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Boston Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky dead at 92

The former player and longtime ambassador for the famous baseball team joined the team in 1939 at the urging of his mother.
Johnny peskyEnlarge
Johnny Pesky of the Boston Red Sox on April 4, 2010 during Opening Night at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Elsa/AFP/Getty Images)

Johnny Pesky, who was tied to the Boston Red Sox for more than 70 years and was adored by the team's fans, has died. He was 92. 

Pesky died at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers, according to Solimine, Landergan and Richardson funeral home in Lynn. The funeral home did not have a cause of death, Fox News reported.

In an interview with The Associated Press in 2004, Pesky said: ''I've had a good life with the ballclub."

''I just try to help out. I understand the game, I've been around the ballpark my whole life.''

Born John Michael Paveskovich in Portland, Oregon, Pesky first signed with the Red Sox organization in 1939 at the encouragement of his mother. A Red Sox scout had wooed her with flowers and his father with fine bourbon.

According to Fox News, his parents, immigrants from what is now Croatia, didn't understand baseball, but they thought the Red Sox were the best fit for their son even though other teams offered more money.

Pesky played two years in the Red Sox minor league system before making his major league debut in 1942.

The Boston Herald reported he had a career .307 lifetime batting average and later served the Red Sox [team stats] in a multitude of capacities — as manager, coach, broadcaster, front office executive, ad salesman, and, perhaps most importantly, goodwill ambassador.

The Chicago Tribune said he has been tied to the Red Sox organization for over 73 years, as a player, broadcaster, manager and ambassador.

A 5-foot-9 shortstop and fan favorite, he missed three seasons from 1943-45 when he joined the military service and served in World War II.

Pesky is survived by a son, David. His wife, Ruth, whom he married in 1944, died in 2005.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/world-at-play/boston-red-sox-legend-johnny-pesky-dead-at-92

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