The Case For Retiring A Player’s Number
The case for retiring a player’s number stems from tradition and honor. Retiring a certain number makes that player part of the organization’s history and signifies their significance in its history.
Retiring a player’s number also honors that player’s contributions to the organization, past and present. Every team has different criteria for retiring numbers and what bar they set for that accolade. Some teams can be more selective, while others tend to have a low bar to cross.
The Red Sox have retired ten players’ numbers (not including Jackie Robinson #42), which means the bar is set pretty high given they’ve been around for well over a century
Should The Red Sox Retire The Number 15?
Dustin Pedroia is one of the most decorated players in Red Sox history. He started his career in 2006 and became one of the franchise’s most reliable players. He’s earned All-Star selections, Gold Glove awards, a Rookie of the Year in 2007, MVP in 2008, and three World Series championships.
But is all that enough to earn the accolade of getting their number retired for one of the most storied franchises in baseball?
He’s Represented The Franchise & City Well
The Red Sox are right to celebrate their past greatness, but they’re also right to recognize their own players’ contributions to that greatness. Pedroia is one of the few players who has represented the franchise over a long period and spent their entire career with Boston. He took a team-friendly contract just so the team could spend more money on other aspects of their roster and truly valued staying in Boston.
We look around sports today; that is something you rarely see. You often hear of players leaving the team that drafted them to try and collect every cent. You hear fans say that the players are “greedy” or “have no loyalty,” well, that’s something you can’t say about number 15. He cared so much about winning, making him a perfect fit in a sports city like Boston.
Honoring His Contributions To The Franchise
The highlight of Dustin’s career besides the World Series titles was his tremendous 2008 season which saw the Rookie of the Year follow up with an AL MVP award. Pedroia accumulated 1,805 hits, 624 walks compared to 654 strikeouts, and an OPS of .806. He was a player who had to work extra hard to get to the level he achieved throughout his career due to his short stature.
Pedroia’s Gold Glove defense at second base for over a decade also tends to be overlooked. He was the type of player who would have a dirty uniform after every game due to his diving plays and his effort on the field. All four of his Gold Glove awards were well-earned.
Most importantly, Pedroia was a winner. He finished his career with three World Series titles (2007, 2013, and 2018).
While he didn’t contribute much on the field in 2018, he stood with the team throughout the season and was outspoken when Aaron Judge played New York, New York, outside the team’s clubhouse after game 2 of the 2018 ALDS. The team went on to win two at Yankee Stadium and later the World Series in five games over the Dodgers.
Pedroia is one of the few players who has stayed with the Red Sox from draft to retirement. He’s the greatest second baseman in Red Sox history and was a fan favorite for his gritty play and desire to win.
So yes, I believe the Red Sox should retire Dustin Pedroia’s number and enshrine him among the greats to put on a Sox uniform. But what do you think? Leave a comment below!
If you enjoy the content, click here to sign up for the free email list. Thanks for reading!