Daily Archives: August 13, 2012

Rest In Peace, Red Sox Legend Johnny Pesky

 

Red Sox icon Johnny Pesky, who spent the majority of his baseball career in Boston and for whom the right-field foul pole at Fenway Park is named, died Monday. He was 92.

An infielder nicknamed “The Needle,” Pesky broke into the big leagues with the Red Sox in 1942 and batted .331 with 205 hits, finishing third in American League MVP voting. He missed three seasons in military service during World War II and came back to record 208 and 207 hits in 1946 and 1947 and was named to his only All-Star Game in 1946.

He finished his 10-year Major League playing career as a .307 hitter with 404 RBIs, 867 runs and 1,455 hits.

Pesky managed the Red Sox from 1963-64 and in 1980, and had been associated with the franchise in numerous other capacities. His uniform No. 6 is retired.

He also played three seasons with the Tigers and one with the Senators.

Pesky was born John Michael Paveskovich in Portland, Ore., and was signed by the Red Sox in 1940. He hit better than .300 in six seasons — all of which were with Boston — and he finished in the top five for AL MVP voting twice.

But his legacy extended well beyond his playing days in Boston after he retired as a player in 1954. Pesky’s Pole, a mere 302 feet from home plate on the right-field line, was given its name by Boston broadcaster and former pitcher Mel Parnell because of a rare home run that Parnell said Pesky wrapped around the pole to help lead the Red Sox to a victory. Pesky hit just 17 career home runs.

After retiring with the Senators in 1954, Pesky began coaching in the Minor Leagues and eventually rejoined the Red Sox franchise in 1961 as the manager of their Triple-A team in Seattle.

He got the call to manage the big league club in 1963 and the Red Sox went a combined 146-175 in his two seasons at the helm. He managed five games for the club in 1980 after Don Zimmer was dismissed, going 1-4. Pesky also spent time in the broadcast booth for the Red Sox from 1968-74.

Pesky spent time in and around the game until 1984, his last full-time season as a coach, when he worked as Boston’s batting and bench coach. Since that time, he had served in an advisory role as a special instructor and assistant to the general manager.

The club had a ceremony in September 2006 to formally name the right-field pole at Fenway, and his number was retired in 2008. It is one of eight retired numbers in Red Sox history.

Pesky also participated in Boston’s 100th birthday celebration for Fenway Park this April, and attended the ceremony in a wheelchair, along with former double-play partner Bobby Doerr.

Jim Palmer 2010 Topps National Chicle – Base & National Chicle Back

Jim Palmer 2010 Topps National Chicle – Base & National Chicle Back

I am really not a fan of these cards.  And I was happy to see that Topps was not going to produce them in 2011 and 2012.  Hopefully that holds suit in 2013 as well…

But, as a dedicated player collector, I will still scoop up what is needed to get my collections as close to perfect as possible.

My latest two Jim Palmer purchases come from the same set – 2010 Topps National Chicle.

I picked up the base card and the ‘National Chicle Back’ version too.

Come see:

Here are the fronts:

Nothing different about these two…

And now the backs:

Gotta love the alternate versions…

🙂

George Foster ‘Fab Five’ – Card #5 – 1986 Topps

George Foster ‘Fab Five’ – Card #5 – 1986 Topps

Now that my George Foster collection is complete, it is time to show of my favorite five cards from the set.

Card #5 – 1986 Topps

I didn’t think that a non-Reds card of Foster would crack the ‘Fab Five’ but one did.  And while I will not give any hints about the next four cards to be featured, I will say that this is the only non-Reds card in the group.

I like the 1986 design – I have fondly tagged it as the ‘Stencil Set’ due to its very basic and elementary design.

As for this specific card, I just really like the way that Foster looks.  He is a flashback to the 1970’s, and his style remains true to that decade.

Have a look:

Today’s equivalent would be a baseball card featuring a player wearing Crocs while doing stretches in the outfield.  Imagine Prince Fielder or Ichiro…  LOL!

1979 Headline: Lou Brock Joins The 3,000 Hits Club

1979 Headline: Lou Brock Joins The 3,000 Hits Club

On this day in 1979 Lou Brock connected for the 3,000th hit of his career.

In front of his home crowd of almost 45,000 fans at Busch Stadium, Brock went 2-for-2 on the day and made baseball history in front of the most loyal fans in the game.

The victim that day was Dennis Lamp of the Chicago Cubs who gave up singles to Brock in both the second and fourth innings.  It’s kind of ironic that Brock’s historic achievement came against his former team huh??

Congratulations Mr. Brock!!!

1969 Headline: Palmer Hurls No-Hitter!!!

1969 Headline:  Palmer Hurls No-Hitter!!!

On this day in 1969, Jim Palmer and his Baltimore Orioles teammates were at home to face the Oakland Athletics.  2 of the better teams in the American League, both rosters were full of All-stars and future Hall of Famers.

But on this day, it was Palmer’s star that shined the brightest!!

Palmer threw a complete game against the O’s, allowing no hits in the process.  Taking his amazing record to 11-2 on the year, Palmer gave up 0 runs while striking out 8 and walking 6. 

The Orioles won the game 8-0, with help from the offense of Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, and Don Bufurd.  And Palmer, a talented athlete himself, helped his cause at the plate too – he went 2-for-3 on the day while also scoring a run and driving in another!

Happy Anniversary Mr. Palmer!!!