A statue commemorating the camaraderie of Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky and Dom DiMaggio was unveiled Wednesday at Fenway Park.
"They were the greatest of players and the best of friends," said Red Sox principal owner John Henry. "We felt that it would be fitting to dedicate a statue to the memory of not just their time on the hallowed field of Fenway Park but also to the steadfast loyalty and devotion they had for one another as well as their lifelong love for the game of baseball."
Williams, Doerr, Pesky and DiMaggio were all teammates on the Red Sox in the 1940s, and parts of the ‘30s and ‘50s. Doerr was the first to don a Red Sox uniform in 1937, followed by Williams in 1939, DiMaggio in 1940 and Pesky in 1942.
Exceptionally talented as ballplayers, each of the men was an All-Star and is a member of the Red Sox Hall of Fame. Doerr and Williams have been enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
All four of them grew up on the West Coast, and they all served in the military — Doerr in the Army, DiMaggio and Pesky in the Navy and Williams in the Marines during World War II. While their friendship began as teammates, it extended far beyond the game of baseball and has become a storied example of an enduring bond among a group of great and determined men. The friendship was discussed at length in David Halberstam’s book The Teammates – Portrait of a Friendship.
"Bobby, Dom, Johnny and Ted were great baseball players, but they were even greater human beings," Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino said. "It was important to them to excel on the baseball field, but what we should also take away from their stories is their remarkable struggle to become successful, their dedicated service in the military and their steadfast devotion to each other and to their families."
The new statue was created by sculptor Antonio Tobias Mendez and features the four men standing shoulder to shoulder holding baseball bats. It is located immediately outside Gate B at Fenway Park, at the intersection of Van Ness and Ipswich Streets in Boston.
The existing Ted Williams statue — which shows him placing a cap on the head of a young Jimmy Fund patient — had to be moved a few feet down Van Ness Street to accommodate both sculptures.
Creation and installation of the statue was funded entirely by the Boston Red Sox as a gift to the City of Boston and the fans of Red Sox Nation.
Of the four, only Doerr and Pesky are still alive, and both expressed appreciation of the tribute.
"I am very happy that the Red Sox have chosen to commission this statue of me and my lifelong friends," said Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr. "Ted, Dom and Johnny are very dear to me, and I’m glad to have had them in my life for so many years."
Pesky echoed the sentiments of Doerr, looking back fondly on the memories he had with his friends.
"Ted, Dom and Bobby have been my closest friends since my rookie year in 1942," said Red Sox Hall of Famer Johnny Pesky. "I have had some great times with them, and I am glad that thanks to the Red Sox, our friendship will now be remembered forever in the form of this statue."