Johnny Pesky (born John Michael Paveskovich September 27, 1919 in Portland, Oregon) is a former Major League Baseball shortstop/third baseman who played in the American League from 1942 to 1954. He missed all of the 1943, 1944, and 1945 seasons while serving in World War II.
Johnny Pesky's biography is "Mr. Red Sox" by Bill Nowlin, published by Rounder Books.
Pesky played seven and a half seasons for the Boston Red Sox before being traded to the Detroit Tigers in the middle of the 1952 season. He finished his career with the Washington Senators in 1954. He was selected to the All-Star game in 1946.
Pesky was a tough hitter for pitchers to strike out. As a hitter he specialized in getting on base, leading the American League in base hits three times and was among the top ten in on base percentage six times. He was an excellent bunter who lead the league in sacrifice hits in 1942.
Pesky was a teammate and close friend of Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr and Dom DiMaggio. Their friendship was chronicled in David Halberstam's book The Teammates.
Pesky also has a piece of Fenway Park (the home of the Boston Red Sox) named after him. The nickname of the foul pole in right field is Pesky's Pole, named in his honor for being known to hit short home runs down the right field line, often hitting the pole.
Pesky is a uniformed member of the Red Sox coaching staff and has been with the organization for 63 years. He attended the 2004 World Series and was on hand for the ceremony in which the World Series Championship Rings were handed out (April 11, 2005). With the help of Carl Yastrzemski, he raised the 2004 World Series Championship banner up the Fenway Park center field flagpole.
On March 18, 2006 Pesky attended a Division 3 game between Denison University and Suffolk University. A line drive hit Pesky in the shin, sending him to the hospital.