Johnny Pesky, a member of the Red Sox as a player, manager, coach, broadcaster and beloved team ambassador, has passed away at the age of 92.
Pesky played for the Sox from 1942-52, missing three seasons serving in the military during World War II. He managed the team from 1963-64 and briefly again in 1980.
This season was Pesky’s 61st season with the club in some capacity and 44th in a row.
Born John Michael Paveskovich in Portland, Ore., Pesky was signed by the Red Sox in 1940 and made his major league debut in 1942, hitting .331 and finishing third in the MVP voting.
Pesky was a career .313 hitter with the Red Sox before playing for the Tigers and Senators. In all, he played in 1,270 major league games and hit .307 with a .394 on-base percentage. He was an All-Star in 1946.
Pesky had his No. 6 retired by the Red Sox in 2008. He appeared regularly at team events, including the 100th anniversary of Fenway Parks opening in April. He also participated in the ceremony to honor retired team captain Jason Varitek.
Pesky was a close friend of Bobby Doerr, Dom DiMaggio and Ted Williams. A statue of those four men called “Teammates” is outside of Fenway Park’s Gate B.
The right field foul pole at Fenway Park is known as the “Pesky Pole” because of his ability as a player to wrap balls around it for home runs.
Pesky, even in his later years, kept a locker in the Red Sox clubhouse and served as a counselor, friend and instructor to dozens of players over the years, particularly in spring training.
From Wade Boggs to Nomar Garciaparra and down to Dustin Pedroia, generations of Red Sox players grew to admire Pesky.