If you haven’t been to Fenway Park, or you don’t know your Red Sox retired jersey numbers, you may be a little confused on what The Pesky Pole, is. You may ask yourself “what’s so pesky about this pole?”
First of all, let’s just talk about the pole. It’s the right field foul pole. It’s 302 feet from home plate (though this is constantly being disputed…).
So what’s so Pesky about this pole? Well, nothing is “pesky” about it. It’s named after Johnny Pesky!
Johnny Pesky was #6 for the Boston Red Sox between 1942-1952. Well, take out 1943-45, since he took time off to serve in the Navy during World War II. He was the shortstop, second and third basemen in his playing days.
I could write on and on about Johnny Pesky, but for your sake, I won’t. Basically, he was a really awesome player and all around good guy. His number was retired in 2008 by the Red Sox.
Supposedly, Johnny Pesky’s teammate, Mel Parnell, named the pole “Pesky Pole” after Pesky hit a homerun down the right field line, wrapping just around the pole, and won the game for Parnell. Turns out that that never happened, but either way, we still call it “Pesky Pole”, especially after Mel Parnell was the Red Sox broadcaster.
On Pesky’s 87th birthday in 2006, the Red Sox officially dedicated the pole as Pesky’s Pole and there is a commemorative plaque place there now.
So on your next trip to Fenway Park, make sure to check out Pesky’s Pole in right field! It’s a big yellow pole, so you can’t miss it!