Red Sox set to retire Johnny Pesky's No. 6

The Red Sox will retire Johnny Pesky's number on Friday night, putting his No. 6 on the upper deck facade alongside those of teammates Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr.

"I appreciate this. This is very flattering to me," Pesky said. "To be still with the Red Sox, I'm very proud of that."

Pesky turns 89 on Saturday and still has a locker at Fenway Park. He's the sixth Boston player so honored, along with Doerr (1), Joe Cronin (4), Carl Yastrzemski (8), Williams (9) and Carlton Fisk (27); all major league teams retired No. 42 for Jackie Robinson in 1997.

Pesky was a major league infielder for 10 seasons, eight of them with the Red Sox, missing three years to serve in the Navy during World War II. But that's just a small part of his 57 years of service to the team.

Signed to a minor league contract in 1940, he made the big league club in 1942 and retired as a player in 1954 after also spending time in Detroit and Washington. After bouncing around the minors as a coach, he returned to the Red Sox organization in 1961 to manage their Triple-A team.

He managed in Boston from 1963-65 and, after coaching in the Pittsburgh system, he was back with the Red Sox in 1969 as a broadcast analyst. He hasn't left since, also serving as an advertising salesman, instructor and unofficial ambassador for the team.

"I think Johnny Pesky's case cries out for this," team president Larry Lucchino said before last night's game against Cleveland. "It's an achievement we will be doing with great pride, admiration and gratitude."

This program aired on September 24, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.


More from WBUR

Listen Live