Category Archives: Carlton Fisk

@SOXNERD BLOG: MONCADA BREAKS ON THROUGH IN CLEANUP SPOT

The latest @SoxNerd Blog …

What we have learned the last few days, @soxnerd style!

*CLEANING IT UP: Prior to Yoan Moncada’s arrival, it had been a while since the White Sox had a second baseman break on through to the cleanup spot.

Moncada is the first @whitesox second sacker to hit fourth since Jim Morrison — the slugger not the singer — batted there on June 20, 1980 against Detroit at Comiskey Park. Ed Farmer took the loss that day, by the way.

Moncada made his third Sox start at cleanup in Thursday’s series opener in Boston.

Speaking of Boston …

Moncada is the first Sox second baseman to start out of the fourth hole vs. Boston since fellow former Red Sox Mike Andrews on Aug. 22, 1972 at Comiskey Park.

The last time a Sox second baseman started at cleanup in Boston prior to Moncada    on Thursday was Cass Michaels on May 5, 1950.

*A CONSTANT: This will mark the 117th consecutive season the White Sox will battle their red counterparts in Boston.

The first White Sox game in Boston was June 17, 1901 when the home team win the first game as part of a doubleheader split.

This is the 107th year in a row the White Sox are playing in Fenway Park.

Did you know the White Sox spoiled the formal dedication of Fenway Park. On May 17, 1912, among parades, pomp, circumstance and dignitaries, the White Sox prevailed 5-2 with winning pitcher Ed Walsh going 3-for-3. The White Sox used a four-run ninth to win.

*NO. 634: Rookie Nicky Delmonico became the 634th player to homer for the White Sox with his first career homer on Thursday.

And this from Nerd pal @ckamka …

*MORE NICKY: On Tuesday, Delmonico became the first Sox player to make his big league debut batting fifth since @TheBigHurt_35 aka Frank Thomas did it on Aug. 2, 1990 in Milwaukee.

Here’s the list of recent Sox 5-hole @mlb debuts flashed on the Guaranteed Rate Field scoreboard that night.

*CLEANUP KEVAN: Moncada wasn’t the only Sox player hitting in rare air in the fourth hole recently.

On Wednesday, Kevan Smith was the first Sox catcher to cleanup since A.J. Pierzynski on Sept. 27, 2011 and the first right-handed hitter to do it since Carlton Fisk on Oct. 1, 1991.

Digging deeper, Smith was the first Sox rookie catcher to start at cleanup since Matt Merullo on July 2, 1991. In addition, Smith was the first right-handed hitting rookie catcher to start out of the fourth spot since John Romano on Sept. 12, 1959.

*BACK-TO-BACK CHAMPS: The recently-completed sets vs. the @cubs and @Indians marked the first time the Sox had played the defending league champs in consecutive series at home.

This was the second time and second year in a row the Sox played the reigning World Series teams in back-to-back series. In 2016, the Sox played at Kansas City May 27-29 before heading to New York to play the Mets May 30-June 1 in the MATT ALBERS SERIES.

Other seasons in which the Sox played both of the previous years World Series teams were 2003 (Giants and Angels), 2004 (Marlins and Yankees), 2008 (Rockies and Red Sox) and 2011 (Cardinals and Rangers).

*A HIT BY A PITCHER: Here’s what I excavated in the wake of pitcher Carlos Rodon’s two-run double on July 25 at Wrigley Field:

–Rodon’s two RBI were one more than Sox pitchers amassed between 2013 and July 24, 2017

http://mlb.mlb.com/r/video?content_id=1648798083

–Rodon’s double was the first by a Sox pitcher since reliever Matt Albers‘ rocked the Big Apple on June 1, 2016

–Rodon’s two-bagger was the first by a Sox pitcher since Mark Buehrle on June 29, 2011

–Rodon’s double was the first by a Sox pitcher IN CHICAGO since fellow starter Stan Bahnsen victimized Texas’ Dan Stanhouse in the second game of a doubleheader on Aug. 4, 1972 at Comiskey Park.

–Prior to Rodon, the last Sox pitcher to log an RBI in the second inning was Philip Humber on June 16, 2012 at Dodger Stadium

*SIR PAUL: Sir Paul McCartney played two songs on July 25-26 at the the Hollywood Casino and Amphitheater and Casino that he and The Beatles played during their Aug. 20, 1965 day-night doubleheader at Comiskey Park: Can’t Buy Me Love and A Hard Day’s Night.

*NOTE: The Baseball Reference website and Play Index rocks!

COUNTDOWN TO WHITE SOX OPENING DAY: 18 DAYS

18 days to Opening Day, White Sox fans!

Carlton Fisk led the 1990 Sox with 18 home runs. He is the last player to lead the team in homers with fewer than 20 roundtrippers.

Some other notes on Fisk’s homer output in 1990:

*On Aug. 17, Fisk used one swing of the bat to become the most prolific home run-hitting catcher in big league history and the White Sox all-time home run leader. Fisk’s second-inning roundtripper off Charlie Hough in Texas gave him 328 as a catcher and 187 with the White Sox. He eclipsed Johnny Bench’s mark for catchers and Harold Baines’ White Sox record. The historic homer came in the White Sox 4-2 win.

*The last Fisk’s 94 homers at Comiskey Park was a solo, go-ahead shot off Kansas City’s Kevin Appier on Sept. 3

*Fisk hit 13 of his 18 homers on the road in 1990

*14 of Fisk’s 18 homers in 1990 were solo shots

*Fisk hit 17 of his 18 homers as a catcher. He was a DH when he went deep in the second game of a doubleheader on Sept. 10 off Cleveland’s Jesse Orosco

COUNTDOWN TO WHITE SOX OPENING DAY: 86 DAYS!


86 days til Opening Day White Sox fans!

The ’86 Sox had one of the most interesting rosters in team history.

Among those donning the Sox yarns in a roster assembled by general manager Hawk Harrelson that season were Tom Seaver, Harold Baines, Steve Carlton, Ron Kittle, George Foster, Ozzie Guillen, Bobby Bonilla, Kenny Williams, Tony La Russa, left fielder Carlton Fisk, Steve Lyons, Floyd Bannister, Neil Allen, Joliet’s Jack Perconte, Richard Dotson, Bob James, Joe Cowley, Ivan Calderon, Russ Morman, Daryl Boston, Ron Karkovice, Jose DeLeon, John Cangelosi, Ron Hassey.

It really was a cross-section of old and new! That roster definitely had an identity crisis!

FISK FACTS!

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A few random nuggets, SoxNerd style, on birthday boy Carlton Fisk:

*NUMBERS GAME: Fisk wore 72 with the White Sox, which was the reverse of the 27 he wore with the Red Sox. He donned 72 for the White Sox because “that was the year my son Casey was born, it was my rookie year in the Majors and it represents a turnaround in my career,” according to Sox media guides published during his career.

*1972! Speaking of 1972, it was on June 6 of that season when Fisk played in his first game at Comiskey Park. In the first game of a doubleheader, Fisk went 1-for-3 batting eighth in a Boston lineup that had Sox legend Luis Aparicio batting second and playing shortstop. … Fisk’s first hit at Comiskey Park was a single off Wilbur Wood (he was thrown out at second by Carlos May trying to stretch into a double). … Fisk’s final hit at Comiskey Park was a fifth-inning double off Seattle’s Randy Johnson on Sept. 28, 1990.

*EARLY OPENING ACT: Fisk played in the 1977 (0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter) and 1978 (0-for-4, run) Comiskey Park openers for Boston.

*HOMER NOTES: Fisk’s first Comiskey Park homer was a solo shot off Wood on July 6, 1973. … Fisk’s final blast at the old park was a solo, go-ahead shot off Kansas City’s Kevin Appier on Sept. 3, 1990.

*THIS AND THAT: Fisk played in 1,421 games for the White Sox and 1,078 games for the Red Sox. … He hit 214 homers for the Sox and 162 for Boston. … 106 of Fisk’s homers came at Fenway, a record 94 were hit at Comiskey Park and 11 came at New Comiskey Park.

*NO NO-NO: Fisk never caught a no-hitter. The closest he came was on July 12, 1990 when he received six no-hit innings from Melido Perez in the White Sox 8-0 rain-shortened win at Yankee Stadium. The victory was considered a no-hitter until 1991 when Major League Baseball changed the definition of the feat to “a game in which a pitcher, or pitchers, gives up no hits while pitching at least nine innings.”

*FIRST AND LAST: The first pitch Fisk ever caught at Comiskey Park was thrown by Boston’s Sonny Siebert in 1972. The last pitch he ever caught at the old yard was delivered by Bobby Thigpen in the stadium’s finale in 1990.

 

 

ON THIS DATE IN 1981: NO RISK, IT’S FISK!

On this date (March 10) 1981, in one of the great moves in the history of the White Sox, the new ownership group headed by Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn signed All-Star catcher Carlton Fisk giving their regime instant credibility.

Fisk became a free agent when the Boston Red Sox, his team since the late 1960s, failed to properly postmark his contract. The persistent White Sox literally camped out on Fisk’s doorstep in getting him to agree to a $3 million contract.

The signing paid off immediately on the field as well.

Fisk became a legend in his first game with the White Sox when he launched a game-winning homer against his old team in his old park. Days later, in his home debut, Fisk thrilled the 51,560 at Comiskey Park with a grand slam.

These were the sparks that ignited the career of one of the greatest and most revered figures in team history.

It was a career that endured many contract squabbles with management and ended, deservedly so, in Cooperstown.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PUDGE!

On this date in 1947, Carlton Fisk was born in Bellow Falls, Vermont.

“Pudge” would go on to have a Hall of Fame career as one of the great catchers in big league history for both the Boston Red Sox (1969, 1971-1980) and the White Sox (1981-1993).

Upon signing as a free agent in March of 1981, Fisk became one of the most popular players in White Sox history and still is to this day despite his pull to his Red Sox roots.

Fisk’s spot in franchise history was cemented in 1997 when his No. 72 was retired, an honor bestowed upon by Sox management despite his frequent battles with them.

Three years later, Fisk deservedly took his spot among the game’s immortals when he was voted into the Hall Fame.

 On May 22, 2008, the White Sox held a “Welcome Back Carlton Fisk Night” at U.S. Cellular Field to recognize Fisk’s return to the organization as an ambassador. It is a post he has held in some form since then.

  
In celebration of his 68th birthday, here are some of Fisk’s White Sox greatest hits:

April 10, 1981: In his White Sox debut and in the stadium he called home for the previous 10 seasons, Fisk launched a dramatic three-run homer in the eighth inning that gave his new Sox the lead for good in a 5-3 win over the Boston Red Sox on Opening Day at Fenway Park.

 April 14, 1981: In his White Sox home debut, Fisk thrilled an Opening Day crowd of 51,560 with a grand slam in a 9-3 triumph of the Milwaukee Brewers.

 June 15, 1983: A fifth-inning RBI triple fronted the Sox for good in a 5-2 win at Anaheim. The hit came with Fisk starting in the No. 2 spot and ignited a streak which would see him bat .329 the rest of way in leading the White Sox to the A.L. West title.

 May 16, 1984: First inning double, second inning single, fourth inning home run and a seventh inning triple made Fisk just the third White Sox player to hit for the cycle and the first to do it at Comiskey Park. Despite the history, the Sox lost to the Royals 7-6.

 Aug. 2, 1985: Fisk tagged out both Bobby Meacham and Dale Berra on the same play at the plate in the seventh inning of the White Sox 5-3 win at Yankee Stadium. Next to his iconic Game 6 homer in the 1975 World Series, this is Fisk’s most famous play.

 Sept. 25, 1985: Fisk tied Dick Allen’s 1972 franchise record with his 37th home run of the season. The solo shot came off Ron Romanick in a 7-4 loss at California. The dinger was also Fisk’s 33rd while playing catcher, breaking Lance Parrish’s 1982 league record for roundtrippers at the position.

 Aug. 19, 1988: Fisk caught his 1,807th American League game, setting the record in that category. He celebrated the occasion with his first career five-hit game.

 June 21, 1989: Fisk cracked his 307th home run as a catcher, passing the Yankees’ Yogi Berra as the American League’s all-time leader in that department. Fisk accomplished the feat in a 7-3 win at Yankee Stadium.

 July 17, 1989: Fisk collected his 2,000th hit -– a 28 bouncer up the middle -– before an appreciative crowd at Comiskey Park. The milestone came off the Yankees’ Andy Hawkins, the same pitcher he victimized with his record homer about a month earlier in the Bronx.

 May 22, 1990: Fisk scolded and lectured the Yankees’ Deion Sanders on Yankee Pride at homeplate during the Sox 5-2 loss to New York. Fisk’s lecture was apparently over Sanders’ lack of hustle and his lackadaisical demeanor on baseball’s hallowed ground and prompted both benches to clear but no punches were thrown.

 Aug. 17, 1990: With one swing of the bat, Fisk became the most prolific home run-hitting catcher in big league history and the White Sox all-time home run leader. Fisk’s second-inning roundtripper off Charlie Hough in Texas gave him 328 as a catcher and 187 with the White Sox. He eclipsed Johnny Bench’s mark for catchers and Harold Baines’ White Sox record. The historic homer came in the White Sox 4-2 win.

 Sept. 3, 1990: Fisk hit the last of his 87 home runs at the original Comiskey Park in a 4-2 win over the Kansas City Royals before 25,236 on the Southside. Fisk finished tied for second all-time in Old Comiskey Park home runs with Harold Baines, one behind leader Bill Melton. Twenty-seven days later, Fisk would start the final game at the old park behind the plate and go 0-for-4.

July 9, 1991: Fisk made his fourth and final All-Star team as a member of the White Sox and his 11th and last overall. … Joined Yogi Berra and Johnny Bench as the only catchers to play in at least 10 All-Star Games (Fisk did not play in the 1974 game because of an injury). … Replaced Sandy Alomar Jr. at catcher in the fifth inning to become the oldest White Sox player, the third-oldest player overall player and the oldest American League position player to play in an All-Star Game … Finished the game behind the plate. … Went 1-for-2. … Singled off Pete Harnisch to center with two out in the sixth to become the oldest player (43 years, seven months, 13 days) to hit safely in an All-Star Game.

Aug. 6, 1991: Fisk hit his 200th home run in a White Sox uniform. The four-bagger came off the Yankees’ Wade Taylor in a 14-5 win at “new” Comiskey Park.

 April 7, 1993: On his first swing of the season, Fisk socked what turned out to be the final home run of his Hall of Fame career. The blast, the 376th of Fisk’s career, came off Jim Deshaies in the third inning of the Sox 6-1 loss at Minnesota.

 June 19, 1993: Fisk notched the 2,356th and last hit of his career – a fifth inning single off Mark Langston in a 5-4 loss at California.

 June 22, 1993: Fisk became the all-time leader by catching his 2,226th game in the Sox 3-2 win over Texas before 36,757 at Comiskey Park. Prior to the game, the White Sox presented Fisk with several gifts, including a special-edition Harley-Davidson motorcycle and a $25,000 donation to the Chicago Botanic Garden. Fisk helped give the Sox the lead with a sacrifice in the fifth that led to a run. After Texas tied the game in the sixth, Lance Johnson drove in the winning run with a two-out single in the ninth. Six days later, the Sox released Fisk