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September 23, 2013

Red Sox honor Yastrzemski with statue

BOSTON (AP) — Carl Yastrzemski always was a man of very few words, hardly showing any emotion during his playing days.

Yaz found a simple way to sum up his latest tribute: "Tremendous."

The Boston Red Sox honored the 74-year-old Hall of Famer with a statue outside the right-field entrance of Fenway Park yesterday morning.

"It means tremendous importance to me," he said, standing at the base of the statue after a 30-minute ceremony that included some of his former teammates and current members of the AL East champions. "This is as important to me as being elected to the Hall of Fame and having my number retired. It's a tremendous honor."

It was fitting that the Red Sox did it this season, one that's being compared to the club's turnaround from last to first when Yastrzemski won the Triple Crown in 1967.

Boston, which clinched the AL East title on Friday night, won just 69 games and finished in the division's basement last season.

"In a way there's a lot of similarities, playing as a great, great unit," Yastrzemski said. "Different guys doing something every day. That's what you need to win the division, which they did. The comparisons I make is it was a very tight unit. I'm just waiting for the playoffs. I can't wait for the playoffs to start."

Former teammates included Hall of Famer Jim Rice, outfielder Dwight Evans, Bill Lee and Luis Tiant. Current Red Sox players Dustin Pedroia, Jonny Gomes, Daniel Nava and manager John Farrell were also on hand.

A few hundred fans circled an area outside Fenway's Gate B, and Yaz's statue is in between one of Hall of Famer Ted Williams and one called "teammates" with Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky and Bobby Doerr.

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