Thursday, December 20, 2018

An unheralded catching legend

Chuck Fick. You're probably not familiar with his name, but the chances are good you've seen him work behind the plate, perhaps watching his highlights many times. If you're young enough, you might have even watched him in action more than Yogi, Munson, Bench, and elite backstops of their ilk.

Got this card in my latest COMC shipment. Very happy to add a playing-days card of this catching legend.

If you still haven't placed him, here he is with some contemporaries...

Yep, he's the Angels catcher in The Naked Gun.

I found this out while reading a great Sporting News article on that classic baseball scene earlier in the year.
“I didn’t realize what I was getting into,” said Chuck Fick, a former minor leaguer who played the Angels’ catcher in the film. “I didn’t know it was a slapstick at first, and I started reading the script, and once I saw the umpires got (a player) in a pickle, I knew something was up.” 
Fick learned quickly that it was best to just embrace the wackiness. In doing so, he ended up with the most screen time of any player. As the catcher, he was in nearly every shot involving Nielsen as the undercover umpire, including a few close-ups and even some lines of dialogue — a total of more than two minutes overall. 

And guess what? Not only was he the catcher in Naked Gun, but also...

Yep, that's him trying to make the tag at the plate when The Jet steals home at the end of The Sandlot.

So the guy is basically in my favorite two baseball movies. Had to pick up a card of his!

Here are his other acting credits via IMDB..

- 1997 Arli$$ (TV Series) ... Umpire, episode How to Be a Good Listener (1997)
- 1993 The Sandlot - Giants Catcher
- 1993 Homefront (TV Series) - Coach, episode Like Being There When You're Not (1993)
- 1992 Mr. Baseball - Billy Stevens
- 1991 Babe Ruth (TV Movie) - Waite Hoyt (This also featured Pete Rose as Ty Cobb)
- 1991 Quantum Leap (TV Series) - Ryker, episode Play Ball - August 6, 1961 (1991)
- 1991 Talent for the Game - Baseball Player
- 1990 Pastime - 1st First Base Umpire
- 1988 The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! - Angel Catcher
- 1986 A Winner Never Quits (TV Movie) - 2nd Baseman

Other fun facts about Chuck Fick (aka Charles Fick or Charles Joseph Fick):

- He played in the short-lived Senior League (1989-1990), and there are a couple such cards of his out there. (I wouldn't mind adding them to the PC someday.)

- He's the brother of former MLB player Robert Fick, an All-Star with Detroit in 2002.

- He's the father of C.J. Fick (aka Chuckie Fick), who pitched in the majors in 2012 with the Cardinals and Astros.

- He is now the scouting supervisor for the San Francisco Giants.

So yeah, an interesting story of a baseball guy you probably didn't know about!


  1. Ummm......TTM custom? Let's get on that. Chop! Chop!

  2. I havent seen the Naked Gun movies in forever, and didn't know about Chuck Fick until this post. Looks like he had a nice run of playing background ballplayers in baseball movies.

    With this Fick card and the ugly-ass Hoyt Wilhelm issue, you've been scooping up more West Haven cards than I have. Maybe I should start collecting Guys From Granite to balance things out ;)

  3. What the Fick? How did I not know that it was the same catcher in both the Naked Gun and Sandlot?! Looks like he was a go-to guy in Hollywood for baseball movies/episodes/scenes, judging by that list of credits.

    1. Lol. That would have been a cool title. Greg research Gavin! He sure has been on a lot of shows for someone I've never even heard of. I remember his brother though.

  4. I didn't know it was the same guy in both movies! The Naked Gun is pure awesomeness...thanks for the post!

  5. Wow, very interesting! Was hoping this post was going to be about Sal Fasano, but actually pretty pleased it wasn't since I learned a lot!

  6. Awesome post, I had no idea he was in either film!

  7. I enjoyed reading this. Had no idea

  8. perhaps a catcher I need to add to my collection! i enjoyed the background info on Chuckie!