Eddie Yost "the Walking Man" & Long Time Mets Coach (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. A bachelor for many years even as a player he lived at home in South Ozone, Park Queens.

Yost attended New York University in the late forties, playing both baseball & basketball. On his basketball team were future NY Knicks, Frank Mangiapane & Sid Tannenbaum, as well as future Brooklyn Dodger Ralph Branca.

He tried out for the Red Sox but they did not sign him, he quickly got signed by the lowly Washington Senators.

MLB Career: Yost jumped right over the minor leagues, playing seven brief games with the 1944 Senators. 

World War II: When he turned 18, he joined the US Navy during World War II.  He spent his summers at the Naval Training Station in Seneca, Lake NY where he played baseball, the closest thing he did to playing minor league ball. He arrived back from Military service in 1946. 

The following year became the Senators full time third baseman at age 20.

Yost became a fixture in Washington, spending fourteen seasons there (1944) then from 1946-1958.  In those years the Senators finished last five times & next to last another four times. The best they finished in his time playing there was fourth in 1946 when he only played eight games.

Yost was an excellent steady infielder, leading the league in put outs eight times & in assists twice. He led the league in fielding percentage once & came in runner up in that category three other times. Yost played in over 150 games in a season six times, while leading the league in games played three times.

The Walking Man:   The fine all around player's best quality was his great eye for a good pitch & his ability to get on base, dawning walks. Eddie led the league in walks six times, earning the nickname “the Walking Man". He was a lifetime .254 hitter who put up a .394 on base %. Yost posted on base percentages over .400% nine different seasons times in his 18-year career, which is half the seasons he played. 

He would draw 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 the league in times on base three times (1950/1959-1960). He reached base 3576 times (93rd all time). 

Yost also got on base 99 times (99th all time) by getting hit by pitches. He reached double figures in that category, three times. He made the AL's top ten in getting hit by pitches nine times, reaching the top three five times.

Yost also scored over 100 runs five times in his career & led the league in that department in 1959 while playing with the Detroit Tigers.

Eddie Yost Fan Club: Yost was a very popular player in the Washington D.C. area. He had his own fan club based in Chevy Chase Maryland.

In 1949 the durable Yost, began a streak of 829 games played through May 11th, 1955, when he was sidelined by tonsilitis. It is the ninth longest playing streak of all time. 

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 fifth place Senators.

The next year 1951, 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 again as well as at bats & plate appearances although he hit just .233. He did not play in the All Star Game at Shibe Park in the NL's 3-2 win. 

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

Trivia: Yost along was an AL Player Rep. in the old days when the owner made all the decisions.

In 1956 Mickey Mantle was chasing Babe Ruth's HR record & made all the headline in New York. Eddie Yost was chasing Babe Ruth's season high walks record but no one cared, although the Senators released a press statement. Yost fell short of Ruth's record but led the league with 151 walks for the fourth time, breaking his own Washington team record & 39 more than Triple Crown Winner Mantle.

Trivia; Casey Stengle tried to get Yost on his team many times saying "every time I look up, that feller is on base". Stengle named Yost to his only All Star team.

Lead Off HRs: He hit 101 HRs as a Senator, but in the huge Griffith Park he hit just 46 of them on the road. He hit 28 HRs as a leadoff man which was a record until Bobby Bonds broke it & then Rickey Henderson broke that.

At the end of the 1958 season, he was sent to the Detroit Tigers so the Senators could make room at third base for a young Harmon Killebrew. It was a six-player trade that sent him, Rocky Bridges & Neil Chrisley to Detroit in exchange for Reno Bertoia, Jim Delsing & Ron Samford.

Tigers Career: In his first year in Detroit led the league in runs scored (115) hitting ahead of 90 plus RBI men Al Kaline & Chalie Maxwell. He also a career high 21 HRs thanks to the short porch at Tiger Stadium, along with 19 doubles & 61 RBIs. 

During Yost's first two years in Detroit, he led the AL in both walks & on base percentage both years. The Tigers finished fourth & then sixth in his two seasons in the Motor City.

After two seasons in the Motor City, he was selected as the 26th player in the 1960 expansion draft by the expansion Los Angeles Angels. He played as a apart time player with the Angels for two seasons finishing up his playing career in 1962.

Career Playing Stats: Yost played 18 years in 2109 lifetime games. He batted .254 with 1863 hits 337 doubles 56 triples 139 HRs 683 RBIs & 1215 runs scored. He drew 1614 walks & a posted a .394 on base percentage.

He played 2008 games at third base, which was a record for most games played until 1966. He posted a .957 fielding %, making 270 errors (41st most all time) in 6285 chances. He is third on the all-time list in put outs at third base (2356) & his 3659 assists are 19th all time. He also played 15 at first base & 9 at first base.

Retirement & Coaching Career: He began his long coaching career in 1963 with Washington as the third-base coach for the Senators, under his old teammate & friend Mickey Vernon.

Vernon was eventually replaced by Gil Hodges as Washington's manager. In between that transition 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 started a friendship with him. Yost joined Gil Hodges coaching staff in New York with the Mets in the 1968 season.

Eddie Yost was thrilled to be back in New York, especially in Queens as he was still living in South Ozone Park, now married with two children.

He also found himself with an exciting young ball club. He would remain a Mets coach for the next decade 1968- 1977. He was on the coaching staff, in the third base box, witnessing the excitement of the 1969 Amazing Mets & earning himself his first World Series ring. 

At the end of Spring Training 1972, Yost, Rube Walker & Joe Pignatano were all golfing with Gil Hodges in Wes Palm Beach when Hodges, suffered his fatal heart attack & passed away. The organization was shocked, as the leader was gone.

The Mets named Yogi Berra manager & Yost served as third base coach for him as well, getting to a World Series in 1973 but losing to Oakland in seven games. 

Quotes- Eddie Yost: “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.”

As a third base coach, 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.

Yost served under Yogi Berra until he was fired in August 1975 & stayed with interim manager Roy McMillan until the end of the season. Joe Frazier took over as manager in 1976 & Rube Walker did not stay on.

Yost had seen the Amazing Mets miracle of 1969, then saw the You Gotta Believe Pennant year of 1973. He watched Tom Seaver win three Young Awards & now was witnessing the start of the dismal era, when Shea Stadium became known as "Grant's Tomb". The name referred to Mets Chairman M. Donald Grant who destroyed the team.

Post Mets Career: After his Mets career, Yost continued coaching with the Boston Red Sox under Dom Zimmer (1976-1980). He remained in Boston for eight seasons from 1977 through 1984. After Zimmer he worked with Johnny Pesky (1980) & Ralph Houck (1981-1984). 

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

Retirement: Eddie then settled down and retired from, baseball at age 58. He & his family now lived in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Two of his main hobbies was restoring antique clocks & carousel horses.
 
Mets Honors: In 2009, at age 82, Yost was asked to attend celebrations marking the 40th Anniversary of the 1969 Amazing Mets. He was on hand at Citi Field & the memorabilia events in Huntington, NY.

(2009) 40th Anniversary of 1969 Mets
Lying Politician: In 2004 Democratic candidate & Massachusetts Senator John Kerry was on a radio talk show claiming he was a big Red Sox fan growing up in Groton, Mass. He 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. Kerry became an even bigger laughingstock in Red Sox territory.

Passing: On October 16th, 2012, Eddie Yost passed away from cardiovascular disease. "The Walking Man" was 86 years old.

He was survived by a son & two daughters. 

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