Celebrating Boston Red Sox baseball great Carl Yastrzemski.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Pot Pie with Pesky

Johnny Pesky can still remember his favorite dish from the original New Hampshire Baseball Dinner in Manchester, a winter tradition started in 1947 by Leo Cloutier, former New Hampshire Sunday News sports editor.

"Chicken pot pie, and it was delicious," Pesky said. "I used to go up there every year with (former Boston infielder) Eddie Pellagrini, and we had a great time."

The 88-year-old Pesky -- just call him Mr. Red Sox -- is the latest name on the guest list for the 2008 Granite State Baseball Dinner, hosted by the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on Jan. 11.

Pesky will join Cy Young Award winners Chris Carpenter and Pat Hentgen, along with Jim Rice, Rico Petrocelli, Rich Gedman and many others at the Manchester National Guard Armory, site of the happening dinner a half-century ago.

"We used to have 1,000 people in there. Fans in New Hampshire always think you're the greatest thing since sliced bread," Pesky said.

More than 600 tickets have been sold at $60 apiece -- and plenty of tickets are still available. Proceeds benefit the Fisher Cats Foundation and the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth.

Pesky, a shortstop for the 1946 American League champs, remembers attending the famous baseball dinner with Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Willie Mays and other greats. Vida Blue, Bob Feller, Carlton Fisk, Jackie Robinson and Pete Rose are just some of the names.

"You need a book to remember some of the guys who've been there through the years," Pesky said. "Leo really started something. He did a hell of a job."


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