George Hale’s Perspective: Johnny Pesky

Updated 2 years ago

THIS HAS BEEN A VERY CRAZY WEEK IN THE LIFE OF BOSTON RED SOX OWNERS, PLAYERS AND FANS.BEFORE I CHIME IN ON THE LASTEST SOAP OPERA CALLED “AS FENWAY TURNS” LET ME SPEAK FOR A MOMENT ABOUT MR. RED SOX, JOHNNY PESKY, AND WHAT HE MEANT TO THE TEAM AND TO BASEBALL IN GENERAL.AS YOU MUST KNOW, PESKY PASSED AWAY THIS WEEK AT THE AGE OF 92.HERE WAS A MAN WHO ATE, DRANK, SLEPT AND LIVED FOR THE BOSTON RED SOX.HIS DEDICATION WAS SOMETHING THAT EVERYONE FROM NEW YORK TO SAN DIEGO RECOGNIZED AND APPRECIATED.HE CAME FROM THAT SPECIAL ERA THAT SURVIVED THE GREAT DEPRESSION AND BECAME THE GREATEST GENERATION.HE PLAYED THE GAME HARD AND WAS GOOD. HIS CAREER NOT AS REMEMBERED AS SOME OTHERS BECAUSE IT WAS A TIME OF LARGER THAN LIFE PLAYERS.HE WAS WITH TED AND DOM AND THE REST WHOSE SPIRIT STILL CAN BE FELT INSIDE THE WALLS OF THE GREAT BOSTON BALLPARK.I TREASURE THE MEMORY OF A SPRING AFTERNOON I SPENT WITH HIM TALKING BASEBALL.SO FORGIVE ME IF I COMPARE WHAT’S GOING ON TODAY WITH HIS BELOVED TEAM AND WONDER WHAT HE WAS THINKING IN THE FINAL DAYS OF HIS LIFE.THE PLAYERS OF HIS TIME WERE BUDDIES, TEAMMATES AND LIVED FOR THE SPORT.THEY PLAYED THE GAME OF BASEBALL.I’M TRYING NOT TO USE A BROAD BRUSH WITH ALL OF THE BALL PLAYERS TODAY BUT CERTAINLY SOME DESCRIPTIONS APPLY.IT’S TOUGH TO COME UP WITH CLASSY ANYMORE. MORE THAN LIKELY WE DESCRIBE THE MODERN MAJOR LEAGUE PLAYERS AS MONEY-HUNGRY AND SELFISH.MORE LIKE SPOILED ROCK STARS THAN THE ATHLETES THEY ARE.THE NEW YORK YANKEES PAYROLL IS PEGGED AT 200 MILLION AND A-R0D GETS 30 MILLION OF IT FOR THIS SEASON.ALBERT PUJOLS GETS A 240 MILLION CONTRACT FROM THE ANGELS AND PRINCE FIELDER PICKED UP 214 MILLION FROM THE TIGERS.THE PHILLIES ARE JUST A TAD AHEAD OF THE RED SOX IN PAYROLL AS BOTH ARE AROUND 175 MILLION EACH THIS YEAR.AND WHAT DID THE MONEY BUY?WHAT HAVE WE BEEN TREATED TO THIS PAST WEEK.THIS HIGH PRICED CLUB IS BELOW FIVE HUNDRED AND NOT PERFORMING.BOSTON RED SOX OWNER JOHN HENRY HAD TO GO PUBLIC TO DENY A YAHOO SPORTSREPORT THAT 17 PLAYERS CALLED A MEETING IN JULY TO CALL FOR A MANAGERIAL CHANGE WITH THE TEAM.ACCORDING TO THE PRESS REPORTS IT WAS DUSTIN PEDROIA AND ADRIAN GONZALEZ WHO WERE THE BIGGEST DISIDENTS ON THE CLUB.WHO KNOWS THE TRUTH.EVERYONE COVERS UP!THERE ARE 750 BASEBALL PLAYERS IN THE MAJORS AND ABOUT 6,000 PROFESSIONALBALLPLAYERS IN THE NATION.THERE ARE 89 PLAYERS MAKING MAKING TEN MILLION OR MORE AND 14 MAKING 20 MILLION OR MORE.THE POOREST PAID PLAYER EARNS NEARLY A HALF MILLION DOLLARS FOR NOT DOING MUCH MORE THAN RIDING THE BENCH MOST DAYS.CONTRAST THAT WITH THE FANS WHO WORK THEIR BUTTS OFF TO EARN THE MONEY TO GO TO THE BALLPARK AND WATCH THEIR HEROES.YET, THIS WEEK MELKY CABRERA, THE ALL STAR MVP IS LOST THE REST OF HIS SEASON FOR COMING UP POSITIVE.IS THAT WHAT SAN FRANCISCO FANS DESERVED.AND SO I RETURN TO JOHNNY PESKY.HE NEVER GOT THE “BIG MONEY’ OF TODAY.HE SHOWED UP TO THE PARK READY TO PLAY AND DID WHATEVER IT TOOK TO WIN AGAME.AND WHEN IT WAS OVER HE MANAGED, COACHED BECAME A BROADCASTER AND FRIENDTO ALL OF THE YOUNG PLAYERS UNTIL HIS TIME RAN OUT.HE NEVER QUIT LOVING THE GAME AND THE RED SOX.CONTRAST THAT PLAYING STYLE WITH PLAYERS CALLING MEETINGS, WHINING ABOUT THE MANAGER AND PLAYING TIME.THE TIMES CHANGE BUT LOYALTY IS NEVER OUT OF STYLE.THIS IS GEORGE HALE WITH MY PERSPECTIVE ON SPORTS.


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