Alex Cora Reminisces On Dustin Pedroia’s Rookie Year With Red Sox

'He was a winning player from the get-go'

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Alex Cora was there for Dustin Pedroia’s first full season with the Boston Red Sox in 2007, and saw first hand just how dedicated he was to the game.

Pedroia retired from Major League Baseball in February after a knee injury hindered his career, but there is no denying just how much he loved playing baseball for the Red Sox.

The All-Star second baseman will be honored in pregame ceremonies Friday at Fenway Park in front of what Cora hopes is a “packed house.”

Cora reminisced about Pedroia’s 2007 season, and how Pedey was the only one who truly believed in himself after a dreadful April when he hit just .182.

“I think he was the only guy — and (former general manager) Theo (Epstein) — who after April thought that he was going to hit,” Cora said prior to first pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays. “He kept telling you guys, ‘I will hit. I will hit.’ And we were like, ‘It doesn’t look right.’ But his confidence — and he kept doing things baseball-wise to contribute to win games. He played outstanding defense while he was struggling. And I think that was very important for us.”

What happened next? Well, Pedroia went on to win the American League Rookie of the Year.

“He knew he was going to hit. Theo knew he was going to hit. … He was a winning player from the get-go,” Cora said. “He was amazing at turning double plays. He brought energy in every day. … He went to that road trip (in May), I think it was Toronto and Minnesota, and he just went off. And the rest is history. It was fun to watch.”

It was fun to watch, indeed.

Though we won’t know for a few more years whether Pedroia will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, we do know the ceremonies Friday certainly are well-deserved.

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora and designated hitter J.D. Martinez (28)
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