By: Mary Smith, NewsOXY Reporter
10/18/2012 09:25 AM ET
Eddie Yost has died in Weston, Massachusetts, but the Boston Red Sox did not announce a cause. His nickname was "The Walking Man" because of his penchant for drawing bases on balls during an 18-year major- league career.
While his batting record was nothing special, with his lifetime batting average just .254, the baseball legend had an uncanny batting eye that enabled him to draw walks seemingly at will. One opposing team's manager fined his pitchers $25 each time they walked Yost, but they had to stop the practice when his pitching staff ended up owing him hundreds of dollars.
"He reached the point where the umpires said if he didn't swing at a pitch, they wouldn't call it a strike," Phil Wood, a longtime Washington broadcaster and baseball historian, said.
Casey Stengel, the Yankee manager, selected Yost for the 1952 All-Star Game, his only such honor.
"Every time I look up, that feller is on base," Stengel explained.
Yost led the American League in walks six times, and though he was a below-average hitter, his on-base percentage was over .400 -- a stellar figure -- in nine different seasons. He led the league in that category twice.
After his playing days, Yost was a third-base coach for the Red Sox, New York Mets, and Washington Senators.
Primarily a third baseman from 1944 to 1962, he drew 1,614 walks - a total that still ranks 11th all-time. He spent his first 14 seasons with the original Senators, garnering all-star honors in 1952, and also played for the Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels.
The death was confirmed by his daughter Felita Yost Carr, who said her father had heart problems.
The Red Sox say Yost is survived by his daughters, Felita and Alexis, and son Mike.