RIP: Johnny Pesky

Johnny Pesky, a beloved Red Sox icon, passed away at the age of 92.

Pesky debuted for the Red Sox as a 22-year-old shortstop in 1942 and has been with the organization in some capacity virtually every year since. He played eight seasons in Boston, giving up three years of his early career to serve in the military during World War II. He was a lifetime .307 hitter over 10 major league seasons and was teammates with Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr.

Pesky served the Red Sox in a number of capacities over the years, including player (1942; 1946-52), manager (1963-64; 1980), coach, TV and radio commentator and, most recently, ambassador. As late as a few years ago, he was still hitting fungoes to Red Sox players at spring training.

Pesky is recognized throughout New England as the personification of the Red Sox, having signed countless autographs over the years and taken photos with virtually every fan who asked.

The right field foul pole at Fenway is named for Pesky, probably the coolest honor any ballplayer has ever had in baseball and his number six was retired by the team in 2008.

Pesky wasn’t the greatest player in team history, but anyone in New England would be foolish to think there’s another player that has been the face of the franchise over the last 60 years. Pesky was the Red Sox to most fans.

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