Greetings from Fort Myers, where the news is not good for fans of Johnny Pesky, which basically means anyone who knows the man.
JP showed up in camp this morning on crutches and wearing a boot. As I reported in the Globe this a.m., he was hit by a line drive yesterday during a college game between Suffolk and Denison (Ohio), and X-rays revealed a hairline fracture of the left fibula. JP is going home tomorrow, which will come as a disappointment to all the folks who get to chat with JP and get an autograph at City of Palms Park, where he sets up a folding chair near the dugout and welcomes everybody.
JP is 86 and admits he may finally have lost a step. “I’ve never in my life been hit by a line drive in 60 years in baseball,” he said.
What made it eerie is that about a half hour before it happened, manager Tito Francona had mentioned how he worried that JP might get smoked by a liner.
Pesky said he still hopes to be at Fenway for the home opener. “I don’t want to walk out there like a pigeon,” he said.