Fenway Park Field

March 11, 1963

Red Sox manager Johnny Pesky, having inherited a seventh-place club from Pinky Higgins, had no qualms about do some heavy-duty tinkering. On this day Pesky let it be known that Carl Yastrzemski, Boston’s left fielder for his two big-league seasons, could see some duty in center field.

Pesky didn’t say when, or how much.

In 1963, Yastrzemski was in center field once. In 1964, he started in center field 133 times.

Pesky put rookie Tony Conigliaro in left 83 times. When Conigliaro was out (he appeared in just 106 games), it was left field by committee: Felix Mantilla, Tony Horton, Roman Mejias, Dick Williams (yes, that Dick Williams), Al Smith,  Bobby Guindon and Yastrzemski all started in left field at least once.

Having played shortstop as a kid, Yaz came to the Red Sox willing and able to play anywhere he was told. In his 23 season he mostly played left field and first base and his season in center. He also had cameo appearances at third base and right field.

As an aside: Pinky Higgins was not relieved of his managerial duties because the Red Sox went 200-227 from 1960-62 combined. He was promoted to general manager.

Tom Yawkey enjoyed a cocktail or two with Higgins over the years.

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