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TIL

smapdi

Active member
Aug 7, 2008
4,159
Fenway Park's right field foul pole is called The Pesky Pole or Pesky's Pole, which came about because, as I always read, low-power mid-century shortstop Johnny Pesky had a talent for hitting balls just past or around it for home runs.

Today I learned...

Johnny Pesky hit only 17 homers in his career, 6 of them at Fenway, and no one knows how many he may have hit anywhere near the pole. So he might have only hit one somewhere near it, and maybe not even a homer, and yet the name stuck.
 

Austin

Active member
Aug 7, 2008
5,643
Oahu, Hawaii
Fenway Park's right field foul pole is called The Pesky Pole or Pesky's Pole, which came about because, as I always read, low-power mid-century shortstop Johnny Pesky had a talent for hitting balls just past or around it for home runs.

Today I learned...

Johnny Pesky hit only 17 homers in his career, 6 of them at Fenway, and no one knows how many he may have hit anywhere near the pole. So he might have only hit one somewhere near it, and maybe not even a homer, and yet the name stuck.
I've always read it was named the Pesky Pole because of one home run that hit the foul pole. Since Pesky rarely hit homers, pitcher Mel Parnell named it Pesky's Pole so the Red Sox started calling it that.
 

bstanwood

Active member
Sep 24, 2016
3,004
Mystic, CT
I've read a fair amount of historical baseball books, many of which being Sox players or Sox history, I think I've probably read at least 4 versions of how/why it got it's name.
 

smapdi

Active member
Aug 7, 2008
4,159
I'm sure there's a SABR article about it somewhere. Or at least there should be. I'd imagine someone could find newspaper accounts of all 6 of his home homers and see what the source might be. A quick search finds these dates to focus on, with the opponent.
8/18/42 NYY
4/20/46 PHA
8/8/46 PHA
6/11/50 DET
6/18/51 CLE
8/2/51 SLB
This article mentions the origin of the name came from Mel Parnell, which is the common start. But it differentiates Pesky's recall from reality, probably isolating the event that spawned the name as the 6/11/50 homer. Interestingly, Parnell's story seems to be one of a walk-off, or otherwise game-winning homer. But that day Pesky homered in the 1st inning.
 

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