“The Life and Legacy of Johnny Pesky: A Tribute to Boston’s Beloved Baseball Hero” 

 March 25, 2023


Johnny Pesky was a legendary baseball player and coach who was widely loved and respected by fans, players, and coaches alike. He was born in 1919 and spent his entire life dedicated to baseball. Pesky played for the Boston Red Sox from 1942 to 1952, and then went on to serve as a coach and manager for the team. He was also the longtime broadcaster for the Red Sox on radio and television. His dedication to the sport and his love for the city of Boston earned him a place as one of the most beloved figures in Boston sports history.

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Early Life

Johnny Pesky was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1919. His given name was John Paveskovich, but it was later shortened to “Pesky” by a well-meaning coach. Pesky grew up playing baseball, and at the age of 17, he was signed by the Red Sox. He began his professional career playing for the Red Sox’s minor league teams.

Professional Career

In 1942, Pesky was called up to the major leagues to play for the Red Sox. He quickly became a fan favorite, thanks to his skill as a player and his affable personality. Pesky played shortstop for the Red Sox, and he was known for his exceptional fielding and his ability to hit for contact. During his career, he played in five All-Star games and was considered one of the best players in the American League.

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The Pesky Pole

One of Johnny Pesky’s most enduring legacies is the Pesky Pole, the right-field foul pole at Fenway Park. According to legend, Pesky hit a home run in 1946 that just barely cleared the right-field fence. The home run became known as the “Pesky Pole” home run, and the nickname stuck. The Pesky Pole remains a beloved part of Fenway Park to this day.

Coaching Career

After retiring as a player, Johnny Pesky became a coach and manager for the Boston Red Sox. He served in various coaching roles with the team from 1963 to 2006. Pesky was known for his positive attitude and his ability to connect with players. Many players credit Pesky with helping them develop their skills as baseball players and as people.

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Broadcasting Career

In addition to his coaching career, Johnny Pesky also worked as a broadcaster for the Boston Red Sox. He began his broadcasting career in the 1950s, and he served as a commentator for the team until his death in 2012. Pesky was known for his colorful commentary and his ability to connect with fans.


Johnny Pesky’s legacy in Boston sports history is secure. He is beloved by Red Sox fans and players alike. In addition to the Pesky Pole, there are many other tributes to Pesky at Fenway Park, including a plaque and a red seat in the right-field bleachers. In 2008, the Red Sox retired Pesky’s number 6 in honor of his contributions to the team.

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Q: How many All-Star games did Johnny Pesky play in?
A: Johnny Pesky played in five All-Star games during his career.

Q: What was Johnny Pesky’s nickname?
A: John Paveskovich’s nickname was Pesky which later became his adopted name.

Q: What position did Johnny Pesky play?
A: Johnny Pesky played shortstop during his professional career.

Q: What is the Pesky Pole?
A: The Pesky Pole is the right-field foul pole at Fenway Park. It is named after Johnny Pesky.

Q: What is Johnny Pesky’s legacy?
A: Johnny Pesky is a beloved figure in Boston sports history. He is known for his contributions to the Red Sox as a player, coach, and broadcaster.

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Q: When did Johnny Pesky retire?
A: Johnny Pesky retired as a player in 1954, but he continued to work with the Red Sox as a coach and broadcaster for many years.

Q: What number did the Boston Red Sox retire in honor of Johnny Pesky?
A: The Red Sox retired Johnny Pesky’s number 6 in 2008.


Johnny Pesky was a legendary baseball player and coach who left an indelible mark on Boston sports history. His skill as a player and his positive attitude as a coach and broadcaster made him beloved by fans and players alike. Pesky’s legacy lives on at Fenway Park, where he is remembered as one of the greatest Red Sox players of all time. Rest in peace Johnny Pesky, we’ll forever miss you!

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