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Pesky always denied any indecision, and analysis of the film appeared to back him up, but the myth persisted.

“In my heart, I know I didn’t hold the ball,” Pesky once said.

Pesky spent two years with the Tigers and Senators before starting a coaching career that included a two-year stint as Red Sox manager in 1963 and 1964. He came back to the Red Sox in 1969 and stayed there, even filling in as interim manager in 1980 after the club fired Don Zimmer.

Pesky is survived by a son, David. His wife, Ruth, whom he married in 1944, died in 2005.