Long before America’s Favorite Offensive Liability, Jason Varitek, was crowned Cap’n, there was only one man fit to wear the title: Captain Carl Yastrzemski. Although I started following the Sox just as Yaz’s career was winding down, I did get to witness the glory that was his 3,000th hit–the first Sox-inspired swooning of my young life.

Rumor has it that Tom Yawkey wanted to clone Captain Carl, to create an army of uber-Yastrzemskis that would keep America safe from the Nazis, nuclear weapons and Reggie Jackson. Sadly, the cloning never transpired (or so the Yawkeys would like us to believe), but the man’s legend still stands tall.

As if they needed any further inspiration heading into tonight’s game against the hapless O’s, I’m betting the boys have already posted the photo of Carl in the locker room, determined to win this one for him. And to wish him a speedy recovery.

Tonight, we win it for Yaz.