The 1970 Sporting News Rookie of the Year, Carbo played for 12 years in the majors, breaking in with the Cincinnati Reds and finishing with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1,010 games he hit .264 with 96 home runs. He played in four games for the Reds in 1969, then took over as the team’s starting left fielder the following season. Carbo hit .310 while setting career highs in home runs (21), RBIs (63) and stolen bases (10) as a rookie. It was also the only year he logged over 100 hits. While he was the Sporting News top rookie, he finished second to Montreal’s Cal Morton in the MLB vote. Carbo was never able to string together as good a season as his rookie campaign again. He moved to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1972 then joined the Boston Red Sox in 1974. He hit 12 home runs that year for Boston and slammed 15 more the next year. He hit .289 with 15 home runs in 1977 for the Red Sox, but that was his last productive season. Carbo made stops with the Cleveland Indians, Cardinals and Pirates before retiring in 1980.
The first hit of Carbo’s career came on April 6, 1970 at Crosley Field in Cincinnati against the Montreal Expos. He took Joe Sparma deep in the bottom of the fourth inning to put the Reds up 3-0. Cincinnati won the game 5-1.
Carbo reached the World Series twice, first with the Reds in 1970, then with the Red Sox in 1975. The Reds lost to the Baltimore Orioles while Boston lost to the Reds. Carbo hit .429 with two home runs in the ’75 series. His second home run came in the bottom of the eighth inning of Game 6 with the Red Sox trailing 6-3. It tied the game at 6-6 and forced it into extra innings where Carlton Fisk hit his now legendary home run over Fenway Park’s Green Monster to send Boston home victorious and force a decisive Game 7.
Carbo is a member of the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame.
Carbo has written a book, Saving Bernie Carbo, about his time in baseball. He also hosts a yearly fantasy camp which will run this year from April 3-5. Information on both are available at his website berniecarbo.com.
We featured Bill Lee in 2017.
Bernie Carbo – career stats