Pesky A Friend of All Red Sox Fans

The passing of Johny Pesky yesterday at the age of 92 is a loss of inestimable measurement to Red Sox Nation. He was unquestionably THE friendly face and voice of Red Sox Nation for the past half century and more.

He may not have been the slugger Ted Williams was, nor the fielder Nomar Garciaperra was, nor the manager that Terry Francona was. But he WAS the most beloved Red Sox of all time, simple as that.

Of course, it was nice that he lived here on Boston’s North Shore (Swampscott) for most of his retired life. He seemed to be everywhere, in season and out, representing the Red Sox and at million charity events, many of them baseball game fundraisers. He also was a regular breakfast patron at the Salem Diner for decades.

This writer had the privilege of bumping into Johnny on several occasions during my 25 years covering sports at The Salem Evening News; several times while covering the Sox at Fenway, and several other times when he popped into the office to say hello to sports editor Bill Kipouras while he was stopping by to have lunch with his son, David, who just so happened to work at The News in advertising for several years.

I consider myself as fortunate as any one of the countless Sox fans who shook Johnny’s hand over the years. Just as Arnold Palmer has every second of every day loved being Arnold Palmer, the same can be said for the great Johnny Pesky. He loved being Johnny Pesky and we all benefited. For he loved making new friends. He died with millions of them.


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