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The Triple Crown, and the Path That Leads to It

Robert Pinsky on the meaning of a sports hero

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Carl Yastrzemski 1975 baseball card, Yaz, Boston Red Sox, sports hero, baseball triple crown

Carl “Yaz” Yastrzemski baseball card, 1975. Image courtesy of cthoyes

Inspired by Miguel Cabrera’s achievement of baseball’s coveted Triple Crown—the Detroit Tiger ended the 2012 season leading the American League in batting average (.330), home runs (44), and RBIs (139)—poet Robert Pinsky ruminates in the New York Times about what it means to be a sports hero, and what having a sports hero, previous Triple Crown winner Carl Yastrzemski, did for him. Cabrera is the first to score the Triple Crown since Red Sox legend Yastrzemski in 1967.

“Against his own weaknesses,” writes Pinsky, a College of Arts & Sciences English professor and U.S. poet laureate an unprecedented three times, “Yastrzemski attained an inward respect for his own gifts, overcoming his early tendency to coast with them—a lesser but considerable achievement. It wouldn’t be quite right to say that I looked up to him: but I looked to him, as an example of focus. In that way, he was a useful hero.”

The poet’s thoughts in “Yaz’s Triple Crown: Work, Resolve, Concentration” are similarly useful for anyone who aspires to greatness.

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Art Jahnke

Art Jahnke can be reached at jahnke@bu.edu.

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