RIP Johnny Pesky.
And theres not much else to say.
Or at least, not much that you haven't already heard.
Whether it was over the last 15 hours, or sometime over the last 70 years, weve all come to know and understand the awesomeness of Johnny Pesky; who he was and what he represented.
Pesky lived through the Great Depression. He fought in World War II. He was walking American history. As an athlete, he was best buds with Ted Williams. He was Peskys Pole. In many ways, Johnny Pesky was the Red Sox.
And it's tough to say goodbye.
But he was also 92. Pesky lived a life that should be celebrated as much as it's mourned. And Im sure well see a little of both the next time the Sox play at Fenway. (FYI: Tuesday, Aug. 21)
For all the awful things we say about this ownership group, you know theyll do it up right for The Needle. A moment of silence. Some kind of special tribute. I wont be surprised to see Peskys son David (who will turn 60 in December) on hand.
And I hope they do something with Peskys Pole.
I doubt the league will let them paint it black, but what if the Sox went the other way? How about lining it with neon track lighting? How great would it be to look out in right field for the rest of the season and see that pole beaming like a lightsaber? Or if that doesn't work, what about just one bright light at the very top?
Granted, with the way this season has gone for the Sox, someone would probably hit a line drive off one of the lights and send it crashing down on a bunch of fans.
But it would be worth it for Pesky.
A Red Sox legend. A great American.
He will be missed.
Rich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine
Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.
Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.
Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.
Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.
Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.
Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.
Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.
Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners.
Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014.
Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.