The Yankees will honor the memory of Johnny Pesky with a moment of silence before their game against the Rangers tonight.
“He was always so nice to me throughout the years. Every time I’d see him, he would come over and say, ‘I hope you get four hits today – and the guy behind you hits into four double plays.’ I’ve always enjoyed having the opportunity to talk to him,” Yankees captain Derek Jeter said.
“I always like the fact that we have a lot of ex-players that come around all the time. I always liked going up [to Boston] and having an opportunity to see him. They loved him there; fans, players, media, everyone loved him. I send my best wishes to his family.”
New Yankees pitcher Derek Lowe, a member of the 2004 Red Sox, was sad to hear the news.
“He always loved spring training. I can see him right now, leaning on a fungo, hitting ground balls to people,” Lowe said. “That’s the beauty of both these organizations; they keep the history around so the younger guys can see it and get to know the guys that came before you. He was great. We had a lot of laughs.”
Beyond what a terrific player he is, Jeter’s ability to say the exact right thing is off the charts, isn’t it? Thanks to Mark Feinsand of The Daily News, who passed along these quotes from the Bronx.
Meanwhile, Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig issued the following statement:
“The national pastime has lost one of its greatest ambassadors today. Johnny Pesky, who led a great American life, was an embodiment of loyalty and goodwill for the Boston Red Sox and all of Major League Baseball. A part of the Greatest Generation and forever one of ‘The Teammates,’ Johnny was a wonderful player who excelled alongside his dear friends Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr and Dom DiMaggio. Just as importantly, Johnny touched the hearts of hundreds of Red Sox players and its legion of fans around the world.
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of this special man, whose number six will be a part of Fenway Park forever. I extend my deepest condolences to Johnny’s family, his many friends throughout the game and all the fans of the Boston Red Sox.”