A HOF career cut short
Dustin Pedroia was on track to join the Baseball Hall of Fame until a persistent knee problem robbed the Muddy Chicken of several seasons and forced his retirement. That could start the whole Manny Machado debate but not today.
Pedroia was the ultimate energizer bunny extracting every ounce of talent via hard work and hustle. Pedroia may have been physically small by baseball standards, but his ego was not. Statistically, it is all there: A ROY, MVP, Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, and championships. Pedroia finished just one hit away from a career .300 average.
Pedroia's interaction with teammates and the opposition is legendary, and his classic is Ortiz not knowing Pedroia's name after being teammates for nine seasons.
There was the time during the 2007 World Series when Rockies security refused to let Pedroia into the park, and his reply was, "Go ask Jeff Francis (Rockies pitcher)." Pedroia had homered off Francis in the previous game.
My favorite moment was a pre-game ceremony when a Little League team was being honored, and the players when out to stand next to their MLB positional counterparts. The kid standing next to Pedroia was taller than Petey.