At age 45, Carlton Fisk likely knew that his Major League career was coming to an end. However, his time in the MLB ended quite abruptly when the Chicago White Sox released Fisk on this day in 1993, marking the end of his career.
Carlton Fisk had quite the storied career with both the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox. He had made eleven All-Star Games, won three Silver Slugger awards, and was the all time leader in games caught and home runs for a catcher. He appeared destined for the Hall of Fame, one of the greatest catchers that ever lived.
However, in 1993, at 45 years of age, Fisk was a shadow of himself. It seemed as though he was holding on strictly to break the record for the most games behind the plate, as he surpassed Bob Boone the day before. With a .189/.228/.245 batting line and only one extra base hit, Fisk was not able to produce any longer.
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Even with those struggles, it was still a surprise when the White Sox cut Fisk loose on this day. It was also a bit of a rude awakening with how the news was delivered; being told he was being released in his hotel room in Cleveland while the White Sox were in the midst of a road trip. He was also ordered to fly back to Chicago immediately, by himself, and to turn in his equipment tp the team before heading back.
Those hard feelings that Fisk would have towards the White Sox deepened later that year. Chicago had made the playoffs, and Fisk headed to the locker room to wish his former teammates well. However, he was thrown out of the White Sox clubhouse, furthering his animosity towards the club, which culminated in his choosing a Red Sox cap on his Hall of Fame plague and some pointed words towards owner Jerry Reinsdorf during his inauguration speech.
Those fences have been mended in recent years. Fisk had his number 72 retired by the White Sox, and he rejoined the franchise as an ambassador in 2008, making appearances and helping spread cheer among the fanbase. It is certainly great to see the Hall of Fame catcher back home in Chicago.
Carlton Fisk may not have been close to the same player when his career ended, but that ending was still handled in quite an unexpected way. That awkward situation festered into outright animosity, taking over a decade for things to be made right.