7. Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky dies
Longtime Red Sox legend and fan favorite Johnny Pesky died at 92 years old at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers, Mass. The loss was a significant blow to Red Sox Nation, as he had been an ambassador to the franchise for more than half a century as player, manager, broadcaster, coach, and executive.
Pesky served the United States in the military from 1943-45 and his final numbers in eight years as a Red Sox player—a .313 batting average, one All-Star appearance — might have been even more impressive had he not left to defend his country, alongside other like teammate Ted Williams.
During his playing days, Pesky batted second. “I hit behind Dominic DiMaggio and in front of Ted Williams,” he once said. “I hung on Ted and Dominic’s coattails.”
In 2008, he was the first player who was not a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame to have his number, 6, retired by the Red Sox.
Only four of the 25 active Red Sox players attended Pesky's funeral on Aug. 23 — David Ortiz, Clay Buchholz, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Vicente Padilla. Another report said Red Sox ownership was unhappy with the turnout because buses were provided for the team. The team had returned from a road trip at approximately 3 a.m. the night before the funeral.
Pesky was also honored by all the current players and a host of past Red Sox greats in ceremony that was held after the team played the Orioles on Sept. 23.