My Moment In The Sun With Johnny Pesky


                                    “NICE CATCH KID”

                                  By:  Edward P. Shallow

Before I reveal my memorable day with John Pesky;  I would like to pay  tribute to  Mr. John Bishop  – Boston for his insightful tribute to  both Johnny Pesky and  Boston Hockey legend, Milt Schmidt in his “Friends & Contemoraries,”publication .In his piece he writes  of how Milt and Johnny  often crossed paths.

Bishop indicates  little  did I realize  that not only  did Schmidt  and Peaky  know each other very well, but that  the baseball player  had actually  donned Bruins gear  during  practices  during the early  1950’s.

“The one favorite memory  I have,  is that  during one of the workouts  he took my hockey stick  and made a rush towards me,  and I  took his baseball glove  and I stooped over like a baseball player  would do waiting  for somebody sliding  into second base,”  said Schmidt  over the phone.  “I remember that, plus the fact there was quite a few photos out there and I did sigh quite a few for an autograph and I know John Passkey’s signature was on the photo as well.”

“We were very close,” said Schmidt.  “He was such a great hockey fan,, plus he worked out with us for several times.

“Needless to say that he was almost as good a hockey player as he was a baseball player.   Until Joe Cronin found out about it and thought he’d get hurt, so Joe Cronin said, “That’s enough of that!”  So John didn’t play with us any more.

It was either the year 1948 or 1949 three of us were returning from baseball practice at Fens’s stadium (now Clemente Park) we decided to walk past Fen way Park. In so doing we heard the batting of baseballs, we knew the Sox had an off day, the doors to Fen way were wide open and we went in in hopes of watching batting practice.  Almost as soon as we got there all the players were heading for the showers and calling it quits.  Johnny Pesky was still at the plate and wanted to continue hitting, the pitcher agreed to stay on so we asked Johnny if he wanted us to shag some of the balls, we explained we had our gloves and spikes, that being the case, Johnny said go  to it.

One of my friends went to left field, the other to right field knowing Pesky was a left handed hitter.  I positioned myself deep at the Short Stop position.  It was great playing with a major laager, and one of the best.  

Pesky hit a long fly ball out towards center field, I turned my back to the plate and timed it perfectly and made the catch…Johnny shouted out, “Nice Catch Kid”

I have never stopped telling that story, to my own children and grand children

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