BOSTON (CBS) — It’s an end of an era for the Boston Red Sox. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who won three World Series championships during his 17 seasons with the franchise, announced his retirement from baseball on Monday.
Pedroia will go down as one of the greatest players to don a Red Sox uniform after playing a key role on two of those championship teams. He played in 1,512 games for Boston from 2006-19, spending his entire 17-year career in the organization after being drafted by the club in the second round of the 2004 Draft.READ MORE: 'I Was Terrified': Woman Fends Off Coyote In Provincetown With Stick, Saved By Nearby Fishermen
“I woke up every day trying to find a way to win a baseball game, and I did it in front of the best fans in the best city,” Pedroia said Monday. “Wearing that uniform is the best. At some point you can’t play anymore and this is the time, but being in that environment, I was lucky.”
Pedroia never lacked confidence throughout his career, and he backed it up with some amazing play on the field. He won the AL Rookie of the Year in 2007, the AL MVP in 2008, and three World Series championships (2007, ’13, ’18), but that is just scratching the surface of his time with the Red Sox.
I loved everything about Dustin Pedroia and the way he played the game! I think the way he played also cost him years off his career. That, and a certain slide in Baltimore. #RedSox @wbz #wbz pic.twitter.com/FCvNB4dunw
— Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) February 1, 2021
He earned four All-Star Game selections (2008-10, ’13), four Gold Glove Awards at second base (2008, ’11, ’13-14), and a 2008 Silver Slugger Award. Pedroia is the only second baseman ever named Red Sox MVP by the Boston Baseball Writers (2008, ’12). In 2012, Pedroia was named the starting second baseman on the All-Fenway Team.READ MORE: PMC Riders Raising Money In Honor Of Fall River Boy Recovering From Cancer
“I’m most proud of the environment and culture that we all helped build there, and the expectations. I know the fanbase demands a lot, but as a player, you want to hold each other accountable that the goal each year is to win the World Series,” he said. “There wasn’t a single season that I showed up to Fort Myers that I didn’t think our team could win the World Series. There was a goal every single year and we all held each other accountable. I’m proud that I was a part of helping build that.”
In major league history, Pedroia is the only player ever to win a World Series title and earn MVP, Rookie of the Year, and Gold Glove awards within their first two full seasons.
📹 Dustin Pedroia at #RedSox Development Camp on January 27, 2005
"That's why I play baseball is just to win. You know I don't play for any other reason it's to win with my teammates and have the greatest time out there and winning" #WBZ pic.twitter.com/eQs9FJr96j
— Joe Giza (@JoeGiza) July 9, 2019
Over his career, Pedroia hit .299 (1,805-for-6,031) with a .365 on-base percentage, 140 home runs, 394 doubles, 725 RBIs and 922 runs scored. In Red Sox history, he ranks among the top 10 all time in hits (8th), doubles (6th), runs (10th), steals (6th), extra-base hits (8th, 549), total bases (8th, 2,649), and at-bats (9th).
Pedroia, now 37, played in just nine games over the last two seasons as he worked his way back from a knee injury he suffered during the 2017 season. He revealed on Monday that he had a partial knee replacement in December, just so that he could walk pain-free again.MORE NEWS: 'Some People May Not Make It': Boston Rally Calls For Extension On Eviction Moratorium
Now that his playing days are over, Pedroia hopes to work with the Red Sox in some capacity in the future. But for now, he is just going to spend time at home with his wife and three young sons.