Johnny Pesky, a well-known Boston Red Sox legend, passed away Monday at the age of 92 after spending 60-plus years with the team.
Pesky passed away at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers, Massachusetts, although no cause of death has been revealed, reports Sports Illustrated. The death was confirmed by the Solimine, Landergan and Richardson funeral home in nearby Lynn. Pesky stated in 2004 that:
“I’ve had a good life with the ballclub. I just try to help out. I understand the game, I’ve been around the ballpark my whole life.”
Pesky was a player, manager, broadcaster, and a special instructor for the Red Sox and was unofficially called the club’s goodwill ambassador. He was a constant presence at Boston’s spring training camp, and also at Fenway Park, where he was seen on April 20, celebrating the park’s 100th anniversary.
ABC News notes that Johnny Pesky’s legacy is also a permanent part of Fenway Park in the form of the right-field foul pole, which is nicknamed the Pesky Pole. During his career, he was a teammate and friend to Hall of Famer Ted Williams, who passed away in 2002.
Pesky was born in Portland, Oregon as John Michael Paveskovich and first signed with the Red Sox in 1939 after a scout wooed his mother with flowers and his father with fine bourbon.
While his parents, who were immigrants from the area that is now Croatia, didn’t understand much about baseball, but they did know that the Red Sox were the best fit for Pesky, despite other teams offering more money.
Johnny Pesky is survived by his son, David. His wife, whom he married in 1944, passed away in 2005.