MLB Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drunken-driving charge on Thursday. The plea comes two months after police found him passed out in his truck in a suburban Chicago cornfield. The 64 year old Fisk was sentenced to one year of court supervision and was ordered to pay $1,250 in court costs, while also being required to undergo drug and alcohol evaluation and counseling.
The 24 year veteran played 11 seasons with the Boston Red Sox and 13 with the Chicago White Sox during his tenure in the big leagues. His most memorable moment was probably when he hit a 12th inning home run that won Game 6 of the 1975 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. He belted the 1-0 pitch off of Reds reliever Pat Darcy, and that feat lead to the left field foul pole at Fenway Park being dubbed “The Fisk Pole” in June 2005.
This is unfortunately just another in an unfortunately long line of alcohol related offenses by both current and former professional athletes. I’m not sure whether it seems like it occurs so often because we actually hear about it when these guys get in trouble, or if years of being catered to and put on pedestals leave them feeling invincible, even from the stupidest decisions. Fisk’s attorney said that his client “stepped up to the plate” with respect to taking responsibility for his actions. It’s kind of hard not to take responsibility for your behavior when the police find you passed out drunk in your truck in the middle of a cornfield.
You have to think that these professional athletes have been held accountable for very little other than their on-field performance for much of their lives. When they do make an idiotic choice and are forced to face the consequences, we can only hope it wakes them up to reality.