Me and Johnny Pesky
Okay, so I’m still not totally convinced it was Johnny Pesky, but it could have been, and that’s just going to have to be enough for me. For me, and for you. So, this is what happened: I’m walking around Fenway Park in the drizzling rain, and I’m on the phone with Stephanie, listening to something she’s saying about health insurance and wondering why in the hell I thought walking in the rain on my lunch break would be a good idea. I’m walking around the corner where people usually wait to watch the players arrive in their cars and there’s this older guy in a Red Sox jacket getting out of a small golden-ish colored sedan. He looks familiar, and he’s trying to move one of the blue sawhorses that’s blocking the road off. And he’s having a hard time with it… not a very hard time, but it’s not easy, see? It’s raining and the thing is big and awkward. So I ask Stef to hold on for a minute and I help him move it so that he can get his car through. He thanks me and I tell him, “You’re welcome” and I look the dude in the eye, and I swear it’s Johnny fucking Pesky.
I tell this to Stephanie on the phone. She’s not into the Sox in the way that she’s into the Patriots, but I think she knows who I’m talking about. The more I go on about it, the more I’m convinced it was Johnny. But then, when I tell Stef to finish her story, the doubts start coming as fast as the rain. I’m shivering, trying to pay attention to what my wife is telling me, but in my brain I’m having an argument with myself about whether or not I just helped Johnny Pesky move a sawhorse.
Okay, so it could have been him. I’ve seen Kevin Millar’s Hummer pulling out of that same parking lot, and I know people gather there to watch players come in when it’s not raining out, and Pesky has to park somewhere, so it could have been him. But why the fuck is Johnny Pesky, a guy as old as my grandmother, and a revered ballplayer who shouldn’t have to lift a finger in this friggin’ town, getting out of his car to move a damn sawhorse? Why wouldn’t he just wait for the attendant to do it? Right?
Well, I think about the diminishing patience of those men and women getting on in years and I’m suddenly like, “He was just sick of waiting! Yeah, that’s it. And I helped him. And he probably would’ve given me an autograph if it hadn’t been raining and I’d had a pen and I hadn’t been on a damn cellphone and…”
And, well, this story is going nowhere. Except that I helped Johnny Pesky move a sawhorse today. It might not have been him, but it was him. And don’t try to tell me otherwise.