A visitor to Fenway Park last summer asked, "What are the numbers up there on the right-field roof?"
He was told that they were the retired numbers of Red Sox Hall of Famers Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Carlton Fisk, Joe Cronin, Carl Yastrzemski ...
"And No. 6 was Johnny Pesky."
"Is he in Cooperstown?"
"No. He was a good player ... .307 lifetime hitter ... 1,455 hits. But with the possible exception of Ted Williams, he is the most popular player in the 100-year history of the franchise. He is certainly the most beloved.
"Then why is his number retired?"
"Because of who he is, not what he was."