Dustin Pedroia has been elected to the Red Sox Hall of Fame, the team announced prior to Friday’s game against the Yankees at Fenway Park. Pedroia will be included in the 2022 class.
Under normal circumstances, former Red Sox players have to wait three years post-retirement to receive Hall of Fame consideration, but the team opted to waive that prerequisite while celebrating Pedroia’s illustrious Friday evening.
Red Sox legends Luis Tiant and Pedro Martinez were among those who welcomed Pedroia as the newest member of the team’s Hall of Fame, as the longtime second baseman becomes the 37th former player to join the club.
Pedroia, who turns 38 in August, retired from the game of baseball this past February after spending all 14 years of his major-league career and all 17 years of his professional career with the Red Sox.
Among all-time franchise leaders, the former American League MVP ranks 11th in games played (1,512), 10th in runs scored (922), eighth in hits (1,805), sixth in doubles (394), 18th in home runs (140), 15th in RBI (725), 12th in walks (624), and sixth in stolen bases (138).
Besides Bobby Doerr, who is in the Hall of Fame and had his No. 1 retired by the club in 1988, Pedroia is unquestionably the greatest, modern second baseman in Red Sox history.
In addition to being named AL MVP in 2008 — his second full season — the former second-round draft pick out of Arizona State University won AL Rookie of the Year in 2007, was selected to four All-Star teams, won four Gold Glove Awards, one Silver Slugger Award, and three World Series championships (2007, 2013, and 2018).
From the time he made his first major-league Opening Day roster in April 2007 until the final day of the 2017 season (the last year he played more than 100 games in a single season), Pedroia consistently put himself in the conversation as the best second baseman in baseball, all while never taking a single play off.
In that time period, the California native ranked second among all second baseman in terms of fWAR (48.0), trailing only Robinson Cano over that lengthy stretch, per FanGraphs.
It goes without saying that Pedroia’s career with the Red Sox was a legendary one, and one that was cut short by multiple knee surgeries that came as a result of then-Orioles infielder Manny Machado clipping his leg while sliding into second base in Baltimore on April 21, 2017.
Because of that incident, Peroia ultimately had to undergo a knee replacement this past December, which essentially forced him to call it a career a few short weeks later.
Still, Pedroia will go down in the books as one of the hardest working and grittiest players that has ever donned a Red Sox uniform. And he — all 5-foot-9, 170 pounds of him — played that way despite being told his entire life he was too small to do what he does.
As Red Sox manager Alex Cora put it on Friday when discussing his former teammate: “What this kid means to the organization, to this city, for me personally you can’t put it into words. From day one he gave it everything he had to the game, to the Red Sox. He didn’t take a play off in his career. Even when he didn’t play, he was locked in on every pitch. He’s amazing.”
Thank you, Dustin Pedroia.
(Picture of Dustin Pedroia: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)