Skip to content

Johnny Pesky: 1919-2012

Aug 13, 2012, 3:57 PM EST

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox Getty Images

One of the most beloved figures in Boston Red Sox history, Johnny Pesky, has died at the age of 92.

Pesky played ten seasons in the majors, eight in Boston, with brief stops in Detroit and Washington toward the end of his career. He missed three full seasons due to military service during World War II.

Over the course of his career he hit .307 with a fantastic .394 on base percentage. While he wasn’t much of a slugger — he had 17 career homers — his name will forever adorn the short right field foul pole at Fenway Park, Pesky’s Pole, which it is often claimed he used to his advantage. Of course, given that he only hit six homers in Fenway Park in his career, it’s not necessarily accurate, but legends are often made of more things than mere facts.

Pesky was much better known in recent years as a fixture with the Boston Red Sox, serving in any number of capacities. He managed the team in 1963 and 1964. After a detour to coach in Pittsburgh he returned to Boston where he was a radio and television commentator from the late 60s through the mid 70s. He then held a number of coaching jobs with the Sox, including first base coach, bench coach and hitting coach. He served as an interim manager after Don Zimmer was axed with five games to go in the 1980 season.

Since the early 90s Pesky was an instructor and front office assistant. Unlike most instructors he’d often be in uniform and would even sit on the bench during games. His presence during those years in many ways turned him into the embodiment of the old, allegedly cursed Boston Red Sox, and he was often center stage as the team ramped up for and eventually won the World Series in 2004 and 2007. In 2008 his number 6 was retired by the Red Sox.

Farewell, Johnny Pesky.

Latest Posts
  1. Yankees prospect Luis Torrens needs shoulder surgery

    Mar 3, 2015, 9:44 PM EST

    yankees logo

    The expectation is that he will have to sit out the entire 2015 season.

  2. Orioles sign Pedro Beato to minor league contract

    Mar 3, 2015, 8:31 PM EST

    beato getty Getty Images

    The deal does not include an invitation to major league spring training, so Beato won’t be under consideration for one of the spots in the Orioles’ Opening Day bullpen.

  3. Video: Yoenis Cespedes launches grand slam in Grapefruit League debut with Tigers

    Mar 3, 2015, 7:28 PM EST

    cespedes getty Getty Images

    Yoenis Cespedes made his presence felt around Tigers camp with this fourth-inning grand slam in Tuesday afternoon’s Grapefruit League opener against the visiting Orioles …

  4. Video: Jung-Ho Kang homers in Pirates debut

    Mar 3, 2015, 5:46 PM EST

    jung-ho kang getty Getty Images

    Kang hit .356 with 40 homers in Korea last season.

  5. Noah Syndergaard just learned not to eat his lunch in the clubhouse during a game

    Mar 3, 2015, 4:15 PM EST

    Noah Syndergaard Getty Images

    Because, if he does, David Wright and Bobby Parnell are gonna go kick his butt.

  6. Madison Bumgarner didn’t exactly start 2015 the way he ended 2014

    Mar 3, 2015, 3:54 PM EST

    Madison Bumgarner

    Unless someone gets injured, spring training game results don’t matter a bit. But they are a reminder that everyone starts from square one each season. No matter how well they ended the season before.

  7. Former batting champion Alex Johnson dies at age 72

    Mar 3, 2015, 3:15 PM EST

    Alex Johnson Angels

    Johnson made the All-Star team in 1970 and went on to win the batting championship by hitting .329, marking his third straight season with a batting average above .300.

  8. Spring training quotes: Pants on, pants off

    Mar 3, 2015, 2:10 PM EST

    Miguel Cabrera AP AP

    Baseball has officially started, but opinions on pants vary.

  9. The Pirates have new matte batting helmets and they’re amazing

    Mar 3, 2015, 1:34 PM EST

    Gregory Polanco AP

    Also: there is baseball — honest to goodness baseball — on TV right now.

  10. Meanwhile in Maryvale: Brewers starters have some sweet bathrobes

    Mar 3, 2015, 12:30 PM EST

    Brewers logo

    As a man who knows from hanging around in loungewear all day, I can tell you: this is cool.

  11. Don Mattingly says Jimmy Rollins will be the Dodgers’ leadoff man

    Mar 3, 2015, 12:06 PM EST

    Jimmy Rollins AP

    Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but whatever.

  12. Joba Chamberlain’s son had a lot to do with him signing back with the Tigers

    Mar 3, 2015, 11:03 AM EST

    Joba Chamberlain Getty Images

    The million a year helped, but Chamberlain’s son provided the definitive push back to Detroit.

  13. Sandy Alderson shoots down Dillon Gee trade rumors

    Mar 3, 2015, 10:48 AM EST

    Dillon Gee Getty Getty Images

    Mets general manager Sandy Alderson was asked about a Dillon Gee trade rumor that made the internet rounds Monday night.

  14. Twins working on a contract extension with Brian Dozier

    Mar 3, 2015, 10:10 AM EST

    Brian Dozier AP

    Dozier is making the minimum salary for this season and would then be under team control via arbitration for 2016-2018.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. F. Rodriguez (2789)
  2. C. Gonzalez (2579)
  3. M. Upton (2520)
  4. A. Simmons (2467)
  5. H. Bailey (2397)