Johnny Pesky’s No. 6 Outside Fenway Park Vandalized
The Red Sox are working to remove the spray-paint graffiti scrawled across Johnny Pesky’s illuminated No. 6 outside Fenway Park sometime this week.
“We learned of this tonight,” team spokesman Kevin Gregg told the Globe—also owned by Red Sox owner John Henry—Wednesday. “It’s unfortunate that someone would do this, but we occasionally have to deal with graffiti in the area and will look to clean this up as soon as possible.”
Nicknamed “Mr. Red Sox,” Johnny Pesky was associated with the team for 61 of his 73 years in baseball: he made his debut with Boston in 1942 and played there for eight seasons, developing a legendary friendship with Sox greats Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, and Dom DiMaggio; managed the club in 1963, 1964, and 1980; and served as broadcaster in the late 60s and early 70s. In his later years, Pesky served as a “special instructor,” and was allowed to sit in the Red Sox dugout.
The right field foul pole at Fenway Park is known as “Pesky’s Pole,” a term coined by teammate Mel Parnell after Pesky won the pitcher a game in 1948 with a home-run that just squeaked fair, inside the pole.
The Red Sox retired Pesky’s No. 6 in 2008, breaking its self-imposed rule of only awarding the distinction to those who spent 10 years with the team and earned induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame (Pesky fell short of the latter). Pesky died in hospice care in Danvers in 2012, at age 93. One of the myriad scandals marking Bobby Valentine’s year at the helm in Boston occurred when just four Sox players showed up to Pesky’s funeral: David Ortiz, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Clay Buchholz, and Vicente Padilla.