There are many who consider Dustin Pedroia to be the heart and soul of the Boston Red Sox. If that lofty title is indeed true, the All-Star second baseman will hold it down for at least eight more years with the contract extension he reportedly received on Tuesday.
But is Pedroia also the face of the Boston sports scene? It’s a question — especially with the Red Sox playing at the top of their game this season — that is certainly worth exploring.
Since breaking into the majors in 2006, Pedroia has been one of the most consistent athletes in Boston. He won Rookie of the Year in 2007 when the Sox took home the World Series, American League MVP in 2008 and he is having another standout season in 2013. He’s hitting .308 — his best since that 2008 MVP campaign — and is in the conversation as one of the best defensive second basemen in the game.
But as impressive as those accolades are, he might not even be the most beloved athlete in his own clubhouse. Since joining the Red Sox in 2003, David Ortiz has risen to become one of the most popular athletes Boston has ever seen. The legend of “Big Papi” has grown with every swing over the years — 362 homers in a Sox uniform — and he’s been of the most imposing hitters of the last decade. There would be no World Series in 2004 or 2007 without him, and he’s still putting up All-Star numbers this season at the age of 37.
Of course, you can’t have a discussion of the faces of Boston sports without the guys from the other teams, too. Both Tom Brady and Patrice Bergeron have spent their entire careers in Boston, and you can’t ignore their contributions.
Brady is a sure-fire future Hall of Famer as quarterback for the Patriots, who have won three Super Bowls and made it to two other Super Bowls with him under center. You can also argue that Bergeron has been the face of the Bruins for the better part of the last decade, leading the team to a Stanley Cup championship in 2011 and back to another one this season. No. 37 also just inked a long contract extension, and he’ll be the face of the Bruins likely until his career is over.
The Celtics just lost Paul Pierce, who was the face of their franchise for the better part of his 15 seasons with the team, and it seems as if Rajon Rondo is about to take over that coveted title. The point guard is the only remaining member from the 2008 championship team, and he’s been tasked with leading the Celtics into a rebuilding stage that will begin this season.