Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Well-Deserved Honor

I read in this morning's Boston Herald online that the Red Sox are going to break with their retired numbers policy and on Saturday will retire the number 6 in honor the beloved elder statesman, Johnny Pesky. A formal announcement from the Red Sox should happen within the next day or so.

All I can say is: it's about time.

Johnny has done just about everything someone can do for one organization: he was a star player, manager, coach, broadcaster and scout. He's been in the organization nearly 60 years, and is beloved by everyone who knows him.

Johnny turns 89 on Saturday, and the plan is that the Red Sox will have a ceremony for him on Friday night before their game with the Yankees to formally put number 6 in retirement. Here is the Boston Herald's article about it.

The Red Sox have retired 1 (Bobby Doerr), 4 (Joe Cronin), 8 (Carl Yastrzemski), 9 (Ted Williams), 27 (Carlton Fisk) and 42 (Jackie Robinson). And at some point number 14 will go up there for Jim Rice (hopefully after he gets elected to the Hall of Fame next year), and down the road, 45 will go up for Pedro Martinez. (I don't think we'll ever see 21 retired. And I think it's about time to give some player that number again.)

Hey, Bill Buckner can now say his number on the Red Sox is now retired. But, of course, it wasn't for him.

The old ownership had strict rules for retiring numbers. The player had to be in the Hall of Fame; had to have played at least 10 years with the Sox; and had to have finished their career in Boston. I've always thought those rules were way too strict. I'm really happy they are honoring the great Johnny Pesky while he's still around to enjoy it.

Here's the complete list of Red Sox who've worn number 6, courtesy of The Joy of Sox. Interesting to note that the Red Sox gave out Pesky's number to other players while he was serving in WWII. I guess he wasn't an established veteran player yet:
Hal Rynes          1931
Wally Dashiell 1932
Bucky Walters 1933
Dusty Cooke 1934
Carl Reynolds 1935
Joe Cronin 1936
Eric McNair 1937-38
Boze Berger 1939
Marv Owen 1940
Odell Hale 1941
Johnny Pesky 1942
Roy Partee 1943-44
Skeeter Newsome 1945
Johnny Pesky 1946-52
Johnny Lipon 1952-53
Harry Agganis 1954-55
Mickey Vernon 1956-57
Vic Wertz 1959-61
Lu Clinton 1962-64
Lee Thomas 1964-65
Rico Petrocelli 1966-76
Johnny Pesky 1981-84 (COACH)
Bill Buckner 1985-87
Rick Cerone 1988-89
Tony Pena 1990-93
Damon Berryhill 1994
Chris Donnels 1995
Gary Gaetti 2000

1 comment:

Michael Leggett said...

6(Pesky)Should be retired:

21(Clemens)should be burned in a bonfire on Lansdowne Street, as well as his 22 in the Middle of Shea, on the Final Day