About Time

The Boston Globe is reporting the Red Sox will retire Johnny Pesky’s No. 6 this weekend.

This is welcome news that hopefully signifies at least a loosening of the Sox’ long-outdated number-retirement policy, which currently keeps deserving players like Dwight Evans, Wade Boggs and Jimmie Foxx from being properly honored — and will seem increasingly so when the cases of Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez, Roger Clemens begin presenting themselves in the coming years.

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  • Ok, I don’t agree with Paul on this, I like and support the Sox’ number-retirement policy.
    It makes it something truly special, unlike the rafters of the Boston Garden, or the 107 people in the Yankees’ Monument Park.
    I support a “Pesky Clause” 100%.
    The man has played for or been directly, or indirectly associated with the organization for 66 years!
    Pesky pretty much dedicated his entire life to the Red Sox, that sets him apart from people that maybe played with the team longer or had better numbers or got elected to the HOF in my eyes.
    It will be interesting to hear what the stated policy change is, unless it’s just a “Pesky Clause,” like 50+ years of service to the organization, this could become a slippery slope that I wouldn’t be in favor of.
    I do agree with Paul on this though, about time!
    The emotion of this ceremony will be off the charts, I’m already getting extra hydrated for my man-tears supply.
    “Leskanic! You son of a bitch!”

    LocklandSF September 23, 2008, 3:15 pm
  • But don’t you think SOME relaxing of the standards should be made? Those three rules (HOF, retire a Sox, 10+ years on team) are huge hurdles as we approach free agency’s fifth decade. Pesky deserves it, no doubt about it, but it isn’t because of the existence of any “Pesky Clause”. The slippery slope you’re referring to is most dangerous when sentimental reasons begin to trump the rules. I don’t want every star of the past 30 years to have his number retired either, but I think a new, sensible dividing line can be forged to make room for the deserving.

    FenSheaParkway September 23, 2008, 6:54 pm
  • I’d be satisfied with simply eliminating the “must end career with team” clause and shortening the years played with the Sox from 10 to a slightly smaller number (six or seven. Five seems too short). I think the HOF requirement should go, as well, but I’d be OK with it staying.
    The policy, as it stands (minus the Pesky exception), would allow Jim Rice’s number (after his induction next year) to be retired and exclude Pedro Martinez’s number. That just screams, “Injustice!”

    Paul SF September 23, 2008, 8:24 pm
  • So if the HOF is dropped and the other two stay, that means we will see #49 up there in a few years right?
    Don’t understand why #14 is not up there. How do they deal with #24 (Dewey and Manny)? Course they’d need to drop the ‘retire with Sox’ clause for Dewey, but hey there is still time for Manny!

    BillsBurgSF September 23, 2008, 8:48 pm
  • while i agree with lockland that the yankees treatment of history tends to create too many heroes, i’m not convinced that any of the retired numbers was undeserving…when you have that much success over such a long period of time, it’s going to generate a lot of discussion about which players made the most contribution in each era…you can’t argue with the yankees’ appreciation of that history…on the other hand, the sox philosophy seems to be too restrictive…while i can understand why monument park seems excessive, especially to non-yankee fans, it’s tasteful, and not every player has a monument, retired number, or a plaque…i’m sure that there are specific guidelines, but i don’t have the details…i don’t think you need to retire pesky’s number to pay homage to him, he has a foul pole named in his honor…and i’m not being a wise guy, i think it’s cool…in addition to relaxing the requirements to have a sox number retired, there may be other ways the sox can honor former players for their service…they just need to get a little creative, like they did with pesky’s pole…

    dc September 24, 2008, 9:21 am

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