While Yvars was not well known for his contributions on the field, he achieved notoriety long after he retired from the game when he confessed his complicity in a sign-stealing scheme employed by the New York Giants toward the end of the 1951 season.
''I was the guy,'' Yvars, 76, stated flatly, his wife, Ann, at his side. ''I relayed the signals to the batter. Now, if you're asking me if we could have won the pennant without stealing the signs, I would have to say, 'No way.' ''
Yvars explained it this way. A man sat in the center field clubhouse with a telescope nearly 500 feet away from home plate. When he spied the pitch signal between the catcher's legs, he pressed an electronic buzzer that was wired to the bullpen. The bullpen was in right field and in direct view of the batter. The man on the end of the bullpen bench was Sal Yvars. One buzz meant fastball, two meant off-speed.
''If it was a fastball, I would do nothing, sit still, maybe cross my legs,'' he said. ''If it was off-speed stuff I would toss a ball up and down.''