Pesky burst on to the scene as a rookie in 1942 with .331 batting average, and was voted the second runner up for the AL MVP award that season. Then he entered the military service, missing the next three seasons to defend the US in World War II.
He would finish his career with a .307 batting average, but would become best known with the current generation of baseball fans as the namesake for Fenway Park's "Pesky Pole," the foul poul down the right field line which is a mere 295 feet or so from homeplate. Legend has it the skinny, left-handed hitting second baseman would wrap homeruns around that pole. Considering the fact he only had 13 homeruns as a Red Sox player, perhaps it was, in fact, just legend and lacked any proof--kind of like Babe Ruth's called shot in Chicago's Wrigley Field. But no matter, it stuck, and Peksy's name will live forever in Fenway lore because of it.
We are losing our Greatest Generation legends. Ted Williams is gone. So is Bob Feller. And now Pesky.
We should treasure those that still remain. Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford from the Yankees. Ralph Kiner from the Pirates. And others like Willie Mays and Hank Aaron. They are our link to another time not just in baseball history, but American history.