Photo: Jim Davis/Boston Globe
Professional baseball player, manager, coach, and goodwill ambassador Johnny Pesky has passed away at age 92.
Pesky (born John Michael Paveskovich) was originally drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 1940, and has spent 72 years in professional baseball. He was a career .307 hitter in his 12 year Major League career as an infielder for Boston, Detroit, and Washington.
In 1962, after serving several years as managing in the minor leagues, Pesky was appointed skipper of the Red Sox. He filled that role for the 1962, 1963 seasons, and then again in 1980. He has also served as a color commentator during Red Sox television broadcasts in the 1960's, as a coach, and as the Red Sox team ambassador.
What Pesky is most notoriously known for is his eponymous right field foul pole at Fenway Park, the Pesky Pole. This moniker, officially recognized by the Sox in 2006, was attributed to broadcaster Mel Parnell, who created the nickname following a game winning home run hit by Pesky. Ironically, this is thought to be the only dinger Pesky ever hit around that pole, as he finished his career with just 17 home runs... only six of which were at Fenway.
Anyone who knew or even met Johnny Pesky knows that he was a man who loved life, baseball, and the Boston Red Sox. He never turned down an autograph request, or a chance to chat with fans about the game he loved. He will be missed.
Johnny Pesky 1919-2012
- Kevin Aherne
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