“I’ve had an interesting life,” Pesky told The Associated Press in 2005. “I have no complaints.”
In New York, a moment of silence was held at Yankee Stadium before Monday night’s game against the Texas Rangers. The crowd gave a nice round of applause.
“There wasn’t a greater gentleman of the game,” said Hall of Famer Wade Boggs, a star third baseman with both the Red Sox and Yankees. “Johnny was loved by everyone. He would light up your day when he walked in the room.”
Longtime Red Sox fans recall the days when Pesky was a talented shortstop and manager for the team. Younger ones saw him as an avuncular presence at the Red Sox spring training camp in Fort Myers, Fla.
It was there that Pesky would encourage young players and hit grounders to infielders with his ever-present fungo bat. He stopped doing that as he aged but still spent time sitting in a folding chair, his bat by his side, signing autographs and chatting with fans of all ages.
“I’ve had a good life with the ballclub,” Pesky told the AP in 2004. “I just try to help out. I understand the game, I’ve been around the ballpark my whole life.”
Pesky was a special assignment instructor in 2004 when the Red Sox won their first championship in 86 years. Tears of joy glistened in his eyes when the World Series was over.
“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, who starred on that team, tweeted.
Current Red Sox players also took to Twitter.
David Ortiz: “A very dark day today for red sox nation.”
Jon Lester: “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.”
Pesky played 10 years in the majors, the first seven-plus with Boston. His No. 6 was retired by the Red Sox at a ceremony in 2008. Pesky stood under an umbrella at home plate that day, wearing the team’s white home uniform.
“All of Red Sox Nation mourns the loss of `Mr. Red Sox,’ Johnny Pesky,” Boston mayor Thomas Menino said. “He loved the game and he loved the fans _ and we loved him. His dedication to the sport and his passion to improve the game through the mentorship of young players will be sorely missed. Our hearts go out to the Red Sox organization and all of Johnny’s family and many friends.”
Former Red Sox first baseman and outfielder Kevin Millar was one of them.
“Johnny is the greatest man I have ever met in this wonderful game,” he said.View Entire Story
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