Dustin Pedroia Reflects On Red Sox Retirement-Forced Injury

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BOSTON — Dustin Pedroia played into his mid-30s, still producing at a high-level for the Boston Red Sox.

He hit .318 in his last healthy season in 2016, helping the Red Sox get back to the playoffs after a two-year absence. He held down second base at a high-level entering his age-33 season in 2017. That’s where his career took a devastating turn.

Pedroia took a hit to the knee on a hard slide from Baltimore Orioles infielder Manny Machado at Camden Yards on April 21, 2017. The Red Sox second baseman was never the same, despite finding a way to play 105 games and hit .293 before four more American League Division Series games before falling to the Houston Astros.

Pedroia never truly recovered after the injury that derailed the end of his Red Sox career. To this day, he still thinks about what one play in Baltimore took away from him to close his career.

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“I’ve never gotten over it, to be honest,” Pedroia told reporters at Fenway Park on Wednesday before the Red Sox Hall of Fame ceremony. “Company line kind of deal. Every day, I want to play. That’s never going to change. It’s hard. There’s no other way to put it. You guys saw me. I loved it. I was here before anybody. To have it taken away from you sucks.”

Pedroia played just six games after that season before officially retiring before the 2021 season. His career came to an end far too soon, though Pedroia more than delivered for the Red Sox with contributions to three championships on top of his 2007 Rookie of the Year campaign and the 2008 American League MVP.

The Red Sox honored Pedroia’s career on Wednesday, inducting him into the franchise’s Hall of Fame with the 2024 class.

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