“FENWAY'S BEST PLAYERS”
It's a rare player indeed who wins the Rookie of the Year one year and the league's Most Valuable Player award the next. He led the league in runs scored both in 2008 and 2009, after making his name known with his .317 batting average in his rookie season, 2007.
Voting for the awards takes place before the Postseason and did not reflect his major contribution in advancing the Red Sox to the World Series: .345 with five RBI in the ALCS against the Indians. He was the first batter up for Boston in Game One of the World Series and hit a laser over the left-field wall to give the Red Sox a lead they never relinquished. His work in 2007 is even more impressive in retrospect, as it was revealed that November that he'd played the final two months of the season with a cracked hamate bone in his left hand. In 2010, a broken left foot deprived the team of his talents for more than half the season.
It was 2008 when Dustin won the MVP, leading the league in base hits (213), doubles (54), and runs scored (118). He drove in 83 and hit 17 home runs, as well as being named to the All-Star team for the first of three consecutive years. He was selected to be the starting second baseman for the 2009 AL All Star Team and for the second consecutive year, led the American League in runs scored with 115.
In June 2010, he fouled a ball off his foot in an at-bat versus the San Francisco Giants. MRI results the next day confirmed that he had a broken bone in his foot, and later was placed on the 15-Day Disabled List. He was so concerned about his fielding skills getting rusty that he practiced fielding ground balls on his knees.
Dustin bounced back from an injury-laden 2012 season to become the only player on the Red Sox to play more than 150 games during the team's division-clinching 2013 season. He also won his third Gold Glove Award.
He again was honored with the American League Gold Glove award in 2014, his fourth in his nine-year career. This made him the first Red Sox infielder to win four Gold Gloves. In May 2014, he hit his 100th career home run and his 300th career double.
In 2015, on Opening Day, Pedroia belted two home runs. But in July, he was put on the disabled list with a bad hamstring. He spent 73 days there because of an ill-advised six-game return following the All-Star break. Playing in 18 of the 25 remaining games in September, he would hit .308 with an .886 OPS.
In 2016, he bounced back and had his finest all-around season since 2011, a refreshing reminder for himself, above everyone else, that he’s still one of the best second basemen in the majors. He posted a .318 average, the best average he’s had since his MVP award in 2008. He made just six errors in 613 chances, and picked up his 5th Gold Glove.
He spent virtually the entire 2017 season playing on the injured left knee, one that required surgery in 2016 and that seemingly never recovered from the hard slide by Manny Machado. He required three separate stints on the disabled list, including two for his knee that cost him virtually all of August. While he initially enjoyed a two-week surge upon his September return, and his efforts to contribute drew considerable admiration in the clubhouse, his production nose-dived in mid September. He went 3 for 36 to conclude the regular season and 2 for 16 in the playoffs, culminating in the last game, going 0 for 5 in which his called strikeout with the bases loaded and one out in the second inning stifled a rally and led to the ejection of manager John Farrell.
Health was the foremost issue that hovered over him in 2017. Following his knee surgery, Dustin started the 2018 Red Sox season on the disabled list. He was activated in May, but after three games (batting 1-for-11), he wound up back on the disabled list with left knee inflammation.
In March 2019, he made his spring training debut, hitting a single in his lone at bat of the game while playing in the field for two innings; it was his first game action since May 2018. He was activated for Boston's home opener in April, appeared in six games, and returned to the injured list due to left knee irritation. After being evaluated, he announced that he was going to take some time to evaluate his future.
In February 2021, Dustin Pedroia announced his retirement after 14 seasons.