Red Sox Legend: 2B Dustin Pedroia
The Number: 15
Of all the players on this list, no one is more deserving of having their number immortalized than Dustin Pedroia. The diminutive second baseman was, along with David Ortiz, the face of nearly a decade of Red Sox baseball, racking up nearly every award imaginable in the process.
He burst onto the scene by winning Rookie of the Year in the 2007 championship season, then followed it up by winning MVP the very next season. He never quite reached those heights again, but he did rack up three more All-Star seasons, seven more seasons of at least a .290 batting average, and another World Series championship in 2013.
When you combine Pedroia’s resume and his accolades, it would be unprecedented for him not to have his jersey retired. Here’s a list of all the players who have played at least ten seasons in Boston, racked up 1800 hits, and made four all-star teams:
Ted Williams: Number retired May 29, 1984
Carl Yastrzemski: Number retired August 6, 1989
Jim Rice: Number retired July 28, 2009
Bobby Doerr: Number retired May 21, 1988
Wade Boggs: Number retired July 28, 2015
David Ortiz: Number retired October 2, 2016
Dustin Pedroia: ?
Like many of the players on this list, however, Pedroia’s impact was more than just the stats. The grittiness and toughness he displayed day in and day out made him absolutely adored in Boston and set the tone for some terrific Red Sox teams, especially the resilient 2013 World Series Championship.
When I think of Pedroia, the image I think of is not a big hit or a sparkling defensive play. It’s him taking ground balls on his knees in a boot just weeks after breaking his foot. You just couldn’t get number 15 off the field.
All those years of all-out effort eventually took its toll on Pedroia’s body, as he topped 135 games just once in his last six seasons. The last two seasons were particularly brutal, as a recurring knee injury limited him to just nine games from 2018 to 2019. Yet the unfortunate end should not diminish the incredible career Pedroia and the immeasurable impact he had on the Red Sox organization.