For the first time since announcing his retirement, former Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia will make his return to Fenway Park. Earlier this month, Boston announced that June 25th would be “Dustin Pedroia Day” where the team will honor the player who spent his entire 17-year career in Boston. A four-time All-Star and Gold-Glove recipient, Pedroia was one of the best players in all of baseball early in his career. An integral piece in the 2007 and 2013 World Series teams, Pedroia was a three-time champion in Boston. In honor of his great career, we look back at the top five career Dustin Pedroia moments.
5. Saving Clay Buchholz’ no-hitter
It would not be a true Dustin Pedroia list without mentioning his great defense. While it’s tough to pin-point his greatest play, his play in 2007 may be his biggest. Pitcher Clay Buchholz entered the seventh inning having thrown six no-hit innings against the Baltimore Orioles. Baltimore’s Miguel Tejada lead off the inning with a hard grounder back up the middle past Buchholz. Pedroia made an excellent dive at the ball behind second base and quickly got up to just throw out Tejada at first. That play kept the no-hitter intact and allowed Buchholz to go the distance.
4. 25-game hit streak
After missing half of 2010 due to injury, Pedroia had a great bounce back season in 2011. Hitting .307 as well as 21 home runs, he went on a 25-game hit streak from June into July, setting a career-high and the record for Red Sox second basemen. During the streak, Pedroia hit .404 with nine double and nine home runs.
3. The Laser Show Game
With 162 games every season, it’s tough to pick a baseball player’s greatest game. For Pedroia, every Sox fan can pick out what may be his greatest career game. In 2010, he put had the quintessential “Laser Show” against the Colorado Rockies. In a 13-11 extra-innings win, Pedroia went 5 for 5 with three home runs, reaching base six times, and totaling 15 bases. His final home run came in the 10th inning with a man on that put the Red Sox ahead for good. Pedroia would tally five games with five hits in his career, most in Red Sox history.
2. 2007 World Series
Always a team-first player, Pedroia would put his World Series titles above any individual accomplishment. After getting 10 hits in the ALCS, Pedroia became the first rookie ever to lead off a World Series with a home run, putting one over the monster against Colorado’s Jeff Francis. Pedroia played in all 14 of Boston’s postseason games in 2007, hitting .283 across three series.
1. Winning 2008 MVP
After winning Rookie of the Year in 2007, Pedroia went on an absolute tear in 2008. Becoming the eighth player in American League history to win MVP, Gold Glove, and Silver Slugger in the same season, he did it all for the Red Sox. He led the league in runs (118), hits (213) and doubles (54) while hitting .326 and slugging 17 home runs. With the MVP award, Pedroia became the third player all-time to win Rookie of the Year and MVP in consecutive seasons.