BOSTON (CBS) — The announcement Monday of Dustin Pedroia’s retirement from the Red Sox and baseball isn’t a sad day. It’s a day to celebrate an outstanding career.
There are many that stand out when I think of Pedroia.READ MORE: Baker Reportedly Signs Bill To Extend Some Pandemic Policies Including Outdoor Dining, To-Go Cocktails
The honors represent some of what the second baseman was able to accomplish in a Red Sox uniform:
-14-year MLB career
-3 World Series championships
-2008 AL MVP
-2008 Silver Slugger award winner
-2007 AL Rookie of the Year
-2013 Wilson Defensive Player of The Year
-4-time Gold Glove Award winner
-.299 career batting averageREAD MORE: 'Vax Express' Commuter Rail Train Bringing Shots To Communities With Low COVID Vaccination Rates
That covers it when it comes to his on-field accomplishments, but there was so much more to him than that.
Here are a few thoughts on what I’ll remember …
–Love of the game! No one cared more about the game than Pedroia did. One of my favorite memories of showing up to Fenway Park when he was playing was to see him sitting in the dugout at 1:30 or 2 p.m. for a 7 p.m. game. Every game! And he would gladly talk the game. Yes, he would take his ground balls, his throws, etc., but he was always talking the game with anyone who wanted to talk about it. The passion oozed out of him.
–Pedroia gave everything he had on the field and it cost him. He was generously listed at 5-foot-7, 170 pounds. He played hard, diving for ground balls, running the bases, etc., and his frame broke down. In my book, Dustin is a Hall of Famer. However, I don’t think he’ll get in because he didn’t play long enough to put up the numbers that are required. Was he a dominating player at his position in his era? Absolutely! But, it’s a shame because injuries ended his career too early.
–One of the best times I had doing our Red Sox show in the 2000s was being with Dustin when he won his AL MVP Award. We were at Arizona State. I interviewed his manager, Pat Murphy, who told me Pedroia walked into his office, flexed, and proclaimed, “I’m your new starting shortstop!” Pedroia proceeded to prove all the doubters wrong with a stellar career. By the way, he didn’t strike out his entire senior season. Pedroia joined me for a live interview at the top of our 5 p.m. news and then invited me over to do a lengthier interview at his house. Great stuff.
–On the road, you’d see him out at dinner with the likes of Mike Lowell, Alex Cora and others. What were they talking about? Baseball.
–Dustin was one of the best trash talkers of all time! He’d be on anyone and everyone’s case all the time. He’d wear out his teammates, Sox staffers and the media … about anything! He was always on Terry Francona, his cribbage partner, about all kinds of stuff, and you couldn’t help but laugh. But he never disrespected the game. Wouldn’t do that.
— Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) February 1, 2021
I could go on and on about Dustin Pedroia. His passion, heart and hustle were off the charts. We’ll never see another like him.MORE NEWS: US Buys 200 Million More Doses Of Moderna's COVID Vaccine
It was a privilege and an honor to cover his MLB career from start to finish.