Thank you, Petey: Dustin Pedroia announces his retirement

sodenj5

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15 will forever be synonymous with the championship golden era of Red Sox baseball. Just as much as David Ortiz.

He brought a different energy and swagger and played full tilt every single game.

Thank you, Dustin. You are a Boston icon.
 

BaseballJones

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A Red Sox legend. I wish he could have played longer but he was such a blast to watch. Thanks for everything, Pedey!
 

moondog80

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So his contract is voided and we can sign Trevor Bauer, right?
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

Red-headed Skrub child
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This photo has nothing to do with him on the field but I think it says just as much about what he is all about. Pedey, Gomes and Salty had an off day in Toronto so what do they do? They go to a freaking baseball game. I don't see how he doesn't stay around the game in some capacity, I just don't think he'd know what to do with himself.


 

Zososoxfan

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The 1B to Ortiz's 1A for my favorite Sox. I'm Dustin's height, and for him to take good pitchers yard gave me a stupid grin every time. Pedroier 4eva!
 

NDame616

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So is he filing retirement papers and losing out on this year's salary? Or are the Sox really cutting him, paying him, then he officially retires?
 

SouthernBoSox

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I don't know if it's because I followed his entire career life cycle, from draft day to retirement, but this one is really hitting me hard. A true blue hall of fame player who was drafted and spent his entire career with Boston but was cut short from injuries. Man
 

johnnywayback

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Of all the major sports, baseball is the one you could imagine yourself playing. You don't have to be seven feet tall, or impossibly fast on ice skates, or built to withstand collisions with 300-pound linemen. You watch the game, and you can see the players' faces, and the way they stand in the box, and you can see yourself there.

But, of course, that illusion only lasts so long. By the time you hit puberty, you know about athleticism, and, odds are, you know about it because you've learned that you don't have it. It's the other kids who can run the fastest, and jump the highest -- the other ones who move with impossible grace. And as you start become a more knowledgeable fan, you start to recognize that ease of movement on screen -- in the balance of a pitcher who repeats his complex motion, or the quickness of an outfielder who gets to every ball, or the simple ease with which Ken Griffey, Jr., swings a baseball bat.

So you find yourself drawn to players like Dustin Pedroia. A person-sized person, who seems to play the game the way you imagine you might be able to. In him, you see proof that the things you have -- energy, enthusiasm, desire -- can, in fact, make up for the athleticism and talent you will never have.

The thing is, it's a lie. Yes, he's short, like you. But he is not, in fact, great the way you imagine you, yourself, could have been great. He is great the way he is great. What substitutes for his lack of height and muscle isn't desire, but rather quickness, and hand-eye coordination, and supernatural control over four otherwise-ordinary limbs. You may admire him because he seems ordinary, but he is just as athletically transcendent as anyone else on the field. And when that athleticism fades, stolen prematurely by fate and bad luck and Manny fucking Machado, it turns out that all that want-to isn't enough after all.

Which feels like a tragedy. It is a tragedy. But: It's also a reminder that he didn't need to play the game that hard in the first place. He wouldn't have been there if he hadn't been good enough to be there. All the energy -- the extra bases and defensive outs he took not by virtue of athleticism but simply because he thought to take them when others might not have -- it was just the way he chose to play. All the dirt-dog bullshit wasn't a substitute for athletic talent, but a celebration of it.

And, in the end, that's why we all loved Dustin Pedroia. Not because he was a regular dude Just Like Us, but because he was a superstar athlete who felt as fortunate and excited to be one as we would. Watching him turn a double play was like watching Gronk body a safety or Lebron sprint the length of the court to block a layup. You could see how much he loved that his body let him perform these incredible feats. Nobody I've ever watched enjoyed playing baseball more. He deserved to be able to do more of it. I'm glad he did it for my team.
 

JimD

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Tom Verducci's 2011 SI profile of Pedroia had this classic introduction which is one of my favorite bits of baseball writing ever:

Kelli and Dustin Pedroia and their cheeky two-year-old son, Dylan, live across the street from Fenway Park, and one reason why is clear from the view out their 13th-floor windows. Fenway in the quiet morn, before the sausages sizzle and the pilgrims parade in wearing the liturgical garments of Red Sox Nation, sits below them like an unopened Tiffany box, all neat, pristine corners and possibilities. The Pedroias can see the centerfield scoreboard and, through a crack in the asymmetrical grandstand, first base. They also can spy a large chain-link gate on wheels, which sometime in the middle of the day will be rolled open to Red Sox personnel for the symbolic start of the baseball business day.

Kelli will catch her little guy pulling the drapes aside and checking the status of the gate. Is it open? How about now? Now? "It's ridiculous," she says. "He paces until it's open. He's not calm until he's at the ballpark."

And at last when his surveillance is rewarded—the gates swinging open six, seven hours before the game is scheduled to begin—the little guy is happy, for he knows it is finally time to go out and play. He is out the door and across the street in no time.

Dustin Pedroia even takes Dylan with him sometimes.
SI Vault - The Muddy Chicken Hits It Big

Thanks for everything, number 15.
 

sonsoftrotnixon

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A special thanks to Tito for sticking with this kid out of the gate.

"Dustin Pedroia made his major league debut Aug. 22 against the Angels and had a hit in his second at-bat. After that, they were few and far between.
The then-23-year-old followed up that first hit by going 5-for-46 (.109) over his next 17 games and struggled to get his mark up to .191 by the time the season came to an end.
When Pedroia opened the 2007 season in similar fashion (he was batting .180 with no home runs and just three doubles after 22 games), Francona began to wonder.
"All I heard was, 'This kid's so good, this kid's so good.' All he did was make outs," Francona said.
It was a night in Minnesota on May 5 of that year when Pedroia had two hits off Twins ace Johan Santana that pushed him over .200 and finally got him going. Five months later, he was the American League Rookie of the Year.
"And then what everybody in the organization said was true [turned out to be true]," Francona said. "He's a tremendous player. They pretty much nailed it with him. They said he'd probably start slow but would end up being a great player. That's about what he was."

NESN article from 2010
 

canderson

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I enjoyed watching him play the game more than I thing any other person - the effort, charisma, talent, emotion and grudge he displayed was an absolute joy to watch. Retire 15, build a statue. He deserves it.
 

nattysez

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Not ashamed to say I teared up a bit watching this video just now. This to me epitomizes Pedroia - the complete sell-out, legs flying, to get to the ball; the great recovery and throw, and the "fuck yeah" glove pound. Beautiful.

View: https://youtu.be/X7B5pggq8hQ
 

E5 Yaz

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Since they're on the hook for the money anyway, can they name him character coach?
 

Earthbound64

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Kelli will catch her little guy pulling the drapes aside and checking the status of the gate. Is it open? How about now? Now? "It's ridiculous," she says. "He paces until it's open. He's not calm until he's at the ballpark."

And at last when his surveillance is rewarded—the gates swinging open six, seven hours before the game is scheduled to begin—the little guy is happy, for he knows it is finally time to go out and play. He is out the door and across the street in no time.

Dustin Pedroia even takes Dylan with him sometimes.
Saw it coming, but that's pretty great.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Joe McDonald just tweeted what is now my favorite piece of Pedroia trivia: he only used two gloves in his entire big league career. I love the idea that he didn't get new mitts every season that needed time to break them in, etc. He found a mitt he loved and trusted and just kept using it forever. It's probably a key to his defensive prowess.

View: https://twitter.com/JoeyMacHockey/status/1356281299657515015
 

YTF

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Pedroia was a complete joy to watch. Over the past 20 seasons or so, we have been incredibly fortunate to root for some great players who have worn the Red Sox uniform. Pedroia might not have made as big a splash on the national scene as Pedro, Papi or Manny, but man could that guy play the game at a very high level on both sides of the ball. As a fan, I'm very thankful that I got to see him ply his craft on a near nightly basis. Thanks Dustin.
 

joe dokes

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It is too bad that his final two-season 3-31 not only dropped his BA below 300, but without those, he would have ended his career with exactly 6000 ABs, which would have been a cool baseball thing.
 

Laser Show

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BoSox Rule

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It doesn’t really matter to me if he gets paid or not. It effects the CBT and Henry’s pocket but Pedroia can do whatever he wants. But if Abraham is saying he’s retiring and getting paid he’s wrong. It can’t be both. He’s either filing paperwork or just sitting out.

Great player and a Red Sox legend though. What a career.
 

dynomite

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Machado derailed any HOF chances he had. He needs his number retired regardless. You can’t discuss this era without him.
I agree with this. I think limiting retired numbers to players who make the Hall of Fame kind of misses the point of that honor. As I see it being in the Hall of Fame is honor enough, whereas team specific honors are more important for the players who gave the franchise years of dedicated service (and especially World Series trophies) without qualifying for Cooperstown.

Pedroia (1,512 games in a Sox uniform), Varitek (1,546), and Dewey Evans (a stunning 2,606) are three that stand out to me as worthy.