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The Red Sox are reportedly planning to retire Johnny Pesky’s No. 6 before the end of the regular season. The team plans on relaxing its long-standing requirements to have a player’s number retired (in the MLB hall of fame, at least 10 years with the team, retire with the team).
According to the Boston Herald’s Steve Buckley, the Sox held meetings last night and this morning to address the issue of retiring a Red Sox player’s number. The team now plans to hold a press conference today or tomorrow to announce the new criteria. A team source close to Buckley said that Johnny Pesky’s jersey will probably be retired on Saturday (his 89th birthday).
Pesky played for the Red Sox for eight seasons (1942, 1946-1952) and hit .307 over the course of his major league career. He hit only 17 home runs in his career (six in Fenway Park), and was known around the league as a slap hitter.
The right field pole was dubbed Pesky’s Pole by Mel Parnell in 1950, but was never officially commemorated until 2006. Slap hitters like Pesky often liked aiming the ball down the right field line or around the pole for a home run due to its realtively short distance from home plate (302 feet).
The last player to wear Pesky’s No. 6 was longtime Minnesota Twin Gary Gaetti during the five final games of his career in 2000 with the Red Sox (he was 0-10 with 3 K’s and 1 RBI that season).