What made last night different at Fenway Park for the Boston Red Sox and their fans wasn’t what happened during the game but what happened before the game. The Red Sox honored Johnny Pesky who passed away this month after more than six decades with the organization and over seventy years in professional baseball.
Tribute to Pesky
The tribute on Tuesday night included the wearing of number 6, Pesky’s number, in ceremonies prior to the start of the game. Before the game began it was all hands on deck as managers, coaches and players from the Red Sox and Angels lined up on their respective baselines. Each Red Sox wore a jersey with Pesky’s number 6 on the back. Los Angeles also paid homage to Pesky by wearing a number six and his name on the front of their warm up jerseys.
In a fitting tribute the grass near Pesky’s Pole was mowed in a pattern that revealed the number six and a bugler solemnly played “Taps.” Then Pesky’s son, David, tossed the ceremonial first pitch to Boston DH David Ortiz.
Pesky died on August 13 at the age of 92. His last trip to Fenway was on August 5, as he saw the Red Sox beat the Twins 6-4. Pesky played in the majors for 10 years with the majority of his time being spent in a Red Sox uniform. The organization retired his number in 2008.
Can Use Some of Those Old Guys
The tribute to Pesky brought back memories of the wiry infielder and his compatriots—Don DiMaggio, Bobby Doer and Ted Williams. It made me wish for some guys like that on this Red Sox team. You know, players who played hard and were there to compete on an individual as well as a team basis. There’s something, maybe a few things, missing from the 2012 Red Sox. And I’m not referring to wins.
When I think of Pesky and those three other guys I always think of one word—pride. They were proud players who took the field and made winning and losing a very personal thing.
Where Are the Red Sox?
Where are the Red Sox is a question that can be taken many ways. They are in fourth in their division 13.5 games out of first and 8 out of the Wild Card. They have lost 2 straight and are 4-6 in their last 10. They continue to score a lot of runs but also continue to allow a lot. They’re pretty much out of the playoffs. Not mathematically but that will occur soon.
It was Simon and Garfunkel who asked in the song Mrs. Robinson, “Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?” We might ask that question of the entire Red Sox team. As a side note, today an ESPN online headline proclaimed “Kevin Youkilis slam caps White Sox’s rally by Yanks.” Chicago is in first in their division and Youk is hitting about 20 points better than he was when he left here. At least we’ll have someone to watch in the postseason.