The rat that changed baseball coverage on TV

16 Comments

I want to say I knew this once. Or maybe posted on it once. But when you post several thousand things a year they all kind of blend together. Oh well.

Anyway, there’s a great story over at Sporting News which tells the tale of the famous shot of Carlton Fisk’s homer in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series.  It was a shot that wasn’t supposed to happen because back then camermen were instructed to follow the ball, not the player’s reaction.  But in this case, something weird happened:

NBC cameraman Lou Gerard, stationed in the Fenway scoreboard and assigned to track the ball wherever Fisk hit it, had a problem.

A big, hairy, ugly, nasty problem.

“There were some rats running around,” he says. “With Fisk coming up, Harry Coyle, who was the director at the time, he told me, ‘Lou, you have to follow the ball if he hits it.’ I said, ‘Harry, I can’t, I’ve got a rat on my leg that’s as big as a cat. It’s staring me in the face. I’m blocked by a piece of metal on my right.’ So he said, ‘What are we going to do?’ I said, ‘How about if we stay with Fisk, see what happens?’

Meanwhile, we all get mad at Luke Scott for calling Fenway Park a dump.  Oh well.