HERE ARE JIM's REFLECTIONS ON JOHNNY PESKY:
October 2nd, 2008
I graduated High School in 1971 and joined the Red Sox Organization in the summer of that year. In 1972, I was invited to my first spring training with the Boston Red Sox and Sam Mele introduced me to Johnny Pesky who would eventually become my hitting instructor and friend.
That year, Johnny told me I had a chance to make it to the big leagues and that just increased my drive.Johnny started working with me at the big league camp in 1973 and was my personal instructor for most of my career. Johnny would work with me on hitting and fielding for as long as I wanted and always expressed the simplified approach to batting: “see it and hit it.”
Then knowledge and experience Johnny shared with me were invaluable in my Red Sox career. He had played with the best hitter in the game, Ted Williams. He played alongside a Hall of Fame Outfielder, a Hall of Fame second baseman, and Domenic DiMaggio whose brother Joe is in the Hall of Fame. Johnny knew all of those guys and was able to share their experiences as well as his own. He was not a player who would hit 35 home runs, but he would get 200 hits and create opportunities for Williams to drive in runs.
I still keep in touch with Johnny to this day. I see him at Spring Training in February and we will drive from the hotel to the ballpark together. He is at Fenway Park almost as often now as he was as a coach in the 1970’s. He was a great player and is a great friend. He has given a lot to this organization throughout his career and I am proud to see his number 6 in right field alongside the numbers worn by other Red Sox greats.
1 Comment »