BOSTON (AP) – Deep down, Carlton Fisk knows that a baseball, already in flight, doesn’t change directions because the batter waves his arms, jumps around, or uses every ounce of his New England stubbornness to will it fair.

But, just in case …

“I was just wishing and hoping,” he said Monday night after a ceremony to commemorate his arm-waving, game-saving homer in the 1975 World Series. “Maybe, by doing it, you know, you ask something of somebody with a higher power. I like to think that if I didn’t wave, it would have gone foul.”

The Red Sox honored their Hall of Fame catcher and the 12th-inning home run that won Game 6 of the 75 Series by naming the foul pole where it landed the “Fisk Pole.” In a pregame ceremony from the Monster Seats, Fisk was cheered by the Fenway crowd while the shot was replayed to the strains of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.”

“Thirty years later, the video of Fisk trying to wave the ball fair remains one of the game’s enduring images,” Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said. “That home run, and that World Series, helped revitalize baseball. … The appeal of baseball at its best was illustrated that night.”

The Red Sox scheduled the ceremony to coincide with an interleague series against the Reds, who made their first trip back to Fenway Park since the 75 Series. Cincinnati can afford to be good sports about Game 6 – often called the best game in baseball history – because it won the Series in seven games the next night.

“We had all the confidence in the world that we could pull it off,” said Don Gullett, who pitched for Cincinnati in the 75 Series and was back at Fenway as the Reds pitching coach. “And, as it turned out, we did.”

For Boston, the loss merely extended a legacy of disappointment that reached 86 years before the Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals in four games last year.

Red Sox owners John Henry and Tom Werner presented Fisk with his ring for the team’s 2004 title, which Fisk put on his right hand. On his left hand is the ring he received when he was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.

On the field, Fisk threw out the ceremonial first pitch to his former battery-mate Luis Tiant.

“It’s good for him,” Tiant said. “He deserves it.”

The Red Sox trailed the Reds 3-games-to-2 and 6-3 in the eighth inning of the sixth game of the 75 Series before Bernie Carbo homered to center to send it into extra innings. In the 12th, Fisk connected off Pat Darcy on a long drive that banged off the yellow pole above Fenway’s Green Monster for a home run.

Fisk said he felt “all kinds of nostalgia” visiting his old friend, which was taken down during the construction of the Monster Seats two years ago but restored for posterity.

“I don’t know if embarrassed is the right word. But you wonder whether you deserve it,” Fisk said. “Why isn’t it the Ted Williams Pole, or Yaz, or all the other great players?”

And then he answered his own question: “That one moment has defined the foul pole.”

Fenway’s right-field foul pole, which is just 302 feet from the plate, has long been unofficially named the Pesky Pole, for light-hitting former Red Sox shortstop Johnny Pesky, who had a tendency to curve fly balls around it for homers.

“Let em put one in center field for somebody else,” Pesky said.

AP-ES-06-13-05 2033EDT

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