1982 Fleer #343 - Carlton Fisk
Today is the 12,574th day of my life. Exactly one year prior, one of the most memorable World Series moments occurred, with the help of a rat. Normally, television cameras were focused on the flight of the ball, but legend has it that the cameraman was distracted by a rat and had no other choice but to point the camera at the player who hit a long fly ball. Practically willing the ball to stay fair, Carlton Fisk's actions are burned into the memory of each fan, even those who were not born when the play happened. All thanks to a rat.
Thanks to a contract snafu, Fisk landed in Chicago in 1981. He brought veteran leadership and a blue collar work ethic that Chicagoans instantly appreciated. The "never say die" attitude of Fisk rubbed off on teammates and inspired a generation of fans. No matter how much the ball beat me by to first base, I always run it out. If I quit before I reached the bag, no matter what the outcome may be, I risk the ire of Carlton's voice inside my head chewing me out.
There are many baseball cards of Carlton Fisk. Most show him hitting, fielding his position, or posing. A select few show his emotion on the field. This card is the only one that I can recall showing his emotion and dedication to the game before the actual game.
I couldn't tell you where this photo was taken, but someone has been caught slacking off under the watchful eye of Fisk. It's the little moments like this that make me appreciate early Fleer cards. The photos may not have been the best, but sometimes the photos that other companies reject give you a better picture of who the players actually are. Some may look at this photo and see an angry or annoyed person. I look at the photo and see a fierce competitor.