Dustin Pedroia
(STAN GROSSFELD/GLOBE STAFF FILE/GLOBE STAFF)

Earlier this month, beloved Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia made the decision to hang up the cleats for good. He is one of the last of what I like to call, “the loyal ones”. What this means is that he’s a player who called one team his home his entire career. Other people I see joining him are Joey Votto for the Reds and Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers. Boston praised him, and he gave them monster seasons for them in return. Is Dustin Pedroia a Hall of Famer? Let’s take a look.

Pedroia was thrust into the limelight almost immediately producing a stellar rookie campaign. He hit .317 with 38 doubles and a .380 on-base percentage. These statistics were good enough for the 2007 American League Rookie of the Year. That’s not all. Pedroia also won a ring this season, with the Red Sox sweeping the Rockies in the fall classic. One full season and he was already one of the faces of the team.

Starting the 2008 season, Pedroia’s expectations were through the roof. Would there be a sophomore slump? The answer was no. Pedroia followed his 2007 campaign with a double encore, mashing American League pitching. The stocky Second Baseman led the league in runs scored with 118, hits with 213, and doubles with 54. He also batted .326 which was second in the league. He earned a trip to the all-star game, won a Gold Glove, and a Silver Slugger. His most prestigious accomplishment however was winning the 2008 American League Most Valuable Player. Now he was at superstar status, and everyone wanted to see what he would do next.

For the rest of his career, Pedroia produced a few seasons almost on par with his first few, but nothing that rose him to stardom. He was very consistent, batting .299 for his career with 140 home runs. He did appear in a few more all-star games but never won an MVP or silver slugger again. Pedroia earned respect by playing as well as his abilities could take him. In the last five years, he battled injuries and played his last game in 2019 at age 35. The sad thing is, I don’t think Pedroia is a Hall of Fame candidate.

The reason I say this, is that his early retirement and injuries did more harm than good. Dustin only played 361 games between 2015-2019 partly due to a troublesome knee. In terms of Cooperstown, he doesn’t have at least 2,000 hits, nor does he have 200 home runs. Blame it all on the injuries. He will though, be in the Red Sox Hall of Fame and also be one of the greatest second basemen to play under the lights at Fenway.

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