Bouton: The man behind Pesky’s pole

From Chris Bouton at The Hardball Times on October 21, 2018:

In the history of the Boston Red Sox, Johnny Pesky was Bill Buckner 40 years before a Mookie Wilson grounder darted under Buckner’s glove. In the bottom of the eighth inning of Game Seven of the 1946 World Series, Pesky held the ball as Enos Slaughter went on his mad dash toward home plate. By the time Pesky threw the ball home, it was too late. Slaughter scored, and the Cardinals upset the heavily favored Red Sox.

In the years that followed, Pesky epitomized Boston’s decades of failure. The immensely talented player who came up short in a key moment—the first of many such players and plays that led some to conclude the Red Sox were cursed. By whom? It didn’t matter. Failures of character and metaphysical forces conspired to make Boston perennial losers. It was a hell of a story, and as my father sarcastically says, “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.”

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Originally published: October 24, 2018. Last Updated: October 24, 2018.