Thursday, June 22, 2006

15 Degrees Of Johnny Pesky

If it weren't for Johnny Pesky, the Red Sox wouldn't have won the World Series in 2004. I'm not talking about his spiritual leadership and the knowledge he shared with that year's players. I'm telling you, had he not been born, the 1946 Series might have had a different ending, but the 2004 one might have, too.

The Red Sox signed Paveskovich, aka Pesky, as an amateur free agent in 1940. Had they not had him, they couldn't have traded him to Detroit in 1952 for George Kell. The Sox then traded Kell to the White Sox, who traded him to the Orioles for Dave Philley in 1956. Philley had been involved in a 3-team trade five years earlier which sent Minnie Minoso to the White Sox, who eventually traded him to Cleveland for Al Smith. Chicago then sent Smith to Baltimore in exchange for Hoyt Wilhelm in 1963. Wilhelm made his way to the Cubs, and after the 1970 season, was traded to Atlanta for Hal Breeden. Breeden was traded along with Hector Torres to the Expos. Would the trade have happened had the Braves not thrown in Torres? You can't say it wouldn't have. Anyway, Torres was traded from the Indians to the Jays in 1977 for John "Tonight Let It Be" Lowenstein, who'd been traded there along with catcher Rick Cerone. Cerone was later traded to the Yanks for Paul Mirabella, who'd been traded to New York for Mike Heath. In 1986, Heath was traded from the Cardinals to Detroit for Lynn, Mass' Ken Hill, who, in 1997, was traded from the Rangers to the Angels for Jim Leyritz. Seven days later, Texas shipped Leyritz to the Red Sox for their current first base coach, Bill Haselman. Haselman then signed with Detroit, before being traded for Gabe Kapler in 1999. Kapler was signed by the Boston Red Sox before the 2004 season. Are you telling me they wouldn't have won without him?

Nice job, Red Sox, for bringing back Pesky. But more importantly, thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Paveskovich.

*Note: No research was done for this. It all came to me in a dream. Retrosheet was checked to verify facts, though.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Fairfield, CT, Mr. and Mrs. Smith comment on their son, Jere.

Mr. Smith: "I just don't get it. He was such a nice boy. The Tony Armas thing, I mean, every boy idolizes someone, right? But then he was in that band, and I don't know...I mean, he kept his lawn neat and trimmed. Kind of kept to himself. Really liked to study his baseball cards. Maybe that was it. Maybe we should have seen this coming."

Mrs. Smith: "Jere, if you're out there, listen to mommy, honey. Stop spending all your time trying to map the baseball gnome. Take Chan out for a $4 scoop of ice cream. We love you, honey."

Mr. Smith: "And that kid, with the Gedman thing...I don't know...maybe we just weren't good parents."

Well, I say, congrats to you, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Your boy frightens and amuses me more than any of the 5 or 6 bloggers I read every day. You must've done something right. I think you did a fine job. And to you, Jere, I say: you need another hobby!
How about that monumental hug Papi gave Johnny in the dugout after his grand slam. Tears, or close to it.
The fact that you wrote "gnome" instead of "genome" just made that comment. And they're in New Haven county now.
Aw-w-w... Thanks MattySox.
Here is a more typical conversation:
Mr. Smith: "Do you think we can get him to cut his hair for his sister's wedding?"
Mrs. Smith: "We? I like his hair."
Sister Smith: "Forget about his hair. Do you think he'll wear the Red Sox cap down the aisle?"
Bottom line: We love Jere "...more than the whole wild world of love." (Quote from Jere at age two telling us how much he loved us.)
Hi Mary Ann. And how cute is that! Have a tremendous summer.
Thanks, Peter.
Error in quote: "...the whole wide [not wild] world of love."
The fact that you thought I meant to write "gnome" instead of "genome" just made that comment. I was just wicked tired. Sometimes my spelling just goes all poqfas when I'm sleepy.
And I can't believe I just misspelled pofqas...
Didn't think you meant it, just said it made the post. I thought of mapping out routes of a baseball-playing gnome today while on the bus to Shea.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States