Boston came super close in 1967 and 1975 with a couple other solid seasons throughout Yaz's 23 years with the club. Despite that, he was never able to capture that World Series trophy he so desperately deserved. Even his 1967 AL Triple Crown-winning season wasn't enough to lead the Red Sox over the Cardinals in the Fall Classic.
Despite that, Yastrzemski remains one of the greatest Red Sox hitters ever along with Ted Williams and David Ortiz. With well over 3,000 hits and 400 home runs to his name, it's no surprise he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame with 94% of votes on the first ballot.
An 18-time All-Star, Yaz wasn't known to be the nicest guy in the world, but his talent spoke for itself, as did his ability to guide the Red Sox to 2 AL Pennants, ultimately resulting in 2 of the most memorable Fall Classics of all-time.
One of my Gold Tier player collections, I currently have 123 cards of Carl Yastrzemski. Though I don't always tackle PC's with such high totals, I'm quite pleased with the 5 cards I ended up with.
#5 1964 Topps Sox Sockers
It's mainly my love for the combo cards of the 1960's that catapulted this Sox Sockers card of Carl Yastrzemski and Chuck Schilling into the top 5 of my list. My eyes instantly go to the ballpark in the background that I can't seem to recognize, but I'm also intrigued by the positioning of the 2 bats, forming an X.
Now, I realize the early 1960's Red Sox weren't the best teams, but you'd think they'd choose a guy who hit better than .234 with 8 home runs the year before to include on a card titled "Sox Sockers."
#4 1977 Topps Turn Back the Clock
Even today, Carl Yastrzemski's 1967 season remains one of the greatest single-season performances in Baseball history. In addition to leading the AL in the necessary categories, batting average, home runs, and RBI, Yaz was also a league leader in hits, runs, total bases, OBP, OPS, and SLG. 10 years later, Topps made a point to commemorate this feat as a Turn Back the Clock card in '77 Topps.
Fast forward over 50 years and this achievement is still remembered, especially since only 1 player has won the Triple Crown since Yastrzemski.
#3 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game Glory of their Time
Serial numbered out of the previously mentioned historic season, 1967, this Yaz card from 2004 consists primarily of 2 colors; black and grey, making for a sleek and higher-end type of card. I know relic versions of this card exist given I have one of Paul Molitor, but I don't think I'd ever find one of Yastrzemski for the right price, especially since the price of them in the Boston area, where I live, would be well above what I'm willing to pay.
#2 2005 Upper Deck All-Star Classics MVPs
While I realize the red borders of the card are for the American League and not necessarily the Red Sox, I can't help but notice how perfectly the shade matches Boston's team colors and how well it goes with the card of this Red Sox legend. Despite this unintentional choice, I kind of wish the image was color or the red borders weren't included at all. To a degree, the bright red borders take away from the black and white image, something you don't see too often on baseball cards.
#1 1972 Topps In Action
With quite a few different vintage Yaz cards to choose from, I had to make sure the ones that made the top 5 cards list were deserving and brought something interesting to the table. Even with some All-Star and league leaders cards to choose from, my personal favorite of not just the vintage, but all my Carl Yastrzemski cards, is his 1972 Topps In Action card.
Though it's not as much of an action card by today's standards, the photo was taken at exactly the right time to capture Yaz's swing as well as the catcher standing up behind the plate. The fact that 1972 Topps is my favorite set ever made doesn't hurt either, and in the end, we're left with a card worthy of the #1 spot.