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11/27/2012 9:10:00 AM
UP receives $100,000 grant for scholarships
Boston Red Sox photo
Johnny Pesky
Boston Red Sox photo
Johnny Pesky

The University of Portland has announced a grant of $100,000 from Yawkey Foundation I to provide scholarships for students who attended a Catholic high school in the Pacific Northwest and are involved in community service.

Student athletes on the baseball team are given priority for the grant, made in memory of former Major League Baseball player John Paveskovich (later known as Johnny Pesky). The grant helps fund the Johnny Pesky Boston Red Sox Yawkey Foundation Endowed Scholarship
Pesky is the late brother of Vince Paveskovich, a 1941 graduate of University of Portland who played baseball and briefly coached the Pilots on The Bluff. Johnny, who changed his name to fit better in a baseball box score, played for Lincoln High School in Portland and was associated with the Boston Red Sox for 61 years, including several years as a player and manager. He died in August at the age of 93.

Vince Paveskovich played baseball for the Pilots and on two minor league teams in professional baseball. He coached the Pilots in 1949 and 1950. He and his brother John were also part of a local group of former baseball players calling themselves the Slabtown Boys. For more than a decade, the group has been meeting for breakfast on the third Tuesday of each month.

John Becic, an original member of Slabtown Boys, says that over the years the group has included as many as 25 former Pilots who played baseball on the Bluff or at St. Patrick’s church and school between the 1940s and 1970s. The group originally raised $25,000 for the University’s Pesky scholarship, which later was matched by Yawkey Foundation. Since the original scholarship was created, three student athletes have received financial support.

The Yawkey Foundations (Yawkey I and Yawkey II) trace their origins back over seven decades to the philanthropic commitments of Tom and Jean Yawkey. The Yawkeys, who owned timber interests in Oregon, are best known for their longtime ownership of the Boston Red Sox. 

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