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BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Red Sox are doing their part to remember the late Johnny Pesky.
It will start Tuesday night, when the team will beginning wearing a black arm band on their road jerseys for the rest of the season.
While many Red Sox greats already expressed their sorrow over the loss of Pesky, current players got a chance to talk to the media Tuesday afternoon before opening a three-game series against the Orioles in Baltimore.
Ortiz, who has spent the last 10 years with the Red Sox, said that Pesky was the face of the franchise.
“When it comes down to talking about the Red Sox you talk about Johnny Pesky,” Ortiz told WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Jonny Miller. “Not having him around anymore is something that’s hard to deal with. It’s very devastating.”
Ortiz On Johnny Pesky:
“Johnny was an unbelievable human being and a person that showed you from the very beginning what the love of the game is all about,” added Ortiz. “He always had some good things to say, some funny things to say. We’re going to miss all that.”
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“He’s the best. Every day, you’d come in and he’d always put a smile on your face,” said second baseman Dustin Pedroia. “He’d always joke around with you and make sure you’re focused. I remember my rookie year he would always give me a hard time… and I would give him a hard time right back.”
Pedroia Talks About Pesky:
Pedroia recalls the struggles he went through his rookie season, and how Pesky went out of his way to help a young player.
“I started out struggling during my rookie year, and he was in the dugout during the games at that time. He could see some frustrating and stuff that I had, and he would always tell me to stay positive and keep putting the work in because everyone struggles,” said Pedroia. “He would always end it with a joke or something to make me laugh, and that was always helpful.”
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“He was awesome; we’re going to miss him,” added Pedroia.
While Pesky’s #6 is retired by the Red Sox and he is in the team’s Hall of Fame, the career .307 hitter is not in Cooperstown. Ortiz would like to see that changed.
“Of course, why not? When you hit .300 in the big leagues, that’s something that is hard to do,” said Ortiz. “Hopefully good things happen.”