Nov 9, 2017

1973 NL Champion Mets Long Time Mets Coach: Eddie Yost (1968-1977)

Edward Frederick Yost was born October 13, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York.

The five foot ten right hand hitter attended John Adams high school in Ozone Park, Queens New York. He attended New York University in the late forties, eventually getting signed by the Washington Senators.

He skipped right over the minor leagues, playing seven brief games with the Senators before getting drafted into World War II. He arrived back from military service in 1946 and the following year became the Senators full time third baseman.

Yost became a fixture in Washington, spending fourteen seasons there (1944 / 1946-1958) playing over 150 games six times, while leading the league in games played three different times.

He once held the record with 2008 games played at the third base position up until the 1966 season. Yost was an excellent steady infielder, leading the league in put outs eight times, assists twice & fielding percentage once, while coming in runner up three other times.

As of 2017, His career fielding stats, put him in third place, all time at the third base position in put outs (2356). He is thirteenth all time in games played at the position (as of 2016) nineteenth all time in assists (3659) fortieth all time in errors (270) & eighty fourth all time in fielding (.957 %).

Although he was an excellent short stop, his best quality was his great eye & the ability to draw walks. He led the league in walks six times, earning the nickname “the Walking Man". During the decade of the fifties he led the league in walks six times, while drawing over 100 walks eight times in his career.

Yost averaged one walk per game, drawing 1614 walks in his career, good enough to be 11th on the all time list. He led the league in on base % twice (1959-1960) & led three times in getting on base (1950/1959-1960).

Yost posted on base percentages over .400 nine times in his eighteen season career, which is half his career. His career .394 on base % is 83rd all time, better than Hall of Famers with 3000 hits; like Rod Carew & Tony Gwynn.

He is 87th all time in getting on base with 3576 times on base. He was also in the top ten in getting hit by pitches nine times, coming in the top three five times, finishing with 99 hit by pitches (81st all time). Yost also scored over 100 runs five times in his career & led the league in that department in 1959 while in Detroit.

In 1950 Yost batted a career best .295, leading the league with 141 walks. He scored 114 runs, posting a .440 on base % (second in the league) coming in 20th in the MVP voting for the 5th place Senators.

The next year he led the league in doubles (36) batting .283 with a .423 on base %, earning more votes for the MVP. He would hit over 30 doubles four times in his career. In 1952 he made the All Star Team, leading the league in walks, at bats & plate appearances although he hit just .233.

The next season he improved to .272 with a .403 on base % while scoring 107 runs, leading the AL in walks gaining more votes for the MVP Award.

In all his years in Washington the Senators finished a best third just one time. At the end of the 1958 season, he was sent to the Detroit Tigers in a six player trade that sent Rocky Bridges & Neil Chrisley to the Tigers in exchange for Reno Bertoia, Jim Delsing & Ron Samford.

During Yost's first two years in Detroit he continued to lead the AL in both walks & on base percentage both years.

In 1959 he also led the league in runs (115) with a career high 21 HRs along with 19 doubles & 61 RBIs.

After two seasons in the Motor City he went to the expansion Los Angeles Angels getting drafted as the 26th player in the 1960 expansion draft. He played there for two seasons with the Angels finishing his playing career in 1962.

Yost played in 2109 lifetime games batting .254 with 1863 hits 337 doubles 56 triples 139 HRs 683 RBIs 1215 runs scored & a .394 on base percentage.

Coaching: He began his long coaching career as a player coach with the 1962 Angels, and then returned to Washington as the third-base coach for the Senators under his old teammate, Mickey Vernon.

Vernon was eventually replaced by Gil Hodges as manager, in between that time Yost served as the team's interim manager. The Senators lost in his only game at the helm. He remained on Gil Hodges staff and joined him in New York with the Mets in the 1968 season.

Eddie Yost was thrilled to be back in his native New York City with an exciting ball club. He would be the Mets third base coach for the next decade 1968- 1977.

He was on the coaching staff witnessing the miracle of 1969, the Pennant of the You Gotta Believe Season of 1973 to the start of the 1977 season when Shea Stadium became known as Grants Tomb. After Gil Hodges passed away in 1972, Yost served under manager's Yogi Berra, Roy McMillan & Joe Frazier’s years.

Quotes: Yost once said: “It’s nice to have the big crowds we get at Shea Stadium, but it can be tough on a coach. You can’t be heard by the man on second base.” If the runner had too big of a lead or if the infielders were circling him, Yost would move toward the runner as if to chase him back to the base.

After his Mets career, Yost continued coaching with the Boston Red Sox for another eight seasons from 1977 through 1984. Eddie then settled down and retired, but in 2009 he was on hand for some of the 40th anniversary celebrations of the 1969 Mets, at the age of 82.

Trivia: Yost attended New York University during the off-season where he earned a Master's degree in physical education.

Massachusetts Senator John Kerry was on a radio talk show claiming he was a big Red Sox fan growing up in Groton, Mass. and said Eddie Yost was his favorite player. The problem is that Eddie Yost never played for the Red Sox, he just coached from 1977-1984.

On October 16th 2012 Eddie Yost passed away at the age of 86 from cardiovascular disease.

He was survived by a son & two daughters.

No comments: