Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Johnny Pesky

Getty Images

To me Johnny Pesky IS the Red Sox. He's been a part of the organization for 69 years - as a player, a coach, a manager, an instructor, and an "ambassador." He has an unquestioning love for the team, for Fenway Park, and for the fans. Every time I've been to Fenway in the past three years, I see him at least once. Often he's sitting at a table in "Autograph Alley," tirelessly signing autographs and posing for photos. I've seen him sitting in the stands behind home plate when the Park first opens, greeting surprised fans as they head in to watch batting practice. A few years ago, Bud Selig said he couldn't sit in the dugout during the games - which created an outcry among fans and players both. And one can't imagine the World Series Ring Ceremonies in '04 and '07 without Johnny there to help raise the banner.

So I was so excited to hear this afternoon that the Sox are finally going to retire number 6. They had previously only recognized members of the Baseball Hall of Fame who had played for 10 years or more for the Sox, and had finished their careers as members of the team. Such restrictions meant that only the "cream of the crop" would be honored: Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Joe Cronin, Yaz, and Carlton Fisk. I mean, I'm glad the Sox haven't retired tons of numbers (like our rivals to the southwest have). But I can't think of anyone more deserving of this honor - and I'm so glad they're doing it while Johnny is still here to enjoy it.

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Blogger Ted D said...

Beth, that picture of you and Johnny is all kinds of awesome! And I'm with you; I like the fact they are selective of whose number they retire, but if ANYONE deserves it, Mr. Pesky does.

Well done, Mr. Henry.

8:50 PM  

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