Friday, April 1, 2016

Those Pesky Autographs

This is my third Johnny Pesky autograph.  Pesky is one of my favorite all-time players and one of the team's most underrated stars.  Pesky always did whatever was best for the team, hitting second and moving runners, moving to third when Boston acquired Vern Stephens, and so much more.  He also spent years in Boston after his playing career was over, whether as a coach, manager, or even just a roving minor league instructor.  Pesky deserved to have his uniform number retired due to his tireless efforts to work with the team.

This is a particularly interesting card since it is a cut autograph.  Pesky died recently so it is not possible for him to sign new cards.  This is obviously cut from a check he wrote.  It is an extremely interesting concept.

Well, I figure I will use this opportunity to segue into a topic that does not come up often on this blog anymore, a book:
Some time ago I was on a big kick about finding books about the Red Sox, and in particular focusing on underrepresented topics.  So when I saw a biography about Johnny Pesky, I decided to jump on it.  Pesky was featured in David Halberstam's The Teammates, but this was the first book focused entirely on his career that I came across.  Pesky was a very interesting player, leading the league in hits each of his first three Major League seasons, and spending some time in service of the U.S. in World War II.  He was a very good player and an excellent #2 hitter.  The book is interesting enough, but it is not terribly in-depth.  It is a quick and easy read and covers the major portions of his life and career.  It is just not as detailed as some books I have read, in particular the ones about Ted Williams.  I liked it fine, but it did not feel truly complete to me.  The book was also written before Pesky's death, so it truly was not complete in that sense.  The author Bill Nowlin has written a number of books about baseball, and in particular the Red Sox.  I am jealous of his career.  I would love to do something like that.


  1. Certainly a novel approach to getting signatures of vintage players out on the market - I don't know how I feel about it, but definitely points for innovation.

  2. Player checks can be an interesting area of collecting. I have been buying Red Sox player endorsed paychecks whenever they come to auction. The team graphics on the front are interesting and having the player's period signature on the reverse is nice too. In a way, the bank acts as an authenticator of the autograph and you can assume it is the real deal.

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