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Red Sox’ Dustin Pedroia was a different breed

Dustin Pedroia announced his retirement from Major League Baseball on Monday. The four-time All Star and four-time Gold Glove Award winner spent all 14 years of his career in Boston. Pedroia won the 2007 American League Rookie of the Year, ’08 AL Most Valuable Player Award and was a three time World Series Champion. 

“The Boston Red Sox, to me, it means everything,” Pedroia said. “I started my family there; my kids were born in Boston. Every day I woke up and looked to find a way to help our team win a baseball game, and I got to do it in front of the best fans in the best city.”

“He’s a different breed”

Pedroia’s former teammates have reacted to the news of his retirement. 

“He’s just a different breed, he’s an alien”, said former Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks on the Small State Big Takes Podcast.

Middlebrooks would go on to share stories of his time playing in Boston and Pedroia. Including 2013 when he suffered a full ulnar collateral ligament tear in his thumb on Opening Day. Pedroia slid headfirst into first base against the Yankees.

The gritty second baseman would go on to play 160 games in 2013, hitting .301 with nine home runs, driving in 84 RBI’s in 724 plate appearances. He would go on to become an American All-Star, win a Gold Glove, finish seventh in AL MVP voting and won a World Series. 

Big Papi

Red Sox Hall-of-Fame icon David Ortiz weighed in on Pedroia’s retirement from the game. In a quote to WEEI’s Rob Bradford, Ortiz would say, “He showed the whole planet it wasn’t about height, it was about balls.”

“I can say so much about Dustin,” said Ortiz. “It got to the point while I played that I asked myself one day 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 also took to his personal Instagram to honor his former teammate. Ortiz would post:

Happy, Thankful, Grateful and proud to had been your teammate for so many years, memories are for ever. Thank you Dustin aka peewee love you and enjoy your retirement. @redsox #dustinpedroia. 

Ortiz and Pedroia were teammates in Boston from 2006-2016. The lovable ‘Big Papi’ retired following the 2016 season. 

The Respect for the Laser Show

Pedroia had an immense impact on the game of baseball in Boston. From fans, media and his teammates, Pedroia earned their respect.

To his teammates he was bigger than life, he was their friend, teammate and their leader. “Pedie never shuts up, man,” Manny Ramírez said to ESPN back in 2008. “He’s a little crazy. But that’s why we love him. He talks big and makes us all laugh.”

Former first baseman Sean Casey, “Oh yeah, he’s nuts. He’ll say before the game, ‘I’m going to hit four freaking rockets tonight, watch.’ Then he’ll make an out his first time up against, like, Roy Halladay throwing 97 with sick movement, and he’ll come back to the dugout and say, ‘This guy’s got nothing. He freaking sucks. I should’ve killed that pitch!'”

Thank you, No. 15

Pedroia played 1,512 games from 2006-19. He finished his career with a .299 batting average, 1,805 hits, 140 home runs, 138 stolen bases, 725 RBIs and 922 runs. The Red Sox will retire his number with the rest of the legends to play at Fenway Park. He will be a future inductee into the Red Sox team Hall of Fame. There will be a case made for Pedroia to get enshrined into Cooperstown.

Until then when you look up swagger in the dictionary, you’ll find a picture of Pedroia. He never lacked confidence and he would never let any of his haters bring him down.

Thank you, Pedroia. You’re looking real tall standing on your wallet today.

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