Class Act: The New York Yankees

Johnny Pesky, 1919-2012

It’s not quite Ethics Hero territory, and if you know me or drop in to Ethics Alarms with any regularity, you know that as a lifetime Boston Red Sox fan (suffering through a miserable, injury-riddled season) I would rather perform gallbladder surgery on myself than say anything good about the New York Yankees.

I have to put away my partisan biases, however, at least momentarily, to applaud the generous and completely unexpected gesture by the team at tonight’s game, as the New York Yankees held a moment of silence in honor of Johnny Pesky, the Red Sox icon who died today at the age of 92.

You can read about Johnny here, but it is sufficient to know that he was a beloved figure in Red Sox Nation, a former player (a great one), coach, manager, broadcaster, and in his later years, a constant presence in the dugout and on the field providing a living link to the years when Ted Williams was hitting fastballs into the bullpen. He was also, by every account, a very nice guy. When the Sox finally got to hoist a World Championship pennant over Fenway Park after 86 years of frustration, it was Johnny Pesky (and Carl Yastrzemski) who got the honor. He is immortalized in bronze outside the park, too, along with his team mates and close friends, Williams, Dom DiMaggio and Bobby Doerr.

The dignified salute by the Yankees in commemorating the life and the passing of its longtime rival’s standard-bearer is the essence of class: good manners, respect, kindness and exemplary ethics.

I promise to try to remember it the next time Jeter beats the Sox with one of his cheap bloops to the outfield off the end of his bat.

UPDATE: You can get a  sense of what Johnny Pesky was like and why he was so respected here.



Graphic: Soxual Addiction

Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work was used in any way without proper attribution, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at

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