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Four-time All-Star and 2008 AL MVP Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is retiring from baseball. He was a career .299 hitter that at first glance sounds like a Hall of Fame player, but a deeper look shows he was just really good.
We don’t want to take anything away from him because guys like Dustin Pedroia are becoming extinct in baseball. We need more of them.
Two-time World Series Champion and former AL MVP Dustin Pedroia has officially retired, the Red Sox announced.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 1, 2021
Pedroia played all 14 years in the league with Boston. pic.twitter.com/9WIEiaelkO
Here are Pedroia’s full stats over his 14-year career:
Pedroia really lasted only 11 years, which is why you don’t see any milestone records like 3,000 hits or 1,500 runs. Another stat Hall of Famers tend to have going for them is that they’re on the field. A lot. If you check out “games played” on the far left of that chart, Pedroia hardly ever approached a full 162-game season. He only got close in ’08, ’09, ’11, ’13, and ’16, which helps illustrate the shortness of his “prime” years.
So is Dustin Pedroia a Hall of Famer? No, but he was still a great player. An ailing knee that required surgery in late 2017 is quite literally the only reason he didn’t maintain his career .300 BA. Career-wise, Pedroia will be remembered as a clutch postseason player and a heckuva teammate.
Even former Red Sox players Jon Lester and David Ortiz shared some nice, heartfelt words about Pedroia and their time together in the early ’00s:
“Best teammate, person, competitor and friend I ever had the privilege to see and play with!!” — Jon Lester on Dustin Pedroia— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) February 1, 2021
David Ortiz on Dustin Pedroia:— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) February 1, 2021
“He basically had the F-U type of mentality whenever he took the field.” pic.twitter.com/6a4SKjGoLA
Even if Pedroia falls short of the Baseball Hall of Fame, his legacy in Boston is probably more important. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Pedroia’s No. 15 retired sometime later this year. Cheers, Dustin, on an amazing career.