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View Full Version : Carlton Fisk and his overhyped HR!



MaineRed
05-07-2006, 09:30 AM
Living in Maine, I get hammered with the Red Sox. One of the biggest things shoved down my throat is the HR by Fisk in Game 6 of the 75 World Series. Most Red Sox fans would list this as the greatest moment in the history of the sport (OK, slight exaggeration) but Red fans know, it was basically, other than the theatre, meaningless. The Reds haven't looked back since that Fisk HR in terms of World Series games. They won Game 7 of that series, swept the Yankees in 76 and of course, Joe Olivered the A's in 1990.

So, the point of this thread is to ask the brilliant baseball minds on this site, the ones who easily would put Ken Burns and Keith Olberman to shame, a question. Are there other HRs in baseball that are as hyped as Fisk, that were as meaningless? I look back at all of the HRs that are shown, over and over and over and all of them that I can think of were hit by players whose team went on to win. Joe Carter in 93. Kirby in 91. Or was it 87? Ozzie Smith in the 85 NLCS. GIbson off Eck in 88. Bucky Dent. The shot heard round the world. Etc, etc.

Can anyone think of another HR hit by a losing team that has such a place in the video history of baseball?

I probably see it more than most, living in New England but it always bugs me. I tease my Red Sox buddies by saying, stuff, like, meaingingless, irrelevent, etc, etc when it is shown. I just don't get it. To me it would be the same as listing Buckner's game 6 error on the biggest blunder list had the Sox gone onto win the WS. Had they won game 7, nobody would blaming Buck for anything. He might of ended up in the Hall of Luck but he wouldn't be in the Hall of Shame, as he is now. But with Fisk, had the Sox won game 7 in 75, I can't imagine that homer being more mainstream than it already is. Maybe it would be by a hair but not much IMO.

RedFanAlways1966
05-07-2006, 09:40 AM
Good topic.

Any HR hit by McGwire, Sosa or Bonds during their "chase for the record seasons". It was huge when it was happening, but in hindsight was way overhyped with the things we now know. There were others doing things (Palmeiro, Giambi, etc.), but the first three mentioned were hyped to the highest degree during their times chasing the single season HR record.

tsj017
05-07-2006, 10:55 AM
Several years ago, in the public library, I stumbled across a book called Beyond The Sixth Game, by the insufferable Peter Gammons. It was a look at baseball since the 1975 World Series. I skimmed the first chapter. Based on that, you'd think the Sox won that Series. Gammons just went on and on about the Fisk home run, about how it was the greatest and most important home run in baseball history. Oh, by the way, the Reds won Game 7 and the Series the next night, but that's not really important, because the Red Sox won everything that mattered in Game 6 on Fisk's home run.

What a putz.

The only reason I can tolerate seeing Fisk's HR so often is that the Reds won the Series anyway (and Peter Gammons no doubt cried bitter tears).

Dunner44
05-07-2006, 11:32 AM
Yeah, apparently there is a great misconception that the Sox won that series. People see the Fisk homer and assume the Sox won. Ask most people and they will assume the Sox won that series.

As for the Sox themselves, they went and renamed the foul pole for fiskie. Dumb.

MartyFan
05-07-2006, 12:02 PM
Several years ago, in the public library, I stumbled across a book called Beyond The Sixth Game, by the insufferable Peter Gammons. It was a look at baseball since the 1975 World Series. I skimmed the first chapter. Based on that, you'd think the Sox won that Series. Gammons just went on and on about the Fisk home run, about how it was the greatest and most important home run in baseball history. Oh, by the way, the Reds won Game 7 and the Series the next night, but that's not really important, because the Red Sox won everything that mattered in Game 6 on Fisk's home run.

What a putz.

The only reason I can tolerate seeing Fisk's HR so often is that the Reds won the Series anyway (and Peter Gammons no doubt cried bitter tears).


Okay, I catch flack when I talk about how little I think of Gammons but your post brings directly to the forefront why he is so unreliable for most baseball stories.

How ESPN put him on the "IN" section is beyond me.

When all is said and done anything Gammons says or writes in regards to baseball is suspect at best.

KronoRed
05-07-2006, 04:24 PM
Yeah, apparently there is a great misconception that the Sox won that series. People see the Fisk homer and assume the Sox won. Ask most people and they will assume the Sox won that series.

Can't help people like that, just have to smile and move along, they live in ESPN land where the only teams are the yankees and boston

westofyou
05-07-2006, 04:31 PM
When all is said and done anything Gammons says or writes in regards to baseball is suspect at best.

I like Gammons and feel the complete opposite that you do.

Oh and I have that book too.

Hap
05-07-2006, 05:34 PM
Yeah, apparently there is a great misconception that the Sox won that series. People see the Fisk homer and assume the Sox won. Ask most people and they will assume the Sox won that series.

These are the same people who think Buckner's error cost the Red Sox the series. The truth is the game was already tied and there was still a game 7 to play.

saboforthird
05-07-2006, 05:47 PM
Good topic.

Any HR hit by McGwire, Sosa or Bonds during their "chase for the record seasons". It was huge when it was happening, but in hindsight was way overhyped with the things we now know. There were others doing things (Palmeiro, Giambi, etc.), but the first three mentioned were hyped to the highest degree during their times chasing the single season HR record.

I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt, RFA, but I believe most "true" fans "knew" those homerun record chases were a farce, WHEN they were happening. :beerme:

UKFlounder
05-07-2006, 09:50 PM
It was a home run that ended a World Series game and tied the series, for a franchise that had not won a World Series since 1918 - it clearly was an incredibly important hit when it happened, and when nobody knew how the series would end.

Of course, once you get the benefit of hindsight and the knowledge that the Reds won the series, it is pretty easy to downplay that home run, but, JMO, that makes it sound like you, not Gammons, are the one who is bitter.

It was a very clutch & important hit - fortunately the Reds won the series and reduced its importance, but not many players have ended a World Series game with such a hit, especially for a franchise like the Red Sox who had gone so long without a title.

Hap
05-07-2006, 11:17 PM
Fred Lynn's three-run homer in the first inning and Bernie Carbo's three-run homer in the eighth inning made it possible.

George Foster
05-08-2006, 12:28 AM
The most over-rated home-run of all time was Gibson's homerun in game 1 of the World Series. It was game 1 for God's sakes, it was at home, they should have one that game anyway. I know he was hurt but it did not win the series or extend the series like Fisk's HR did in 75.

The most under-rated home run of all time was Joe Carter's Walk-off home run to win the series....I mean it won the series. You never see this on "homerun highlights." They were down 6-5 in game six to the Phillies. Their ace reliever Mitch Williams was pitching and Carter hits a 3-run digger to win the series...back to back series. If I see Gibson's HR again I will puke!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_World_Series#Game_6

TOBTTReds
05-08-2006, 12:43 AM
The most under-rated home run of all time was Joe Carter's Walk-off home run to win the series....I mean it won the series. You never see this on "homerun highlights." They were down 6-5 in game six to the Phillies. Their ace reliever Mitch Williams was pitching and Carter hits a 3-run digger to win the series...back to back series. If I see Gibson's HR again I will puke!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_World_Series#Game_6

Blame Canada

SandyD
05-08-2006, 12:50 AM
I kind of smile when I see the Fisk HR. Now that I know how the story ends. It's part of a fun look back for me. And, sometimes I have fun asking others who may not be Reds or BoSox fans who won that series. :D

LincolnparkRed
05-08-2006, 11:01 AM
These are the same people who think Buckner's error cost the Red Sox the series. The truth is the game was already tied and there was still a game 7 to play.

But why let the facts get the way of feelings? The "Fisk Pole" dedication was last summer on the night of the Reds first game in Boston. Obviously Sox fans know that they didn't win the series that year because of the good ole "1918" cheer that yankee fans used to throw at them. But I'm sure they mention how they lost game 7 of that series and 1986 it would just follow a cough and be spoken under their breath.

TRF
05-08-2006, 11:52 AM
It's not overhyped at all. Basically a rat changed forever the way baseball, in fact all sports are shot forever. Because it was basically the first "reaction shot", at least the first one in front of a national audience, it gave a more human emotional element to the game. It allowed us to watch the batter longer, and really get a better feel for how he bats, allowing children all accross the country to better mimic their favorite players batting stance.

Fisk's HR is not overhyped. It's significance is felt in every television control room in the world.

It8ifyifitsgrif
05-08-2006, 04:11 PM
The most under-rated home run of all time was Joe Carter's Walk-off home run to win the series....I mean it won the series. You never see this on "homerun highlights." They were down 6-5 in game six to the Phillies. Their ace reliever Mitch Williams was pitching and Carter hits a 3-run digger to win the series...back to back series. If I see Gibson's HR again I will puke!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_World_Series#Game_6

I totally agree..Never forget this game and homer. Maybe my favorite non-reds baseball moments along side with Bo Jackson '88 All-Star game and Luis Gonzalez 's game winner versus Yankees.

These moments grabbed my attention..and still give me chills when I see it again. That takes a lot not having anything to do with the Reds

Falls City Beer
05-08-2006, 04:15 PM
How can a home run be overhyped? It's the best single outcome of an at-bat.

danwl
05-08-2006, 04:26 PM
It was in many senses a perfect storm, and in light of that is not overhyped. To me the biggest factor is that it was the culmination of a baseball game that many people was THE best game ever; so much drama, so many clutch moments, such great players.

The fact that the Reds won the next 5 WS games played makes it even better; I mean here was this unstoppable force -basically the NL All-Star team - for God's sake they were a (Big Red) machine - not even human - and here is this incredible drama made poignant by the closeup of Fisk and the Sox' pathetic history, etc., etc. It is the essence of Greek Tragedy. Here is a hero (Fisk/Sox), fighting like Hector in defense of Troy against the apparently unstoppable Achilles (heel issues having yet to be discovered), and, for a moment, appearing victorious! The fact that Hector/Sox are ultimately vanquished by the hand of fate (or hand of Thetis dipping Achilles in river Styx). Everybody knows (or in hindsight we know) that Hector must ultimately lose, but the valiant fight in the face of certain defeat is the essence of heroism. Fisk is the tragic hero here; with respect to Carter's walk-off HR vs. Williams, the roles are almost reversed; we all suspected that "Wild Thing's" tragic flaw would end up biting him.

I also disagree that Gibby's HR was meaningless. It set the tone for that series, in much the same way that ED's bold HR off of Dave Stewart in his first AB of 1990 WS set the tone.

Blimpie
05-08-2006, 04:58 PM
The most over-rated home-run of all time was Gibson's homerun in game 1 of the World Series. It was game 1 for God's sakes, it was at home, they should have one that game anyway. I know he was hurt but it did not win the series or extend the series like Fisk's HR did in 75.

The most under-rated home run of all time was Joe Carter's Walk-off home run to win the series....I mean it won the series. You never see this on "homerun highlights." They were down 6-5 in game six to the Phillies. Their ace reliever Mitch Williams was pitching and Carter hits a 3-run digger to win the series...back to back series. If I see Gibson's HR again I will puke!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_World_Series#Game_6It may have just been Game # 1, but it also showed the Dodgers that Eckersley was not invincible.

It was an important homerun much like Eric Davis homering off Dave Stewart in Game # 1 of the 1990 Series was important to the Reds. When the favored team has their mystique shattered by a home run in Game # 1 of a Series, the impact on the entire Series should not be underestimated.

Blimpie
05-08-2006, 05:00 PM
These are the same people who think Buckner's error cost the Red Sox the series. The truth is the game was already tied and there was still a game 7 to play.Sounds like the same people who think that USA hockey team won the gold medal in Lake Placid after defeating the Soviet Union. Actually, the game versus the USSR was just a semi-final match.

vaticanplum
05-08-2006, 05:18 PM
I actually think that people do know that the Reds won that series, because a) the Big Red Machine is quite famous and well-respected, and b) you can't be a semi-conscious american and be even remotely unaware that 2004 was "the FiRSt red sOX Win SinCE 1918!!!!1111!!!" I have the impression that people remember it as the best World Series ever played, and Fisk's home run happens to be the most symbolic and emotional moment of the Series's finest game.

redsmetz
05-08-2006, 05:47 PM
The fact that the Reds won the next 5 WS games played makes it even better

And since they swept the A's in 1990, they won nine consecutive World Series games, which I believe is a record.

gilpdawg
05-08-2006, 07:18 PM
It may have just been Game # 1, but it also showed the Dodgers that Eckersley was not invincible.

It was an important homerun much like Eric Davis homering off Dave Stewart in Game # 1 of the 1990 Series was important to the Reds. When the favored team has their mystique shattered by a home run in Game # 1 of a Series, the impact on the entire Series should not be underestimated.
The Gibson homer is likened by me to Willis Reed hobbling out of the tunnel for the Knicks back in 1970. The rush of emotion carried the Knicks to victory. After Gibson's home run, the Athletics were deflated, and really had no chance to win the series. Without Gibson's home run, LA loses that series, IMO. Of course, on the flipside, since Oakland won the next year, the Reds would have de-throned a dynasty in 1990, because Oak would have been going for three in a row.

SteelSD
05-09-2006, 01:47 AM
It's not overhyped at all. Basically a rat changed forever the way baseball, in fact all sports are shot forever. Because it was basically the first "reaction shot", at least the first one in front of a national audience, it gave a more human emotional element to the game. It allowed us to watch the batter longer, and really get a better feel for how he bats, allowing children all accross the country to better mimic their favorite players batting stance.

Fisk's HR is not overhyped. It's significance is felt in every television control room in the world.

It's not often that a post hits center target that well.

Carlton Fisk's Home Run in game 6 can't possibly be overrated. It can be misunderstood in the context of that World Series outcome, but it cannot be bigger than what it was- which was the biggest Home Run of the decade and one of the biggest single events to ever end a game that multiple HOF-level participants cite as the best game in which they ever participated. It was want and it was need and it was hope encapsulated in a single most important moment for a franchise who hadn't won a title in multiple decades.

That moment transcends the game in every way possible. It's why so many people are confused as to who won that World Series. When a moment transcends finality, it's worth admiring throughout time. That was Carlton Fisk's Home Run. At that moment baseball was the most important thing in the world to anyone watching. It was Roger Maris' 61st Home Run on a national stage. It was bigger than anything we'd seen before.

Topcat
05-09-2006, 03:12 AM
I like Gammons and feel the complete opposite that you do.

Oh and I have that book too.

God what I wouldn't do, to burgular your residence :D

remdog
05-09-2006, 05:49 AM
I actually love to see replays of the Fisk HR. What a dramatic moment! It perfectly summed up a game that many think was the greatest baseball game ever played and a game that Pete Rose described as the best game he ever played in. That it came in what many people consider the greatest WS ever played just makes it bigger than life. There were no losers in that game and it set the stage for an almost equally dramatic Reds win in game seven, a game that they had to come from behind to win.

Everytime I see that replay I remember that moment exactly and how disappointment was overwhelmed by joy the next game.

As for calling Gibson's HR overrated, that's just laughable. The Dodgers bet the house on one spin of the wheel, with the house a heavy favorite, and hit double zero! That was an all-or-nothing bet because anything that didn't leave the park was going to be an out. As others have stated, it set the tone and tenor and the A's were never the same in that series.

Rem

remdog
05-09-2006, 05:53 AM
And since they swept the A's in 1990, they won nine consecutive World Series games, which I believe is a record.

The Yankees won 14 in a row:
--The last four games of the '96 WS (over the Braves)
--Four straight in '98 (over the Padres)
--Four straight in '99 (over the Braves)
--The first two games in '00 (over the Mets)

Rem

MaineRed
05-09-2006, 07:39 AM
The reason I call the HR overhpyed is because it is continually shown with other dramatic HRs hit by teams that actually went on to win the series they were playing in.

cincinnati chili
05-09-2006, 09:17 AM
I agree with TRF and Steel's expansion on that. Baseball gained and regained a number of fans in that series, and that homer was probably the most memorable moment. And yes, it did change baseball broadcasting for the better.

When I think of overhyped home runs, the first thing that comes to mind is Chris Berman narrating a home run derby.

Roy Tucker
05-09-2006, 09:28 AM
What's funny now is to listen to Johnny Bench talk about Pat Darcy and that night. I wouldn't talk about my dog that badly.

Every time they show the Fisk HR on TV, I yell "go foul, go foul".

There is a Visa commercial (or somebody) where they video alter famous sports moments. The Michael Jordan jumper over Craig Ehlo to beat the Cavs, the Jeter relay to the plate to catch Jeremy Giambi, and a couple others are altered to have the Cavs win and the Giambi safe.

There are two others I wish they'd do: Fisk's HR to go foul and Ozzie Newsome to go up over Mike Davis in Red Right 88.

But I don't think it's overhyped for the reasons M2 documented above. And I'm secure in the fact the Reds won on Perez's HR off Spaceman and Joe Morgan's clutch hit. *Those* are more important hits in Roy's book. But that's just me.

cumberlandreds
05-09-2006, 09:32 AM
That was a very dramatic home run. But I never did mind to see it because I knew the Reds took home the big prize the next evening.:thumbup:

TRF
05-09-2006, 10:34 AM
Broadcasting has been a big part of my life for the last 18 years. I have done every job in a television control room from camera to tape to aaudio, graphics and finally director. My biggest regret was I never got to do a live sporting event.

That shot changed everything. It was like going from black and white to color. Compare the Olympics in the 50's and 60's to today. Everything then was shot from a distance. Now we are right there. And it isn't technology that allows us this, it is the emotion of the athlete. And personally, I love it. I know I'll never experience sports at that level. But I want to see as much of it as I can. I want to see the fun, the pain, the victory and the defeat in an athlete's eyes.

Eventually sports television would have evolved to this. Fisk's homer, the presence of a rat, and a camera man losing the track of the ball ushered it in a little sooner. It is the pinnacle of sports drama that HR. Others have exceeded it in terms of drama, but will never unseat it as the most dramatic. Why? Because it was the first reaction shot. Had television had a larger audience at the time, the same thing could have happened to Bobby Thompson's shot heard around the world, or any number of other dramatic HR's. Even Aaron passing Ruth lacked the dramatic reaction shot. But imagine what that could have looked like?

Overhyped? no, but as Steel said misunderstood in it's importance.

westofyou
05-09-2006, 11:13 AM
God what I wouldn't do, to burgular your residence :D
Don't waste your time on me, Rob Neyer lives a few blocks from me and word has it his library dwarfs mine... I bet he even has a microfiche reader.

cincinnati chili
05-09-2006, 04:19 PM
God what I wouldn't do, to burgular your residence :D

WOY has a sophisticated set of animal-friendly, evironmentally-friendly booby traps which drop you down into a dungeon where his cats eat you alive.

registerthis
05-09-2006, 04:21 PM
I like Gammons and feel the complete opposite that you do.

Oh and I have that book too.

Agreed. Gammons can be a Sox homer, but I think he's also a knowledgeable commentator on the game. Certainly one of the better pundits ESPN employs.

registerthis
05-09-2006, 04:25 PM
It's not often that a post hits center target that well.

Carlton Fisk's Home Run in game 6 can't possibly be overrated. It can be misunderstood in the context of that World Series outcome, but it cannot be bigger than what it was- which was the biggest Home Run of the decade and one of the biggest single events to ever end a game that multiple HOF-level participants cite as the best game in which they ever participated. It was want and it was need and it was hope encapsulated in a single most important moment for a franchise who hadn't won a title in multiple decades.

That moment transcends the game in every way possible. It's why so many people are confused as to who won that World Series. When a moment transcends finality, it's worth admiring throughout time. That was Carlton Fisk's Home Run. At that moment baseball was the most important thing in the world to anyone watching. It was Roger Maris' 61st Home Run on a national stage. It was bigger than anything we'd seen before.

Word. Up.

gonelong
05-10-2006, 12:57 AM
Agreed. Gammons can be a Sox homer, but I think he's also a knowledgeable commentator on the game. Certainly one of the better pundits ESPN employs.

I dislike Gammons during the trade deadline, mostly because he doesn't regularly qualify his insider scoups on trade talks. Is it imminent? Is it preliminary? Is it likely? During the season he doesn't bother me.

Its like the guy you know who will claim such an such Movie star isn't all that hot. Well, maybe for a movie star she isn't, but if she lived next door to you it'd be a different story. She's at least neighborhood hot. If you are going to feed me some information, it'd better be qualified or put into some sort of context or I'll generally tune you out pretty quickly.

GL