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Happy Birthday, Johnny Pesky

It was some years ago when I was at Fenway park doing research and interviewing for one of my baseball  books. My son Fred was then a teenager and he accompanied me to the park dressed in a red sweater and packing his baseball glove -- just in case.

We arrived at the legendary park quite a few hours before game time as is my practice when I am working. Fenway was empty. There was no one in the stands but my son anxious to catch a ball.

I interviewed one player and then another and then interrupted Johnny Pesky who was hitting fungoes and interviewed him. Gracious, enthusiastic, informed, the man they call "Mr. Red Sox" gave me more than the time of day.

So I figured I could impose.

"See that kid in the outfield stands with the red sweater. Could you hit a ball out to him?"

"And if I hit him on the noggin, then what! We are all in trouble."   

"You are right," I said, and walked away to interview others.

Minutes later through the empty ballpark I heard my son's voice and saw him running through the stands to the home plate area. He was shouting: "I got it. I got it." And he had a ball in his hand.

Pesky was near me and yelled. "Get me that ball. The kid isn't supposed to have it."

I  went over to my son and got the baseball and brought it to Pesky.

"What's your son's name?"

I told him. He autographed the ball "To Fred. Great catch. Johnny Pesky"

Fred is now an AP Correspondent based in DC. He still has the ball.

And wonderfully we still have the baseball treasure Johnny Pesky who gets his Number Six retired and turns 89 on a terrific doubleheader weekend at Fenway Park starting September 26, 2008!   

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You can reach Harvey Frommer at:   

Email:  harvey.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU 

About the Author:

Harvey Frommer is in his  38th year of writing books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE STADIUM was published in 2008 and his REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published to acclaim in 2011.  The prolific Frommer is at work on When It Was Just a Game, An Oral History on Super Bowel One. 

His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, USA Today, Men's Heath, The Sporting News, among other publications.

FROMMER SPORTSNET (syndicated) reaches a readership in the millions and is housed on Internet search engines for extended periods of time.
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Dr. Frommer is the Official Book Reviewer of Travel-Watch. 
*Autographed copies of Frommer books are available .

Other Frommer sports related articles can be found at:   

Harvey Frommer along with his wife, Myrna Katz  Frommer are the authors of five critically acclaimed oral/cultural histories, professors at Dartmouth  College, and travel writers who specialize in cultural history, food, wine, and Jewish history and heritage in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. 

This Article is Copyright 1995 - 2014 by Harvey Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.


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