Red Sox Johnny Pesky Deserves Better Than Vandalism


The tribute to one of the most beloved Boston Red Sox players was vandalized. Johnny Pesky, and the country itself, deserves more than that.

It has become all too familiar with this generation. Not even just the teenaged youth of our society. More and more, people young and old are finding new ways to disrespect the rest of us. It used to be that rebels would try to buck the system, in ways that would bring awareness of the authority’s misguidedness. Vandalizing a testimonial of a man who did nothing but bring joy to us isn’t being rebellious; it’s just plain pathetic, not just for the ones responsible but the culture that they represent.

The Associated Press reported yesterday that “a large No. 6 in honor of Johnny Pesky outside Fenway Park was scribbled with black graffiti. The paint was found at the top of the number Wednesday, but it’s not clear when the vandalism occurred. A team spokesman says the graffiti will be cleaned up. Boston police are investigating but there have been no arrests.”

Pesky, originally from Oregon, was a former All-Star shortstop who played eight years for the Red Sox. He would have played longer if three years, between 1943 and 1945, were not taken up by military service during World War II. He hit .313 with 361 RBIs in those seasons. Pesky even came back twice as manager of the team. He was one of the most respected and loved men in baseball before dying in his new home state of Massachusetts in 2012.

The Red Sox honored Pesky with his number being retired, while Red Sox Nation honored him by calling the right field foul poles in Fenway Park ‘Pesky’s Pole’, from the memories of the smiling veteran wrapping hits around it.

If Boston’s finest catch the perpetrators of this heinous act, what would they say was the reason for it? I dunno may be the response. We were bored; we’re just kids! could be likely. What’s the big deal? would be the definite refrain.

The ‘big deal’ is that vandalizing Pesky’s number is more than just an act of breaking a law; it’s breaking people’s hearts. Remember what that meant? Caring for other people, alive or dead, because we’ve only got each other?

Maybe that’s what the real purpose was: getting everyone upset and laughing about it, because they don’t like us. They hate feeling alone, so they wreck anything that they can to get a rise out of us. Just like a problem child who throws his toys or draws on his parents’ walls to get them to notice him. Bad attention is better than no attention, right?

Is that it? You just need some attention? You just need some love?

Pesky did that for all of us, especially the people of Boston. The way that he put his heart and soul into playing and representing the city speaks volumes more than a ‘child’ lashing out with some graffiti. This man, no child – although he may have had the heart of one – served the country in which the vandals live, which gives them the freedom to choose a better life. He risked his life in the U.S. Navy so that someone could have the freedom to choose to defame a tribute to him.

By blemishing Pesky’s number, the ones responsible not only thumbed their noses at him, but the entire history of the Red Sox and its players, and the country itself. Was it worth it? Was it worth bringing attention to you? All that it’s really going to do is bring everyone you, apparently, despise together while you might find yourself in a jail cell for the night.

But at least you got everyone’s attention, right? That’s all you have. It did not give you any power, which you may think you got. All it did was make the rest of us understand how truly pathetic you really are.