1,512 games in a Red Sox uniform. 4 time all-star. 4 time gold glove winner. 3 time World Series champion. 1 Rookie of the Year. 1 Silver Slugger. And 1 MVP. Dustin Pedroia calls it a career after 14 years with the Red Sox. Drafted out of Arizona State in the second round and 65th overall by the Red Sox in the 2004 MLB draft, Dustin Pedroia decides to hang em up.
Hall of Fame?
An amazing career and great stats for a guy who’s been discarded due to his size for most of his life. Is he a Hall of Famer? Probably on the outside looking in. Is he a Red Sox HOFer? 100%. He is arguably the best second baseman in Red Sox history! In 14 seasons with the Red Sox, he hit .299/.365/.439 with 140 homers, 394 doubles, 725 RBIs and 138 stolen bases. He is one of three Red Sox players to record at least 100 homers and 100 steals for the franchise, joining Mookie Betts and Carl Yastrzemski.
Nicknamed “Lasershow” for his unique interviews with local beat reports, he’s only played 9 games total since the 2017 season due to a knee injury. His role in the 2018 World Series Championship was more of advisor/mentor/leader. But he was pivotal in the 2007 and 2013 World Series championships while batting atop of the order hitting lead-off for the 07 series and batting 3rd for the 2013 championship.
The Slide That Changed Everything
Pedroia’s knee troubles began in April 2017, when Manny Machado (then on the Orioles) took him out with a hard slide at second base. Since then, he has undergone multiple surgeries on his left knee, beginning with the initial procedure in October 2017 and most recently in December of 2020.
Pedroia, talking to the media on a Zoom call, was asked about any hard feelings toward Machado about that slide and answered in the most Pedroia way:
“That play could’ve happened my rookie year. When you play second base and you play second like me, you hang on to the last possible second to get the ball. You watched it; if there’s a slim chance at a double play, there’s one guy on planet Earth that can turn it, and you’re talking to him.”
A lot of former teammates and manager Terry Francona weighed in on Pedroia and his career following the announcement. I think David Ortiz put it best; “I asked myself who would be a player that you would buy a ticket to see, because it was worth it to watch him play for nine innings. And my answer was Dustin Pedroia. He played with a little chip on his shoulder. He basically had the F-U type of mentality whenever he took the field.”
Job Well Done
Huge congratulations on a successful career in Boston for Dustin Pedroia! Lasershow might get his number 15 retired with the likes of Yaz, Williams, Pedro, Ortiz, etc.
So what’s next for Dustin? I’d guess he’ll be a manager in the big leagues within a few years. Cheers Dustin!