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Island baseball players part of historic game: At ceremonies honoring the great ‘Yaz’

On Tuesday, the Shelter Island varsity baseball team had the opportunity to be part of an historic game at Bridgehampton.

Two super-talented junior lefties — Shelter Island ace Ben Waife and Bridgehampton’s Scott Vinski —  took the mound at Bridgehampton’s brand new field. The Killer Bees came out on top, shutting out the Islanders 6-0.

But even with the loss, it was a game the visitors were proud to be a part of, with Bridgehampton fielding a varsity team for the first time since 1980, and the unveiling of a marker by the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame honoring Carl Yastrzemski, which says that he is “one of the greatest baseball players of all time.”

The handsome marker notes that he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989 and is a 2022 inductee into the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame.

The legendary Yaz, a 1957 graduate of Bridgehampton High School, came from a family of potato farmers to be the greatest player Long Island has ever produced, playing for the Boston Red Sox for 23 seasons before making his way to Cooperstown.

“The Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame aims to honor locations of historic significance across the county,” said Chris R. Vaccaro, executive director of the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame. “These historic marker dedications are an element of historic preservation and help us bridge the gap between honoring the past and inspiring the future. I hope the players at Bridgehampton aspire to be the next Yaz.”

Shelter Island varsity Head Coach Peter Miedema was honored he and his team were part of the day. “It was a special moment for sure to be a witness to this event,” the coach said after the game. “Growing up, I was a fanatic about baseball, former greats and their stats. One of those special records of baseball is the rarely seen accomplishment of the Triple Crown. As a kid I was a fan when the Triple Crown went to Carl Yastrzemski, so I immediately put him on a pedestal,” he said.

The Triple Crown in baseball refers to the batting achievement of leading a league in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in (RBI) over the same season.

“Yaz was an amazing athlete who accomplished so much on a local level,” Coach Miedema said, “and then continued his greatness in the pros. I feel very fortunate that we shared this experience.”