Marques Colston, Meet Johnny Pesky

This image will stay with Saints fans for a while. - Jeff Gross

In 1946, nearly 30 years after Babe Ruth led the franchise to their fifth World Series title, the Boston Red Sox found themselves once again in the World Series as they won the American League pennant by 12 full games over the Detroit Tigers.

Led by Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr, the Red Sox found themselves opposite the St. Louis Cardinals, a franchise that was in their fourth Fall Classic in five seasons and was looking to win their third World Series as many seasons. And while the first six games of the 1946 Fall Classic was rather uneventful, nothing could prepare fans of either the Cardinals or the Red Sox for what was about to transpire in Game 7.

With the score knotted at 3 in the bottom of the 8th inning and Cardinal outfielder Enos Slaughter going from first, Harry Walker delivered a single to center field. As Slaughter was steaming towards third base, Red Sox outfielder Leon Culberson threw a relay to shortstop Johnny Pesky, who according to several baseball scholars, had a mental lapse and instead checked Walker at first as opposed to going to home with the throw to get Slaughter, who had ignored third base coach Mike Gonzalez's stop sign to score what would be the Series-winning run for the Cardinals.

Not long after the conclusion of the World Series, Pesky took his wife to a football game in his native Oregon. Due to the terrible downpour during that game, both teams fumbled the football repeatedly, prompting a fan within earshot of him to make this statement.

"Give the ball to Pesky, at least he knows how to hold it."

Despite the mental lapse Pesky made in 1946, a lapse that many claimed kept him out of Cooperstown and put Slaughter in the Baseball Hall of Fame, he went on to become one of the greatest figures in the history of the Red Sox franchise, spending 61 seasons in various capacities with the team as a player, coach, manager, and broadcaster.

I thought about that on Saturday in the wake of the Saints' loss to the Seahawks as Marques Colston added his name to the lengthy list of NFL playoff goats.

With the score 23-15 and a legit chance to at least tie the game with a touchdown and a successful two-point conversion, Drew Brees connected with Colston, who instead of stepping out of bounds to give the Saints another chance at the end zone, decided to arm punt a throw in the direction of tight end Ben Watson.

A throw, that for all intents and purposes, was almost as bad as any I've seen Tim Tebow throw as an NFL quarterback.


As opposed to 1946, in which a crowd of over 30,000 witnessed Slaughter's Mad Dash in Sportsman's Park and heard about it on radio, Colston's gaffe was witnessed not only in front of a full CenturyLink Field and a nationally televised audience, but also captured on social media.

And while it's evident that Colston will go down as one of the greatest players to ever suit up in a Saints uniform, his gaffe in the eyes of many will in a way dilute anything he does from this point forward as a player.

Just ask Jim Marshall.

This FanPost was written by a reader and member of Canal Street Chronicles. It does not necessarily reflect the views of CSC and its staff or editors.

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