Fenway Park Field

Feb. 15, 1979

Carl Yastrzemski visited Fenway Park for a sit-down with co-owners Haywood Sullivan and Buddy LeRoux. His aim was to see if a deal could be made on a salary increase for 1980 and 1981. He’d play 1979 for a reported salary between $300,000 and $350,000.

SInce JIm Rice had just signed a seven-year, $4.9 million deal, Yaz thought his request was reasonable.

Sullivan and LeRoux begged to differ. Essentially, Sullivan dismissed Yastrzemski’s demands as the same, old song and dance that happens every season as spring training approaches.

With his 40th birthday coming up in August, Yastrzemski chided his bosses for inferring that his skills could erode sharply over the coming three seasons.

For all their bravado, Sullivan and LeRoux understood that if Yaz walked away, just shy of 3,000 career hits and 1,600 RBIs, it wouldn’t sit very well with fans still gnashing their teeth over the Great Collapse of 1978.

Eventually, they came to an agreement, and Yastrzemski played through the 1982 season.