Johnny Pesky’s Debut at Fenway Park in 1942 a Highlight in Red Sox History


Johnny Pesky's Debut at Fenway Park in 1942 a Highlight in Red Sox HistoryIn a lineup that boasted Dom DiMaggio leading off, Ted Williams batting third and Jimmie Foxx in the cleanup spot, most fans probably weren't looking for much out of the new Red Sox shortstop at the 1942 season opener.

Johnny Pesky, 22 years old, was second in the lineup, sandwiched between Red Sox greats. But Pesky earned his spot in his major league debut, going 2-for-4 with a triple and helping turn a double play as the Red Sox rolled to an 8-3 win over the Philadelphia Athletics. Pesky's debut game — in a season when he would bat .331 and record 205 hits — is Saturday's Ketel One Honorable Moment.

The Red Sox honored Pesky during Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, a 13-5 win, as the team celebrates Fenway Park's 100 years of baseball. Pesky has long been part of Sox lore, with his very own pole to go along.

Of course, Pesky's career stretched beyond Fenway. He played 1,270 games in all, 1,029 of them with the Red Sox, but three years of his career — 1943 to 1945 — were spent with the military. He also played for the Tigers and Senators.

But Pesky will best be remembered for what he did in a Red Sox uniform. He batted over .300 all but one year in Boston, and he drilled 205, 208 and 207 hits in his first three seasons in the bigs.

Who knew 70 years ago that the April 14, 1942 lineup of DiMaggio, Pesky, Williams and Foxx would be four strong?

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