On Nov. 21, 1972, Carlton Fisk was named the American League Rookie of the Year. He is one of only six former Midwest League players to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. (You can read about four of them here and another one here.)
Fisk’s first professional baseball team was the 1968 Waterloo Hawks, the then-Midwest League affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. He batted .338 with 12 homers in 62 games.
Fisk played one more game in the Midwest League, a rehab appearance with the 1992 South Bend White Sox. In his first of three plate appearances, he hit a 3-run homer that struck a synagogue down the leftfield line, just outside the ballpark. (The synagogue was renovated this past year and now is the merchandise hub for the Silver Hawks. On a nearby fence, there is a plaque commemorating the Fisk shot.)
Fisk played in 2,499 major-league games, including 2,226 as catcher. He owned the record for most games caught until it was surpassed by Ivan Rodriguez in 2009. (Rodriguez retired in April after catching 2,377 major-league games.) At the time of his retirement, Fisk also had hit the most home runs by a catcher (351) — a record now held by Mike Piazza (396).
Fisk was the first unanimous winner of the AL Rookie of the Year Award. This year’s winner, Mike Trout, also was unanimously chosen by voters.