Adored by generations of Boston Red Sox fans, Johnny Pesky was such a part of the fabric of the team that the Fenway Park foul pole is named for him.
Pesky, who played, managed and served as a broadcaster for the Red Sox in a baseball career that lasted more than 60 years, died Monday at age 92.
"The national pastime has lost one of its greatest ambassadors," Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement released yesterday.
"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."
Johnny Pesky passed away a little more than a week after his final visit to Fenway, on August 5 when Boston beat the Minnesota Twins 6-4.
Yet for many in the legion of Red Sox fans, their last image of Pesky will be from the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park on April 20 of this year.
A man known for his warmth, kindness and outstanding baseball career each and every day, Johnny was moved to tears at a pregame ceremony.
By then the former shortstop was in a wheelchair positioned at second base, surrounded by dozens of admiring players and a cheering crowd.