Fisk Was Nearly Out of Focus on Homer


Game 6 of the 1975 World Series has been called by some the greatest game ever, and the most memorable picture was of Carlton Fisk bouncing up and down and trying to coax his drive to left field into fair territory.

Fisk succeeded, and the home run gave Boston a 7-6 victory over Cincinnati in 12 innings.

It turns out that the shot of Fisk was a stroke of luck.

NBC director Harry Coyle says the cameraman who took the shot was supposed to follow the ball, not the batter. But just before Fisk connected, a rat ran up to the camera and distracted the cameraman. So, instead of following the ball, he focused on Fisk.

“Without the rat, we wouldn’t have gotten the shot,” Coyle says. “I’ve always wanted to find the rat and thank him.”


Said St. Louis Manager Whitey Herzog, when asked what he’d be doing if he weren’t managing: “I would have been a business agent for a laborers’ local. I’d be sitting around playing pinochle and rummy.”

Add Cardinals: When rookie Joe Magrane beat the New York Mets, 3-2, in his first major league start, he stepped off the mound at least once to monitor the progress of the jets flying over Shea Stadium.

Explained Magrane: “We sat up studying the flight patterns the night before. I just wanted to see if they were on time. At some of the ballparks in the minors, we’ve been pleased just to have propeller planes fly over.”

Trivia Time: What three future major league managers attended Western Hills High School in Cincinnati? (Answer below.)

A couple of one-liners by Chick Hearn from the Oakland Coliseum Arena Saturday:

After guaranteeing the Lakers would win with five minutes left: “If they don’t, I’m going to look for a low limb with a long rope.”

On well-traveled Laker guard Wes Matthews, now with his seventh team: “He orders his newspapers by the week.”


Said Roger Maltbie, when asked what year it was that he left his winning check in a tavern after winning the Pleasant Valley tournament at Sutton, Mass.: “Hey, if I’m dumb enough to lose a piece of paper worth $40,000 in a bar, you think I can remember what year it was?”

It was 1975.

Said Petey Rose, son of the Cincinnati manager, after being declared ineligible for baseball this season at Oak Hills High School in Cincinnati because of grade deficiencies: “I don’t know how I’m going to tell my dad about this.”

Wonder if he knows it took Pop five years to get through high school?

Bo Jackson of the Kansas City Royals, to Gene Guidi of the Knight-Ridder Newspapers: “I don’t know why people are always so worried about me going back to football. Do you know that I haven’t even been to a game since the Cotton Bowl in my last year at Auburn?

“I could have gone to games if I wanted to, but I went hunting white-tailed deer instead. I really like hunting. I must have gone eight or nine times; got me seven deer. The meat is great, tastes even better than filet mignon if you cook it right.”

Trivia Answer: Jim Frey, Don Zimmer and Pete Rose.


Moss Klein of The Sporting News, on the Cleveland Indians’ bullpen: “Watching (Manager) Pat Corrales signal for a reliever is like watching a guy with no money in his pocket reach for a restaurant check, desperately hoping somebody will come along and save him.”