Thursday, February 27, 2014

Remembering The Great Johnny Pesky Today

Today would have been the 95th birthday of Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky. It's still hard to believe that he won't be somewhere on the sidelines in Fort Myers, hitting fungoes to 19-year old prospects. It was about a year-and-a-half ago (August 13, 2012) that Johnny passed away—before he could see his beloved team win another World Series Championship in 2013. I have several great memories of Johnny. About six or seven years ago, I arrived very early at a Red Sox game with my young son. We walked down near the third base dugout and there was Johnny, sitting on the field alone on a stool—in full uniform with his fungo bat. I asked him if he'd sign a ball for my son, which he did. Soon, a flurry of other fans rushed to see him. Much earlier in my life, I was privileged to be with Johnny at a 1961 promotion for the Somerville (Mass.) Little League. I was a ten-year old farm team player picked to pose with the Red Sox great (see pic—I'm the kid on the far left, you know who Johnny is). In both of those encounters—decades apart—Mr. Pesky was a class act.