Yaz speech at statue ceremony

BOSTON -- Here is the speech Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski gave at the ceremony in which his statue was unveiled outside Fenway Park.

Mr Mayor, Larry, Tom, Ben, John [Farrell], what a difference this year compared to last year. Ben put a team together, and John pushed all the right buttons. I was talking to Gomes and Nava and Pedroia a little bit before, and what a difference, playing on a winner.

I was telling them my first six years with the Red Sox, they were tough years. Twenty-five, 30 games out, by the All-Star break. You lose the incentive. Then ’67 came along, and baseball was fun again. You guys made it fun here for the fans of Boston.

I'm happy to be here, surrounded by my wife Nancy, my children and my grandchildren. I wish my son Carl Michael could have been with us. He was my biggest fan.

It's very special to have my former teammates here. Thank you for coming. I want to thank Jim and Dwight for their kind words.

I’m deeply honored to stand before you today seeing this statue in front of the place that I called home for 23 years. This statue means as much to me as being inducted into the Hall of Fame and having my number retired.

The Red Sox organization and the fans of New England are the best in baseball. Thank you all for coming. Thank you, I appreciate it.