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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

For Those of You Wondering About Bernie Carbo

read this.

Some of you won't remember Carbo, because if you're say younger than your late 30's you won't remember the big-haired (some would say "bad hair day") journeyman outfielder who hit a dramatic three-run homer in Game 6 of the epic 1975 World Series to tie the game and set the stage for Carlton Fisk's home run in the 12th that gave the Red Sox the game and sent the Series to Game 7.

Fisk, of course, is someone everyone will remember because he's in the Hall of Fame. He was one of the best catchers in the history of the game, and he deserved his enshrinement in Cooperstown.

The Bernie Carbos of the game don't make it into the Hall of Fame, but they contribute to making the game what it is. (Red Sox fans, as Carbo points out, will never forget him).

True, you can't extend the Hall of Fame to cover all of the role players who have had their brief moments in the brightest spotlights of baseball, but perhaps there should be a section (and, who knows, there might be) dedicated to players like Sandy Amoros, Al Gionfriddo, Tom Lawless, Bernie Carbo and the countless number of other players like them who did something memorable -- either making a defensive play or getting a key kit -- that sprung their teams on to greater heights.

We usually focus on the greats and how they fare in the post-season. If they did well, some would shrug off their results by saying it was expected. If they flailed at pitches and failed, well, those failures get put under the magnifying glass. The most recent example were the position players of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series. There once was a rock group years ago called Men Without Hats. The hitters for the Cards in last year's Series were either Men Without Hits or Men Without Bats. It wasn't a pretty sight.

While I love watching Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, I also liked the fact that Mark Bellhorn got some key hits last year for the BoSox and that Derek Lowe resurrected his career with two outstanding post-season pitching performances.

The big names fill in the seats and give us careers to admire (as well as some amazing feats in their own right), while it's the role players who sometimes play like big names and give us moments worth remembering. . . Carbo's home run, Amoros's catch, Gene Larkin's single to knock in Dan Gladden to win the 1991 Series.

That's what makes baseball special.

It's good to see that Bernie Carbo has turned his life into something more than a "one-hit" wonder.

Even though that particular hit was something to behold.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bernie was one of my favorite members of the '75 sox he had been a number one draft choice of the reds who got rid of him because he didn't fit the conservative image of that particular team.He and Bill Lee were also two of the more prominent members of the Buffalo Heads" a group of the more free spirited players on the sox who didn't get along with manager Don "the gerbil" Zimmer.I believe since retiring Bernie has been working as a hairdresser.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Mike S said...

I am now 37 years old and as a kid Bernie Carbo lived around the block from me. I loved baseball and we used go to his house and get autographed baseballs. At that point in my life I really didnt appreciate his heroics in the 75 series or know aobut his drug problem. My younger sister was real good friends with his daughter. Looking back I wish I would have asked more questions.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Tim B. said...

Bernie now lives not far from me .
I was lucky enough to be able to meet him awhile back and I must say
he is one outstanding person .
he loves Baseball and to have been a ML player is very nice about sharing his time in the Bigs with
those of us that never made it .
he is a fine Christian man and a
please to talk to . signing a ball
for me and my son like it was his pleasure and even gave us a signed
rookie card from the 1970 season .
it don't get much beter than that
folks ! he is now living down on the Alabama Coast and is a great asset to the area . we are lucky to have him here and his efforts to help the kids and adults in the
community are priceless ...
Thanks Bernie ! You're still hitting them out of the park !

12:02 AM  
Anonymous Patrick Rushing said...

Bernie Carbo is now alive and well, living in Pensacola, Florida (my home town). Where he manages a minor league team called the 'Pensacola Pelicans'. He is always ready to sign an autograph or share a baseball story, a fine man indeed... and a pretty good manager!

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bernie Carbo? Oh c'mon now, let's not be ridiculous...

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Carole Sund said...

As a longtime (since 1974) member of the Red Sox Nation, I remember Bernie Carbo well. In fact, when discussing the team with others so inclined, I always say: "Fiske, Lynn, Rice, hell. I miss Bernie Carbo!" Tonight I am eagerly waiting for the 2007 World Series to begin, and guess whose heart will be in her mouth as Papi and Manny come to bat? Go Sox!! And to Bernie, thanks for the memories.

6:54 PM  
Blogger timothy said...

I never knew Bernie as a hairdresser. I didn't recall the 8th inning shot that tied the game and made Fisk the hero (I was 15). If Bernie reads this, he'll know the author. I met Bernie in '92. I was coaching LL baseball and he came to a board meeting to pitch his clinics. We went out for a beer, discussed it and I started driving clinics for him. Can't say how many we did, but I learned more than the kids. I was now able to call myself a coach. His clinics were phenomenal and I thought back as to why I am 30+ hearing it for the first time. Bernie always showed up in his BoSox uniform. My team was the Yankees. He made light of it, rolled his eyes and mumbled something that I usually heard. As years progressed, I would have Bernie come out to do his magic with my team. Kids and parents loved it. When I met Bernie, he did have a problem. He took measures to correct it, met a fantastic, supportive wife, who made a huge difference in his life. He started the Diamond Club Ministry and his second career, and most important endeavor in his life. One that has been developed in his love and devotion to Christ. As he lives in Alabama we don't get a chance to communicate like we used to. He's a busy guy. I know he has a charity event with his buddies (Bill Lee, George Foster, etc.) every year (Jan. I think) as a fantasy camp (his web site probably has it). I've read the previous comments and it appears as I thought, Bernie was, is and will always be loved in BoSox land. I did read his Hall of Fame comments regarding the Yankees. I would not have expected less of him. I respect Bernie for taking his life from a negative to a positive. Talking to Bernie is an uplifting experience. He is great to talk to about baseball. I thank him for what he did for me and giving me the ability from his knowledge to provide value to my players. My only regret is I didn't meet him sooner. As a Yankee fan, I wish we had Bernie. For the Boston fans, when the name Bernie Carbo comes up, you can be proud that you not only had a great asset to your team, but one of the finest Christian Gentlemen I have ever known.

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1:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bernie Carbo is an amazing person who has turned his life around. I'm still very young but I had the pleasure of meeting him this weekend. We had a great talk and he seemed very interest in my athletic ability and gave me some great tips on how to get better!!

5:48 PM  
Anonymous L.N. Balto. said...

I met Bernie Carbo in 1987 in Baltimore, Maryland while he was here to play our Orioles, he had a ton of problems then but look at him now, boy oh boy you showed um all didn't you kid ! Keep up the good work Bernie, you were always blessed it just took you a while to realize it !We still think of you from time to time just like you said to do. L.N.Balto.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Raphael said...

Whatzzz up? JESUS loves you man. God Bless you & your beautiful family.It seems you've been an inspiration to many ,including myself ,to God be the glory. ------ To those that have'nt had the pleasure of meeting Bernie he's a great guy with extremely good morals and if you put Jesus first in your life as he does you'll always be able to knock'em out of the park. 'Love ya like a Bro. man'!

4:39 PM  
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