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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Remembering Red Sox Great Johnny Pesky

Legendary Red Sox player, manager, and broadcaster Johnny Pesky died Monday at the age of 92. He was greatly loved by Boston fans and past and present players, so much so that in 2006 the right-field pole at Fenway Park was formally designated “Pesky’s Pole” after a widely held belief that Pesky hit shots around it.

Johnny Pesky had lifelong friendships with teammates Ted Williams, Dom DiMaggio, and Bobby Doerr which the late David Halberstam wrote about in his 2003 book “The Teammates: A Portrait of a Friendship.” In 2003, Robin Young had a chance to speak to them about baseball and their longtime relationship. We revisit that conversation.

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  • Steve Robillard

    I was just so moved listening to the story Remembering Johnny Pesky.  Making David Halbersham’s wonderful book kind of “the hook” for this story was brilliant, as it brought out not only memories we have of Johnny, but the great camaraderie of four of the greatest baseball players ever.  I  love the way it was wrapped up with Mr. Halbersham’s comments paraphrasing “something that could never happen again with planes instead of trains, etc.”.  It was just perfect.  Thanks for the piece and the memories!     

  • Fredrick Robbins

    Robin Young,
    As a long-time listener I wish to offer a piece of advice. Please reconsider the use of old interviews after every death. This makes twice in a week and many more dated. Use your own voice, research and discover other points. The macabre technique surly must make all celebrities in the future, interviewed, nervous. Death Interviews; Do you think about w/anyone over sixty? Exception; ASK. If you have the nerve. “Would you mind if I use this after your untimely demise?” , “Ah, Hell yes!”

  • Ldmclaugh

    Having grown up in Boston, Pesky was a household name, was never really clear if he was a hero or a goat but my Dad loved him and all of his Boston Red Sox..

  • Brandonshmandon

    Very touching remembrance… It was understated and honest and… Well, heart breaking. Thank you.

  • oh2props

     I have blogged and joined comments at Wash Post few years ago in conversation about my Dad’s love of the Red Sox. In family lore, Leon Culberson of Rome Ga was sweet on my Dad’s Sister Virginia Fox. I didn’t realize till after my Dad died, reading Halberstam’s the Teammates just how legendary Culberson had become, and how The Teammates laid the play to rest pretty much once and for all. Even thought Leon was the goat of the play, just having been among such legends is a connection I have to baseball lore. The Mad Dash of 46.
        Listening to this story yesterday it brought it all back, by Dad’s love for baseball. At 59, I lost it, cried uncontrollably for about 7 minutes.
       There is a scene in Russell Banks Novel Continental Drifts where a grown man becomes overcome on meeting Ted Williams. I understand.
       As for my Dad, he’s the guy at bat at the end of Brad Pitt’s Moneyball. But God bless them all and this remarkable story.

       Stephen Fox, Collinsville, Al

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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