Red Sox: Dustin Pedroia should absolutely be in the Hall of Fame
Red Sox legend Dustin Pedroia’s next step should be Cooperstown
Now that we’re a few days removed from the big announcement that longtime Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was stepping away from the game, it’s time to talk about his future. The immediate thought for fans would be for him to transition to a coaching role but he’s already said that’s not in the cards. Someday that position definitely seems like something he’d be interested in and something that he could excel at, but in my mind, his next chapter is much larger than a new job.
It didn’t take long for the eternal debate to start once Pedroia made his announcement and I’ve seen good points on both sides. The argument you ask? Is Pedey a Hall of Famer? A fair question that I can fully understand why someone would argue that he shouldn’t be immortalized in Cooperstown. However, when we look at the numbers it’s also hard to argue against the fact that he more than deserves the right.
Even a year ago, I’d probably lean towards the stance that he was a very good player, but not a great one. The thing is, we’re now in a reality in regards to the Hall of Fame where the on the field numbers aren’t the only deciding factor getting you into Cooperstown. Pedroia’s numbers are very good and they’re not too far off from the average taken of the 20 second baseman already in the Hall. I’ll be looking at both the numbers and the intangibles that surround Pedey and his time with the Red Sox, let’s start with the stats.
As I mentioned before, there are 20 players in the HOF that have the designation of being a second baseman. Per Baseball-Reference, the averages for those players are as follows:
- WAR: 69.5
- 7-year Peak War: 44.4
- JAWS: 57.0
Now, let’s take a look at where Pedey falls under those same metrics:
- WAR: 51.6
- 7-year Peak WAR: 41.0
- JAWS: 46.3
So, he falls short of all three averages but he’s still within striking distance and has more than these three categories in his favor. Though he played towards the end of 2006, it was in 2007 that the Dirt Dog made his name with Red Sox Nation. Remember that season? The Red Sox went and did the damn thing and won their second World Series championship within a four-year span. Do you remember one of the biggest factors to winning that title? Dustin Pedroia.
In his rookie season, he would post a .317/.380/.442/.823 with 8 homers, 39 doubles, and 50 RBI. Oh yeah, he also added a shiny new Rookie of the Year trophy to his cabinet alongside that World Series ring. Dustin was part of a one-two punch alongside Jacoby Ellsbury that sparked this team and took some pressure off of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz.
In Pedroia’s first at-bat, in his first-ever World Series, he introduced the world to the Laser Show and took Jeff Francis bridge to give Boston the early lead.
Throughout his career, he’d also add two more World Series rings, whether or not you count 2018 is on you. He may not have played but he didn’t miss a damn thing and helped that team off the field. He’d also tally 4 All-Star nods, 4 Gold-Gloves, a Silver Slugger, and a little thing known as the 2008 AL MVP. His career totals finish at .299/.365/.439/.805 with 140 homers and 725 RBI. Unfortunately, he only played in 1,512 games and had 1,805 hits, two metrics that could be held against him.
As far as the intangibles are concerned, it’s hard to name a member of the Red Sox organization that left it all on the field more than Pedroia. Hell, that’s the reason why he’s retiring at 37 and had to miss the majority of the last three seasons. If he didn’t play the game in the manner within which he did then who knows what his ceiling could’ve been.
Pedey draws a strong comparison to another Boston legend in Nomar Garciaparra. Both came on the scene white-hot just for injuries to derail their careers. The difference is that Dustin had a far longer peak and was able to get the job done in October. Nomar was the reason I wanted to play baseball and be a shortstop growing up, but it was Pedroia that made me proud to be a former second baseman.
I’ve talked about it enough, but for those new here I was shifted from short to second because the coach’s son wanted the spot and I’m totally over it because it happened like 20 years ago. Or so I tell myself every day as I dream of what could’ve been. But that’s more for my therapist and not for the Fenway Faithful. Either way, Pedroia took what Nomar did but to the next level, and he should be commended for his level of play. He’ll for sure be a member of the Red Sox Hall of Fame and will have his number retired at Fenway.
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As I’ve made my case here, I believe Dustin should be immortalized into Cooperstown. If we’re going to look at more than just the black and white numbers then we need to apply that to non-issue having players as well. There was never a question about Pedroia’s integrity or love of the game and it’s why he had to shut it down at such a young age. As it stands right now, he’s the greatest second baseman in Red Sox history and I’ll fight anyone that says otherwise.
I don’t think he’ll be a first-ballot inductee but I do believe he will get the call to the Hall well before his ten-year eligibility expires. He was a key figure in much of the success that Boston has seen under this current ownership group and will forever be remembered for such. Sure there are fans out there that think he’s been selfish for trying his multiple comebacks just to fall short, but those people don’t get it.
This guy would still be the everyday second baseman for this team if he ever took even an inning off here and there, but that’s not his style. He earned every damn penny this organization has ever given him and he more than earned those opportunities to keep his job rather than get the boot prematurely. I truly feel that Dustin Pedroia should be in the MLB Hall of Fame, not just for what he’s done on the field but for everything he’s meant to this team off of it. The Boston Red Sox have been better for the last 14 years for having him on this ballclub.