Op-Ed: Dustin Pedroia Retires


Wikimedia Commons

Dustin Pedroia. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Evan Michaeli, Incoming Executive Editor

On February 1, second baseman Dustin Pedroia announced his decision to retire, ending his 14-year career with the Boston Red Sox.

Pedroia’s decision came after he suffered a gruesome knee injury in 2017 when Manny Machado—who was a Baltimore Oriole at the time aggressively slid into Pedroia’s leg. Despite Machado’s attempt to catch Pedroia, he fell to the ground grasping his knee, eventually needing help leaving the field.

The slide caused anguish for the Red Sox and required a lengthy recovery that Pedroia didn’t seem to come back from. Returning from an injuring of that magnitude is difficult, but seemed to hit Pedroia particularly hard. As of August 2018, he had undergone five surgeries  on his knee. Due to his age, the doctors also couldn’t fully replace he knee.

Pedroia tried to come back to baseball, but he repeatedly found himself on the injured list. He returned in 2019, but less than a month into the season, Pedroia left a Red Sox-Yankees game due to his knee injury.

He was back to the injured list a day later, and in May, he attempted to play five minor league games. Pedroia, again felt “minor knee soreness.” On May 25, Pedroia played his last game with the Portland Sea Dogs.   

This is unfortunate because Pedroia is regarded by some as the best Red Sox second baseman. He was mainly known for his prowess on defense, and he won four Gold Gloves and played in four All-Star Games. He also won MVP in 2008 as well as Rookie of the Year in 2007. Additionally, Pedroia has 2 World Series rings. Pedroia also hit 140 career home runs with a commendable .299 career batting average. 

Pedroia’s story has taught me to never give up. He was constantly told he was “too small” to play baseball at a mere 5’7”during his college years, but Pedroia kept working toward his goal and proved critics wrong, becoming one of the best Red Sox second basemen. 

Pedroia kept fighting to come back from injuries, and although his career ended with an early retirementthere is much we all can learn from Dustin Pedroia’s storyHe will be missed on the Red Sox.