The home run is frozen in time, transcending the moment and immediately entering baseball’s pantheon of heroics.
Carlton Fisk waved his arms and willed his blast off the left field foul pole at Fenway Park to give the Boston Red Sox an improbable victory in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. As Fisk circled the bases, his Rick Burleson-model bat lay on the Fenway Park playing surface – a piece of history as unique as the ballpark itself.
Fisk’s Game 6 bat is one of almost four dozen historic artifacts in the Museum’s new exhibit FENtennial: Fenway Park’s First 100 Years. The exhibit debuts April 10 – 10 days before the 100th anniversary of the opening of Fenway Park on April 20, 1912 – and captures the magic of the big league’s oldest stadium.
“The thrill of Game Six in the 1975 World Series has never died,” said Fisk, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2000 following a 24-year big league career that included 11 seasons with the Red Sox at Fenway. “I am so happy and honored to share the bat I used to hit that home run with fans who visit Cooperstown over the 12 months, after having it in my home for the last 37 years. Fenway Park has a history of so many memories, and I would like to think that this bat represents one of the most important moments for a generation of Red Sox fans.”
Fisk asked Burleson, the Red Sox’s shortstop, if he could use the bat – which was two ounces lighter and a half-inch shorter than Fisk’s usual bat. Fisk had never used Burleson’s bat before, but with Game 6 lasting into the wee hours of the morning, the lighter bat felt more comfortable in Fisk’s hands. Fisk later wrote his number – 27 – on the handle so he could identify it to use it in Game 7, which he did.
Using more than 45 artifacts either on loan or from the Museum’s unparalleled collection of almost 40,000 pieces of baseball history, FENtennial examines the history, memories and impossible dreams that have thrived at Fenway Park and thrilled Boston baseball fans.
Through breathtaking photos and the timeless words of those who worked and played at Fenway Park, FENtennial traces the story of Fenway’s beginnings through its iconic features like the Green Monster, the Pesky Pole and Williamsburg. Generations of future Hall of Famers called Fenway home, leaving legacies of excellence imprinted in the sod and dirt that make up one of the game’s most hallowed playing surfaces.
“We are honored to have Carlton Fisk’s bat from his Game 6 home run in our new FENtennial exhibit, and we are so grateful that Carlton has generously agreed to share this artifact with baseball fans from around the globe,” said Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson. “Millions of baseball fans can recall exactly where they were when that home run bounced off the left field foul pole at Fenway Park, and fans will be transported right back to that moment – and dozens like it – when they experience the Museum’s tribute to big league baseball’s oldest ballpark.”
Additional artifacts ranging from Ted Williams’ 1960 home jersey to Curt Schilling’s blood-stained sock from the 2004 World Series will take Museum visitors to the iconic moments in time that made – and make – Fenway unique. As part of the exhibit, visitors will be able to share their memories of Fenway Park at the Museum in Cooperstown or at baseballhall.org – with the responses added to the Hall of Fame’s archive.