BOSTON After Sundays win over the Orioles, the Red Sox honored the life and incomparable career of Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky. Along with the current players, many former players and coaches were part of the ceremony, including Hall of Famers Carlton Fisk and Jim Rice, Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield, Jerry Remy, Luis Tiant, Reggie Smith, Bill Lee, Lou Merloni, Keith Foulke, John Tudor, Roger Clemens, Rich Gedman, Joe Nelson, Ron Jackson, Skip Lockwood, Brad Mills, Lynn Jones, and Dick Berardino.
Pesky remains special to many of them.
Its probably a cumulative memory of John, said Fisk. You talk about all the guys that played for this team over the 100-plus years, but he sort or remained the face of the organization for the longest time. How long was he here? He was here for 50, 60, 70 years or whatever it was. He was the one standard that everybody looked to. Every time you came to the ballpark, John was there.
Back in the day when we used to take infield, here was John 60, 70 years old and he was still hitting the ball to the infielders when we were taking infield. So, more than anybody else, you can talk about anybody else, Yaz or Dewey or Carl, or Ted or all these guys. John was around a long time, before and after these guys. He was the face that I remember most.
For Martinez, Pesky remains the soul of the Red Sox.
I just think that his soul was attached to Boston in some way that nobody is probably able to describe and that makes Johnny unique, makes his soul unique, Martinez said. And just like we have the pole, I dont think Pesky will ever go away.
Thats the amazing thing, he never wanted to have anything said about him. All he wanted was the best for the players that were coming over and the players that actually were going to help the team hopefully win it for Boston. And he was the first one on the field and the first one showing his character so that everybody could relate to it.
And I dont want to say this just because he died. I always expressed it in any way or form that I could every time I saw him. He will always remain in my heart, my memories, my history in baseball.
Players leave roses and signatures for Johnny. 6Forever twitpic.comaxrj2e Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) September 23, 2012