BOSTON (CBS) —  Dustin Pedroia is enjoying life as a retired former ballplayer, but that wasn’t going to keep him from lending a hand in Friday’s Opening Day ceremonies at Fenway Park.

Pedroia had an important message for Red Sox fans ahead of the team’s opener against the Baltimore Orioles, and his three sons uttered the most important words of the day prior to the Red Sox’ opening game against the Baltimore Orioles.

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“Welcome back to Fenway Park. I wish I was there with you, and soon enough I will be,” Pedroia said virtually from Arizona in a message played on the big screen at Fenway Park. “2021 is going to be a great season!”

With that, Pedroia’s boys yelled out “Play Ball!” to get the season started:

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Pedroia retired earlier this offseason after an incredible 14-year career with the Red Sox. He expressed a desire to coach some day, but first he wants to spend some quality time with his family. On Friday he got the best of both worlds, playing a part of the Red Sox’ Opening Day ceremonies with his boys by his side.

CBSBoston.com Staff