Johnny Pesky, a former Boston Red Sox player, manager and broadcaster and one of the most beloved men in the team’s storied history, died Monday. He was 92.
And if it was not already apparent, the flood of reactions — expressing sorrow, sentimentality and above all, respect — shed further light on just how revered Pesky was, both in Boston and across baseball.
“The national pastime has lost one of its greatest ambassadors,” MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said. “Johnny Pesky, who led a great American life, was an embodiment of loyalty and goodwill for the Boston Red Sox and all of Major League Baseball.”
Pesky hit .307 and collected 1,455 hits in a career that spanned 13 years - and included three years of military service during World War II. In 2006, the Red Sox officially named the right-field foul pole at Fenway Park “Pesky’s Pole,” and in April, 2008, Pesky was given the honor of raising the Red Sox’ 2007 World Series championship banner.
And as Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy recounted Tuesday, Pesky left his mark all over Boston.
If it had something to do with the Red Sox, it had something to do with Johnny Pesky.
The Red Sox are 112 years old. Fenway is 100. Johnny “only” lived to be 92. But his life touched everything that ever had anything to do with the Red Sox.
Red Sox past and present took to Twitter to reflect on the passing of one of the franchise’s all-time greats.
A very dark day today for red sox nation a good friend of mine past away Jhonny pesky it was a honnor metting you... R.l.P...34— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) August 13, 2012
My prayers go out to Johnny Pesky,a true "man" of baseball. Your stories & attitude always made me smile. Rest in peace. We all love you.— Mike Lowell (@mikelowell25) August 13, 2012
RIP Johnny Pesky. You will be missed in the clubhouse and by— Jacoby Ellsbury (@JacobyEllsbury) August 13, 2012
One of my career memories was hugging and kissing Johnny pesky after we won it all in 04, God Rest and God Bless his gentle soul, I miss you— Curt Schilling (@gehrig38) August 13, 2012
Johnny Pesky thank you for always being there for me, making me a better player and a better person. I'll never forget you. RIP— Lou Merloni (@LouMerloni) August 14, 2012
Just heard we lost one of the good ones today.A great player and an even better man, rest in peace Johnny, thank you for the memories.— Jon Lester (@JLester31) August 13, 2012