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RED SOX TIMELINE
1901-1925 | 1926-1950 | 1951-1975 | 1976-2000 | 2001-Present

Red Sox Legends: Johnny Pesky

If anyone can say he eats, sleeps and breathes Red Sox baseball it is Johnny Pesky. Pesky started his Red Sox career in 1942 and with a few years off here and there, it has never ended. "Needlenose," as he was called by his Boston teammates, has served the Red Sox in every conceivable fashion.

As a player, Pesky was the tablesetter for the big bats of Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr and Vern Stephens. Leading the league in hits his first three seasons, Pesky set a pretty mean table. After breaking into the Sox lineup at shortstop in 1942, Pesky went off to fight in World War II. When he returned in 1946 it was like he never left, leading the league in hits for the next two years. In his eight seasons as a Red Sox player, Johnny hit .313 and had an on-base percentage of .401.

Always the team player, Pesky moved to third when the Sox acquired the heavy hitting shortstop Vern Stephens. The two eventually switched positions and Pesky helped Stephens set an American League assist record for third baseman. Knowing that Stephens needed one more assist to break the record, Pesky fielded a hot shot at short and flipped to Stephens who gunned it to first, securing the record.

Pesky was traded to the Detroit Tigers in 1952, but would return to the Red Sox organization to serve as a coach, announcer and assistant general manager. It was rumored that Pesky was even collecting tickets and selling popcorn at home games.

As special assistant for player development, this Red Sox legend can often be seen now working with young infielders on the game's finer points -- something Johnny Pesky knows a lot about.


1901-1925 | 1926-1950 | 1951-1975 | 1976-2000 | 2001-Present