Carl was a senior in high school when the pro scouts started coming to see him. Almost all the major league clubs offered him a bonus to sign, but Carl decided to go to Notre Dame instead. In his freshman year he studied business management and learned how to play bridge. ("Is this what he's going to college for?" his mother asked.) He also was introduced by his roommate to Carol Casper, a pretty little blonde from Pittsburgh. Carl dated her for two years before they were married.
When Carl came home for Thanksgiving vacation in his sophomore year, the baseball scouts came around again, and this time Carl decided to sign. He wanted to play for an eastern team—Boston, Philadelphia or perhaps Cincinnati. Neither he nor his father cared much for the Yankees after Carl, having worked out with the team, was made to dress with the bat boys instead of the players, and Mr. Yastrzemski, hoping to see his son, was told he couldn't get in without a pass. In the end Carl chose Boston and a $100,000 bonus, largely because he felt the Sox men he met were the most considerate.
The Red Sox players kid Carl about his bonus. Some players call him Cash. One night the Red Sox ate dinner in a restaurant outside San Diego that was divided into two rooms. "Just the important players eat in this room," said the veteran Vic Wertz. Lou Clinton, a young outfielder, pointed to Yastrzemski. "Yeah," he said, "important players and the club owner." But as one member of the team said, "No one's going to ride him too hard. After all, he could make a lot of money for us all."
The Red Sox are paying Carl his bonus over a five-year period—"just around Christmas," Carl says. The money is banked in a joint account in the names of Carl and his father.
"I'm giving my father half the money," Carl says. "I only want enough to complete my education [he still goes to Notre Dame in the off season] and to put a down payment on a house. My father's healthy now, but someday he may need it.
"There's another reason, too. Too much money might spoil me. I want to keep driving hard. I want to be the very best player I can be."
"I can believe it," said a teammate recently. "Do you know what he did once last year? He played in a double-header and went 3 for 8. That's good enough for most people, but Carl went out after the second game and took extra batting practice."
There were five Yastrzemskis in Scottsdale this spring—Carl and his wife and his daughter and his father and his mother. The five of them lived together in a motel apartment near the ball park. Not a workout nor an exhibition game took place that did not find Mr. Yastrzemski, wearing his Red Sox cap, and Mrs. Yastrzemski watching from seats behind the Red Sox dugout. When the team made a trip recently to San Diego and Palm Springs, the parents went along. Carol Yastrzemski, who knows very little about baseball, stayed in Scottsdale with the baby. "I think Carol's beginning to understand the game," says Carl's mother.
"She'll never understand it," says Mr. Yastrzemski.