By Dan Roche, WBZ-TV SportsBy Dan Roche

BOSTON (CBS) – I was talking with an 87-year old baseball fan from East Boston on Monday, and asked him, “who is the best Red Sox player you’ve ever seen?”

He answered, like many old-timers do, right away with Ted Williams.

No shock with that response, but as we kept talking he stopped and basically said that Williams was the best hitter he’d ever seen. Hitter. He then went on to say that the best “all around” player he’s ever seen is: Dustin Pedroa.

Dustin Pedroia.

Read: Dan Roche’s Sports Blog

This gentleman then proceeded to go on and on about what made him feel that way. Pedroia’s fire, his power, all the way to how Pedey squares up the bat to almost any pitch.

I loved it.

Add in Bobby Valentine’s story from when he met David Ortiz down in the Dominican this winter and David told him to “get ready to see the best Major League baseball player you’ve ever seen” when talking about Pedroia, and you start to get a feel of just how well-respected the Sox’ second baseman is.

Pedroia stepped up in MVP fashion in Boston’s 4-2 win over the Jays Monday night in Toronto, when the Red Sox desperately needed a win. His home run in the sixth cut a 2-0 deficit in half. And then, he comes through with a double (on a pitch high and inside) to lead off the ninth, and begin the game-winning rally off Jays new closer Sergio Santos.

Read: Pedroia, Solid Pitching Lead Sox To First Win

If you’re around Dustin Pedroia for five minutes, you will either smile or laugh. He has that type of personality. If you watch him play the game every day, you walk away feeling you just saw someone special.

What doesn’t he do well? He hits in any spot in the order, has great at-bats, draws walks, hits for power, hits in the clutch, runs better than you think he would, plays Gold Glove defense, and is a great teammate both on and off the field.

Red Sox fans get to watch this kid every day.

Appreciate what you have. I know I do.

Follow WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on twitter @RochieWBZ


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