Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia announces retirement

Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia announces retirement
(Boston25News.com Staff/Boston25News.Com Staff)

BOSTON — Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is retiring from Major League Baseball after 17 seasons with club, the Sox announced on Monday morning. Pedroia, 37, was a member of three World Series-winning teams with Boston, headlining the 2007 and 2013 squads and serving as a clubhouse leader in his shortened 2018 campaign.

The second baseman’s career in Boston was full of hardware, even apart from his World Series trophies. In Pedroia’s rookie campaign in 2007, he was named the American League Rookie of the Year, serving as the leadoff hitter for a Red Sox team that won 96 games before winning their second World Series in four years with a 4-0 sweep over the Colorado Rockies.

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A year later, as the Red Sox title defense took them to Game 7 of the American League Championship Series, Pedroia did even better, winning the American League Most Valuable Player Award. That season, he led the AL in runs (118), hits (213) and doubles (54), becoming the first Red Sox player to win the award in more than a decade.

Four times Pedroia was awarded the Gold Glove as the American League’s best second baseman (2008, 2011, 2013, 2014). He is the last AL player at his position to have earned the award in consecutive years. Pedey also took home an AL Silver Slugger Award in 2008, given to the best offensive player at each position in each league.

He is the only player in Major League Baseball history to win Rookie of the Year, MVP, a Gold Glove and a World Series within the first two years of his career, the Red Sox announced in their release on his retirement.

From 2008 through 2010, Pedroia was named an American League All-Star for three consecutive years, while earning his fourth and final trip to the All-Star Game in 2013.

“Dustin is so much more than his American League Most Valuable Player award, his All-Star Game selections, and the Gold Gloves he amassed throughout his impressive 17-year career in our organization,” Red Sox owner John Henry wrote in the team’s statement on Pedroia’s retirement.

“Dustin came to represent the kind of grit, passion and competitive drive that resonates with baseball fans everywhere and especially with Red Sox fans. He played the game he loves in service to our club, its principles and in pursuit of championships. Most of all we are forever grateful to him for what he brought to our club and to our region as an important role model showing all of us how much one can accomplish with determination and hard work.”

Six times Pedroia helped lead the Red Sox to the postseason, playing pivotal roles for the 2007 and 2013 championship squads. The second baseman blasted his only World Series home run on the first pitch he saw in Game 1 of the 2007 series, driving the Jeff Francis pitch onto the Green Monster to lead off the series for the Red Sox.

Following the 2016 season, Pedroia had left knee surgery that marked the beginning of the long road to his retirement Monday. The following season he re-injured his knee after a slide into second base by then-Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, limiting his season to 105 games that year. However, following that shortened 2017 campaign, Pedroia would play just nine more games in his MLB career.

In 2018, Pedroia continued his team leadership from the dugout and the clubhouse as the Red Sox went on to win a team-best 108 wins and captured their ninth World Series in team history over the Los Angeles Dodgers. And while Pedroia was an important part of that team’s leaders, he played in just three games that season and did not appear in the playoffs.

His final game in a Red Sox uniform came on April 17, 2019, when he suited up in the Bronx for an early-season contest against the New York Yankees. He flew out to right field in the second inning, his lone plate appearance of the day.

In total, Pedroia played in 1,512 regular-season games for the Red Sox across 14 seasons, the eleventh-most in team history and second-most at the second base position. He amassed a .299 batting average, hitting over .300 in five seasons with Boston, and was the only player in the MLB - with a minimum of 300 plate appearances - to bat at least .275 in 11 consecutive seasons from 2007 through 2017. He crushed 140 home runs in his career as well, while driving in 725 total runs.

He is one of just three Red Sox players to hit 100 home runs and steal 100 bases (Carl Yastrzemski, Mookie Betts). His 11 consecutive Opening Day starts trail only Yastrzemski for most by a Red Sox player at any position.

“Through championships and injuries, Dustin’s disciplined approach never wavered,” Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy said in the team’s release. “His work ethic is incomparable, and we saw him attack his rehab during the last chapter of his career with the same intensity he approached the batter’s box in his prime. I know hanging up his spikes is not an easy decision for a competitor of his caliber. We are fortunate to have had him in a Red Sox uniform for so long and look forward to welcoming him back to Fenway Park to celebrate his career.”

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