November 24th, 2006
For my Birthday in March 2004, I was given Johnny Pesky’s new book, Few and Chosen. Collaborated with Phil Pepe, it contains a forward by Yaz, and an Introduction by Ben Affleck (who managed not be an obnoxious idiot). The Eldest Statesmen of the Red Sox, whom I had the pleasure of meeting when I was at the Holy Land in 2005, takes each position, including the Manager, and breaks it down into his Top 5 at each.
Making the disclaimer: “I tried to be objective…Like anyone, I have my favorites–Guys I played with, others I managed and coached–I offer no apologies for favoring them.” Johnny begins with Catcher (yes, ‘Tek is in the Top 5) and works his way though the rest of the starting nine. He breaks pitchers out into right-handed, left-handed and relief, and then ends by listing the Top 5 Managers of the Boston Red Sox (No, Terry Francona didn’t make the list–this was at the beginning of the 2004 season.) Included are the reasons Johnny considers them to be the best of the best, including some GREAT anecdotes about the Sox and their players through the years.
Johnny also ends each chapter with Staticstal Summaries that list such thing as the years they played with the Sox, and Hitting (or pitching) and fielding stats. The book is filled with amazing pictures of Red Sox old and new, including some you KNOW had to have come from Johnny Pesky’s personal collection.
Its a great book to educate people new to the craziness of Red Sox Nation, and for veterans, a great look back at some of the greatest players ever to wear the uniform.
While I did not agree with them all (Shea Hillenbrand at 3rd base–really?) it was a great read–a must for any Red Sox fan.