought that would happen, either. So it's going to happen.''
In 1967, Yastrzemski was more consumed with trying to help the Sox finish first and with the Tigers in a fight with Chicago for the A.L. Central lead, Cabrera -- who leads the league in batting average and RBI and is second in homers -- has the ability to focus on something other than individual stats.
"One thing that's going to help him is that he's in a pennant race,'' said Yastrzemski. "Of course, there's so much more publicity nowadays. People follow him and everything else and you get a report every day and so forth. In '67, the Triple Crown was never mentioned once. We were so involved in the pennant race. I didn't know I won the Triple Crown until the next day when I read it in the paper.
"That's how involved we were in the pennant race. The only person who mentioned anything at all, the last couple weeks of the season, and I think he referred to the batting title, was Jim Lonborg. We were playing in Baltimore the last couple of weeks and Frank Robinson was ahead of me (in batting average) by a few points and (Lonborg) said: 'Get some hits today because I'm going to give Frank an 0-for.' And he did -- 0-for-5.''
Robinson, of course, won the Triple Crown the previous season and Mickey Mantle won it twice in the 1950s. That makes it all the more amazing that no one has done it in the last 45 years.
"I thought somebody would win it a long time ago,'' said Yastrzemski, "and the surprising thing about it is, during the 1950s when Mantle won it and Frank (in 1966), you had the higher mound. I'd like to see what some of the pitchers throwing today, what their speeds would be if they came off the high mound. Somebody like (Justin) Verlander would probably throw 100 mph or more on every pitch.
"So, like I said, I'm surprised it's lasted this long.''