By Steve Schmadeke
9:04 PM CST, December 27, 2012
White Sox Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor DUI charge after mixing alcohol and prescription medication and crashing a pickup truck in a New Lenox farm field while driving home from his daughter's house in October.
Fisk, who turned 65 on Wednesday, spent 13 years with the White Sox and 11 with the Boston Red Sox, famously hitting a game-winning 1975 World Series home run at Fenway Park. He lives in New Lenox but also owns a Florida home that was reportedly burglarized this month, with thieves making off with thousands of dollars in silver coins.
On Oct. 22, the retired catcher was found by New Lenox police passed out behind the wheel of a running Ford F-150 in a field near Gougar and Spencer roads about 7:30 p.m. Also found in the truck was an opened 1.75-liter bottle of vodka.
Fisk's attorney Stephen White said in court that his client "was not aware of the impact" mixing the medication and alcohol would have on him. White said that although the case was winnable, Fisk, who has no prior run-ins with the law, wanted to take responsibility for his actions.
"This is no pun, but he stepped up to the plate and said, 'I want to accept responsibility for what I did,'" White said in court. "I admire that."
Fisk stood with his hands behind his back and said little beyond telling Will County Judge Bennett Braun that he had signed the guilty plea. He declined to comment to reporters afterward.
Braun sentenced Fisk to one year of court supervision and ordered him to pay $1,250 in court costs, have a drug and alcohol evaluation and substance abuse counseling. Fisk must also attend a victim-impact panel.
Fisk will soon have his driver's license reinstated after prosecutors agreed that the responding police officers gave him improper warnings about the consequences of failing to undergo alcohol testing. He declined to undergo a blood alcohol test.
Special prosecutor Dave Neal said afterward that Fisk got the standard deal for first-time misdemeanor DUI offenders in Will County. "We made him the same offer we would make anyone," he said.
Fisk retired in 1993 and was elected to the Hall of Fame seven years later.
Donald DeWilkins, another attorney representing Fisk, said his client wasn't like other famous athletes who refuse to take responsibility for their mistakes.
"He realizes that kids look up to him, and he's a role model," DeWilkins email@example.com
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