He was like my father when I came here in 1971. He was a great, great friend, always good to my family when we’d go to spring training. We were like a family, together for so many years. He really was a great man, a baseball man all his life, and he was good to everybody. You learned a lot from him, and being around him for so many years was a great experience. You’re not going to find many people like him. Everyone who knew him will miss him.
I’m almost speechless. This is a very sad day for me and for anyone who has ever spent any time with Mr. Pesky. He was the most positive influence I ever came across who wore the Red Sox uniform. He was always there through the good and bad times with the same smile and passion for his team. "Hello my honeysuckle, hello my honey bee, my ever lovin’ Jason just got three,” Johnny used to say, wishing me three hits that night. The game, the team, the organization, and Red Sox Nation will truly miss Mr. Pesky. Love you, Pesky!
For all the negativity that has surrounded the Red Sox this season, yesterday's news about the death of Johnny Pesky is, obviously, the worst thing to happen.
I'm at a loss for why exactly I feel so sad about Pesky -- I didn't know him personally, and am far too young to have seen him play or even manage. But he seemed like such an overwhelmingly nice man, someone that nobody had a bad word to say about. It was always heartwarming to see him in the dugout, dressed up in his uniform, hugging David Ortiz.
Most of the memorials you'll see in the links focus on him as a person and as an ambassador for the team and the game, but he was quite a player, too. A lifetime .307 hitter, he clearly valued patience at the plate before it was en vogue, compiling a .394 OBP over 10 seasons. He didn't hit for power, but he got on base and scored runs.
He never won it all as a player, but he was still part of the team, in some way, in 2004 when the Sox finally won the World Series. And this picture pretty much says it all about why we all felt so strongly about Pesky. How could you not?
CSNNE | Mullen: "We'll never see another" like Johnny Pesky | State of the Sox notebook: August 14, 2012 | Johnny Pesky through the years | Herald | Bobby Valentine won't budge | Tough to rally 'round these Sox | Andrew Bailey set for debut, not worried about role | Sox legend Johnny Pesky dead | Johnny Pesky leaves big legacy | Johnny Pesky: 1919-2012 | Johnny Pesky's loss felt at annual Oldtime Game | Globe | Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky dies | Red Sox mourn loss of 'a beloved friend' | Selig: Baseball has lost a great ambassador | Yankees pay tribute to Johnny Pesky | Explaining Pesky's Pole | Ownership's fault? Not buying it | Ortiz injury keeps Lavarnway as odd man in | ESPNBoston | Bailey expected to join Sox on Tuesday | Johnny Pesky lived, breathed Red Sox | Red Sox's Johnny Pesky dies at 92 | Johnny Pesky connected generations | Varitek: "I'm almost speechless" | Red Sox, Orioles hard to figure