There were many who thought the career of Red Sox All-Star catcher Carlton Fisk was over on June 28, 1974, when his left knee was shredded in a collision with Cleveland Indians baserunner Leron Lee.
A little more than a year later, Fisk had proved those doomsayers wrong and clubbed one of the most iconic home runs in baseball history in the 12th inning of Game 6 in the 1975 World Series, staving off elimination with his walk-off shot against Pat Darcy off the foul pole atop the Green Monster.
It had been a long road back for Fisk, who made it back in time for spring training in 1975 only to have his comeback derailed when his forearm was broken by a pitch in a Grapefruit League game.
Fisk didn’t have a lot of playing experience, growing up in New Hampshire and playing collegiately at Keene State College and the University of New Hampshire, but the Red Sox selected him fourth overall in the regular phase of the January Draft in 1967.
He debuted in the majors briefly in September 1969, got another cup of coffee in 1971 and won the catching job for the 1972 season.
Fisk hit .293/.370/.909 with 22 homers, 61 RBI and a league-leading nine triples en route to the AL Rookie of the Year award, finishing fourth in the MVP voting as well and winning his only Gold Glove in the process.
He was a seven-time All-Star for the Red Sox before leaving to sign as a free agent with the Chicago White Sox in March 1981 after he was granted free agency the previous month, after general manager Haywood Sullivan didn’t mail Fisk his contract in time.
That affair led to some lasting acrimony between Fisk and the Sox, which has since been mended.
In parts of 11 seasons in Boston, Fisk hit .284/.356/.837, an OPS+ of 126, with 162 homers, 568 RBI and 627 runs.
He would play 13 more years in Chicago, retiring after he was released in June 1993.
Fisk was inducted into the Hall of Fame after being voted in by the writers in 2000, a year after rejoining the Red Sox organization in promotions and marketing.