On September 23, 2012, the Boston Red Sox will honor Johnny Pesky in ceremonies starting at 6 pm. The franchise made the announcement the other day. Pesky passed away on August 13. He was remembered by the Red Sox at a game immediately following his death as the entire team wore his number 6 prior to the start.
Pesky’s funeral was the center of controversy as just four current Red Sox players, including David Ortiz, attended it. The team had returned at 4 am from their series with the New York Yankees. The funeral was at 11 am. Many thought that Pesky was slighted by current players.
Former players who attended the funeral included Trot Nixon, Nomar Carciaparra, Mike Andrews and Bill Lee. For many Pesky was the ultimate baseball man, a true mentor and an ambassador for the game.
The Pesky tribute will be held the same day that the Red Sox play a day-game versus the Baltimore Orioles. That game is in the afternoon and although those in attendance may stay for the tribute fans don’t have to attend the game to be included. People can show up prior to 6 to be a part of the ceremonies. Also, Fenway Park will remain open until 9 pm for those who would like to stay longer to pay tribute to Pesky who was associated with the Red Sox for six decades.
Will Red Sox Be There?
It’s expected that all current Red Sox players, coaches and personnel will be in attendance for the man who spent much of his career and life in a Red Sox uniform. Pesky was a player, manager, commentator and coach. He had close ties to hundreds of players and was a fixture in the dugout at home games for many years. In 2007, he received a World Series ring from the Red Sox. That was something that had eluded him for his entire career.
Present Day Johnny Pesky
Is there a present day Johnny Pesky? Teams need guys like him who are devoted to the game and the team. A few just retired—Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield. Trot Nixon, who said at Pesky’s funeral that he loved the man, was one of those guys. I think Dustin Pedroia could be like Pesky, but I don’t think he’s quite there yet. David Ortiz has a lot of great qualities and is my vote for the guy who is most like the Boston icon. Be there on September 23 for the tribute. I’m sure you’ll see Big Papi.