Tuesday, June 10, 2014

#230 Carlton Fisk

About the Front: Whoever picked the photos for the veteran catchers in this set did some fine work. You can read the intensity on Carlton Fisk's face as he goes in for a high-five with a teammate that I'm 99% sure is Joey Cora.

About the Back: Over his long, great career, Pudge only led the league in any category once...and it was triples. Baseball, man. I don't know.

Triple Play:

1. Carlton grew up in New Hampshire as a Celtics fan and dreamed of playing in the NBA. He even attended the University of New Hampshire on a basketball scholarship. But when the Red Sox drafted him in the first round in 1967, he made his career choice, admitting that his chances of being a 6'2" power forward were slim.

2. Fisk's 12th-inning walkoff home run in Game Six of the 1975 World Series is one of the iconic scenes in baseball history, as he stood near home plate waving the ball fair, then jumped for joy as it struck the left-field pole at Fenway Park.

3. In 2012, he pled guilty to a DUI. Police had found him unconscious behind the wheel, his vehicle sitting in the middle of a cornfield in New Lenox, IL.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I missed out on seeing Fisk play, but I read about the acrimonious end to his career in Chicago. At age 45, carrying a .473 OPS in just 58 plate appearances, he would not retire. The White Sox simply released him in the midst of a road trip, and later that year he was reportedly removed from the team's clubhouse when he stopped by to wish his former teammates well in the coming playoffs.

Bill James Said: "Most-similar players in history: Bench and Berra." Those are pretty good comps to have, especially since I've got a hunch he wasn't talking about Dale Berra.

On This Date in 1993: June 10. 30-year-old lefty Jamie Moyer earns his first big league win since 1990 with 5.2 innings of one-run ball as the Orioles squeak past the Red Sox, 2-1. Frank Viola goes the distance in a losing effort. Moyer's win is the 35th of his career; he will rack up 234 more in the next two decades for a stunning second act.

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