September 28th, 2008


Johnny Pesky #6 retired today

Pesky's PoleToday, the Red Sox retired number 6, the number belonging to Johnny Pesky. The Red Sox rarely retire numbers - their standard criterion is being in the Baseball Hall of Fame, ended career with the Red Sox, and played for 10 years with the team. He didn't make any of those criteria - with the possible exception of the ending his career. He has worked for the Red Sox for 57 years. He is still a coach for the team, wears a uniform but isn't allowed to sit on the bench because of an MLB ruling about the number of coaches allowed on the field during game play.

What is most remarkable is that he is 89 years old and still active - working with players every day, hitting ground balls to fielders among other things. He looks to be in excellent health, has all his hair, speaks clearly, seems to have a good sense of humor, and is in very high spirits. Many current and past players speak very favorably of him.

The foul pole in right field is named Pesky's Pole because he hit home runs that just made it past the pole (it is 302 feet from the plate and the nearest one in any ball park. And other players joked he couldn't hit them any farther. He did have a very good batting average.

Dirty Water by the Standells played after Red Sox wins.
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