Skip to content

Johnny Pesky: 1919-2012

Aug 13, 2012, 3:57 PM EDT

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. Video: George Springer makes another catch at the wall

    May 5, 2015, 11:00 PM EDT

    springer getty Getty Images

    George Springer has been robbing opponents all season, and he did it again Tuesday night …

  2. Christian Yelich expected to rejoin Marlins on Friday

    May 5, 2015, 10:22 PM EDT

    yelich getty Getty Images

    Some very good news here for the Marlins …

  3. Devin Mesoraco could need hip surgery

    May 5, 2015, 9:15 PM EDT

    Screenshot 2015-05-05 at 5.21.58 PM Getty Images

    Mesoraco is still unable to squat and acknowledged to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer on Tuesday that he might need surgery to get over the injury — a surgery that would come with a four-month rehab.

  4. Video: Todd Frazier takes NL lead with ninth home run

    May 5, 2015, 8:29 PM EDT

    Screenshot 2015-05-05 at 7.08.27 PM Getty Images

    Frazier’s last five hits have been home runs and he has now leapfrogged Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez for the National League lead in that category (at nine total).

  5. Marco Gonzales to return from AAA disabled list Saturday

    May 5, 2015, 7:47 PM EDT

    marco gonzales getty Getty Images

    He’ll be on a pitch count in his first game back, but if the outing goes well and Lyons struggles there will probably be strong consideration given to promoting Gonzales late next week.

  6. Padres lose Brandon Morrow to shoulder injury

    May 5, 2015, 7:03 PM EDT

    morrow getty Getty Images

    The 30-year-old righty was looking like a tremendous offseason find for the Padres on a one-year, $2.5 million free agent deal.

  7. Alex Cobb confirmed to have elbow ligament tear

    May 5, 2015, 6:18 PM EDT

    cobb getty Getty Images

    It’s an awful situation for the Rays, who are off to a surprising 14-12 start this season. Cobb, 27, boasts a 2.82 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 8.2 K/9 over his last 309 2/3 innings.

  8. Royals expected to get closer Greg Holland back tomorrow

    May 5, 2015, 5:05 PM EDT

    Greg Holland Getty Getty Images

    Kansas City’s bullpen has an MLB-best 1.00 ERA this season.

  9. Indians activate Nick Swisher, demote Tyler Holt to Triple-A

    May 5, 2015, 4:22 PM EDT

    Nick Swisher AP

    Nick Swisher has made it back from a pair of knee surgeries.

  10. Brewers activate Scooter Gennett from DL after shower injury

    May 5, 2015, 2:32 PM EDT

    Scooter Gennett Brewers AP

    As far as silly injuries go slicing your hand open while reaching for some shampoo in the shower is pretty bad.

  11. Alex Cobb may have a torn elbow ligament

    May 5, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    alex cobb getty Getty Images

    It’s just “informed speculation” at the moment. But the speculator tends to be pretty well-informed.

  12. Four men in a hot tub, Johnny Damon’s naked pull-ups and Curt Leskanic’s naked monkey walk

    May 5, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    Red Sox

    Pedro Martinez says his Red Sox teams led the league in hugs, handshakes and bad hair. Sounds like they led the league in being buck naked too.

  13. Marlins didn’t find a taker for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, will release him

    May 5, 2015, 12:25 PM EDT

    Jarrod Saltalamacchia AP

    Miami cut Saltalamacchia loose with about $15 million remaining on a three-year, $21 million deal signed last offseason.

  14. The Brewers may deal, but they aren’t going to deal Jonathan Lucroy

    May 5, 2015, 11:32 AM EDT

    Jonathan Lucroy Getty Getty Images

    The Brewers’ catcher is on a team-friendly deal and is viewed as a cornerstone of the franchise.

  15. Mets GM: “It’s just hard to say” when David Wright will return

    May 5, 2015, 10:47 AM EDT

    David Wright Getty Getty Images

    “Until he gets into a game situation and feels confident with the leg, we’re not going to know.”

  16. Josh Hamilton played his first game since October

    May 5, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT

    Josh Hamilton AP

    GM says Hamilton “seems to be 100 percent” healthy.

  17. Joc Pederson’s last five hits have been homers

    May 5, 2015, 9:41 AM EDT

    Joc Pederson

    He’s also struck out ten times over that span, so he’s becoming Dave Kingman I guess.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. A. Rendon (3576)
  2. A. Cobb (2909)
  3. J. Hamilton (2840)
  4. D. Wright (2787)
  5. A. Colome (2626)
  1. D. Span (2593)
  2. A. Pujols (2529)
  3. A. Escobar (2376)
  4. G. Holland (2319)
  5. D. Jennings (2294)