In January 1967, Vermont native Fisk was the first-round draft choice of the Boston Red Sox. When he arrived in the big leagues in 1972, he brought his childhood nickname, Pudge, with him. At 21 years old he nailed a full-time catcher's job and never looked back. Fisk was an immediate star, he hit .293 with 22 homers in 1972, won a Gold Glove, and became the first player ever to win the Rookie of the Year award by unanimous vote.
Hitting .331 in 1975, Fisk found himself in the spotlight twice in this incredible World Series. In the 10th inning of Game Three, he collided with Reds pinch-hitter Ed Armbrister while chasing a bunt in front of home plate, but no interference was called, and the Reds rallied for the winning run.
In Game Six, Fisk got his revenge, drilling a Pat Darcy sinker off the left-field foul pole for a 12th-inning, game-winning home run in what many consider the most electrifying game in World Series history. Fisk's leaping gyrations down the first base line as he urged the ball to stay fair is etched in the memory of every Red Sox fan and is one of the most dramatic moments in the history of baseball.
After the 1980 season Fisk stunned Boston fans by signing with the Chicago White Sox. The Red Sox' front office had blundered by failing to postmark his new contract in time, allowing Fisk to become a free agent. With his "change of Sox," Fisk flip-flopped his uniform number from 27 to 72.
Carlton had often joked he would design a special "dual-Sox" cap for his Hall of Fame plaque, but when he was elected to the Hall in 2000, it didn't take long for Fisk to announce his likeness would feature only a Red Sox hat.
Note: Bio is as it appeared in the Forum program from February 17, 2005.
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