July 3, 2013

Steve Solloway: Bernie Carbo a saving grace for Sox, and now for himself

The former player, who overcame a drug and alcohol problem, now leads a spiritual life.

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Bernie Carbo, right, talks with Jana and Scott Doughty of York, and their son, Luke, 9. Carbo and Luke Doughty threw out first pitches.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

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Bernie Carbo, who hit a key home run for the Boston Red Sox in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, throws out the first pitch at Hadlock.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

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Rose yelled back: Isn't this great? Meaning the score was now tied at 6-6. This World Series had become a classic and to a player like Rose, that was very much part of the deal.

Carbo was out of baseball five years later and on a downward spiral. He ran into Dalton Jones, the famed pinch hitter on the 1967 Impossible Dream Red Sox team. "He looked at me and said, 'you need Jesus' and he was right."

Carbo started Diamond Club Ministry in 1993. Born in Detroit, he now lives in Alabama but is in Maine more times than people realize, preaching to congregations as far north as Houlton. This weekend he was in Brunswick and Charleston.

Last summer he preached to about 50 people at Midcoast Christian Fellowship in Belfast. That was Matt McDonald's congregation. Tuesday night, McDonald stood in line, asking Carbo to sign "Saving Bernie Carbo."

"He got my father into a church and my father doesn't go to church," said McDonald. "But he's a Red Sox fan and he saw Bernie hit that pinch-hit home run. I wasn't born yet."

Bernie Carbo got a second chance during that at-bat nearly 38 years ago and hit a home run. He's done better with his second chance in life.

Steve Solloway can be contacted at 791-6412 or at ssolloway@pressherald.com

Twitter: SteveSolloway


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