Long before anyone knew what a Jewish Space Laser was, there was Dustin Pedroia. He was the original, and self-proclaimed, Laser Show. He is one of my all time favorite baseball players, and definitely my all time favorite second baseman (Sorry to Robbie Alomar and Chase Utley, but it’s not even close). Pedey made it an absolute pleasure to be a Red Sox fan. I will be forever grateful.
I’m not going to talk about his statistics or championships here. There are plenty of spaces where you can find that information. I want to talk about what made him so special to me and so many baseball fans. Half of it was his intensity. He played every game with grit and passion, worked his hardest, and tried his best. He played like his life depended on it. And it didn’t matter if it was Spring Training or the World Series, he put it all out there every day. Even when he was on the sidelines because of injury or some other reason, the intensity was still there. Anyone who has ever coached wishes they could coach people like Dustin Pedroia.
The other half of it was the way he played with joy. It’s infectious. The way he reacted to a late-inning comeback or a game-saving defensive play, he could have been an eight year old. For a guy who took the game so seriously, he never lost sight of his love for the game. He never took it for granted. He knew how lucky he was.
That kind of intensity and joy is a rare combination. Add to it the fact that he gives a good interview, is quotable, has a sense of humor, and always gives back to the community and you have a recipe for the perfect ballplayer. Everyone should be a Dustin Pedroia fan, whatever team you root for. I’m going to miss Pedey on the field. I hope he enjoys his retirement. Long live the Laser Show.