Friday, April 18, 2014

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #125 CARLTON FISK

FISK HAD A LOT OF GREAT CARDS.


BORN TO BE A CATCHER.



DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • No nonsense and deliberate, Carlton Fisk was as steady as your grandfather's gold pocket watch, even if he ran a little slow. Fisk was in control for 24 seasons behind the plate. He retired in 1993 as the all-time leader in games caught and most home runs (351). You messed with Fisk at your own peril, just ask #141 Deion Sanders. You also tempted fate by pitching to him with the game on the line, just ask the Reds. A 10-time All-Star, Fisk hit 376 homers -- 188 on the road and at home -- drove in 1,330 runs and slashed .269/.341/.457.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • Oct. 21, 1975. Game 6 of the World Series. Twelve inning. Score 6-6. Red Sox trailing in the series 3-2. Pat Darcy on the mound. Fisk pulls a 1-0 pitch and hammers it off the foul pole in left for the winner while waving it fair for dramatics. That's a defining moment all right.

DEFINING SEASON

  • Fisk hit 26 homers, drove in 102 runs and slashed .315/.402/.521 in '77, playing 152 games.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Fisk was the first unanimous AL Rookie of the Year, batting .293 with 22 home runs in '72. Along with Joe Rudi, he also co-led the AL in triples with nine, the last catcher to do so.
  2. A knee injury suffered in a home plate collision in '74 put his career in jeopardy. He had reconstructive knee surgery and returned in the middle of the '75 season.
  3. In his 11 seasons as Red Sox catcher, Fisk averaged 14 homers, 52 RBI and was a seven-time All-Star. He was constantly trying to get more money from the tight-fisted front office.
  4. When the Red Sox mailed Fisk's new contract after the '80 season one day late, he was granted free agency and signed with the White Sox, where he would play his final 13 seasons. 
  5. On May 22, 1990, at Yankee Stadium, Fisk had to correct Sanders about how to play the game properly. Sanders popped out to the infield in the third inning and didn't bother to run it out. That's when Fisk popped off, telling him to run the ball out. Next time up in the fifth, Sanders told Fisk the days of slavery were over. "There's a right way and a wrong way to play this game, and you're playing it the wrong way,'' Fisk barked. "And the rest of us don't like it. Someday you're going to get this game shoved right down your throat!''

THE GAME 6 FISK HR BALL, SCUFFED BY THE FOUL POLE SCREEN,
BEFORE LANDING IN FOSTER'S GLOVE; UNFORTUNATELY, NOT MINE.


BUT THIS ONE IS.

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