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National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Weekend in Cooperstown
National Baseball Hall of Fame member Carlton Fisk watches a tee shot of a team member during the annual golf tournament at the Leatherstocking Golf Course in Cooperstown, New York on July 26, 2008. (UPI Photo/Bill Greenblatt)
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Carlton Ernest "Pudge" Fisk (born December 26, 1947 in Bellows Falls, Vermont) is a former Major League Baseball catcher who played for 24 years with both the Boston Red Sox (1969, 1971-1980) and Chicago White Sox (1981-1993). Known by the nickname "Pudge" due to his 6'2", 220 lb frame, he was the first player to be unanimously voted Rookie of the Year in 1972. He is best known for "waving fair" his game-winning home run in the 12th inning of Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, one of the greatest moments in World Series history. At the time of his retirement in 1993 he held the records for most home runs all-time by a catcher with 351 (since passed by Mike Piazza). A testament to his durability behind the plate, Fisk held the record for most games played at the position of catcher (2,226) until June 17, 2009 when he was surpassed by fellow "Pudge" Ivan Rodriguez. Fisk still holds the American League record for most years served behind the plate (24). Fisk was voted to the All-Star team 11 times and won 3 Silver Slugger awards. Fisk was known as a fierce competitor, a superb handler of pitchers and a natural on-field leader. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2000.

Although born in Vermont, Fisk is quick to point out that he is actually from Charlestown, New Hampshire, just across the Connecticut River from Bellows Falls, Vermont. This being the case, Fisk graduated from Charlestown High School, playing baseball for the American Legion team in Bellows Falls. At the University of New Hampshire, Fisk started for the basketball team, while also playing baseball.

Drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 1967 as the fourth overall pick of the draft, Fisk got the call to the big leagues for two games in 1969. After some seasoning in the Boston minor league system and serving out a military commitment, Fisk was back with the Red Sox in 1971, appearing in fourteen games. Pudge broke out for the Red Sox in his first full season in 1972. Fisk hit .293 with 22 home runs, 28 doubles and a .909 OPS. He led the American League with nine triples (tied with Joe Rudi of the Oakland Athletics), and was the last catcher to lead the league in this statistical category. As the result of his 1972 season, Fisk won both the AL Gold Glove at Catcher and the AL Rookie of the Year awards. He was the first player in Major League Baseball history to be awarded Rookie of the Year by a unanimous vote.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Carlton Fisk."
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