Pedroia joins Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame
Red Sox star calls 2004 AFL stint 'great opportunity' to learn from peers
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It's hard to find a baseball resume more complete than that of Dustin Pedroia.
The Red Sox second baseman has won an AL MVP (2008), four Gold Gloves (2008, '11, '13, '14), a Silver Slugger ('08) and a Rookie of the Year Award ('07). He is also a four-time All-Star (2008-10 and '13) and a two-time World Series champion ('07, '13).
While that list certainly fills out a resume -- and a trophy case -- Pedroia now needs to make some room for a Hall of Fame plaque.
Pedroia, a second-round pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, was inducted into the Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame in a pregame ceremony on Wednesday night at Scottsdale Stadium.
"It's a great honor," Pedroia said. "I'm excited to be here. It's going to be fun. It was a great opportunity for me when I came here. I signed that year and played A-ball levels and then got invited here. It was a great opportunity, so this is pretty special."
As a member of the 2004 Scottsdale Scorpions, Pedroia wore No. 77, which is now retired in Pedroia's honor and hangs on a banner in right field at Scottsdale Stadium.
During his stint in the AFL, Pedroia played only twice a week but seized the opportunity to learn from some of his more experienced teammates.
"That was the first time I got to watch the other guys and learn," Pedroia said. "Learn from them, learn what makes them good, and that helped me out the further I got in the higher levels."
The AFL Hall of Fame is already an exclusive club, but Pedroia joins an even more distinct class as just the third player to also have won MVP and Rookie of the Year awards, joining Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols.
Pedroia was presented with a commemorative photo and a Hall of Fame plaque during the ceremony, but those aren't the only awards he's collected this offseason.
On Tuesday, Pedroia won his fourth Gold Glove Award -- and second consecutive -- which is the most of any Red Sox infielder ever.
"It's a great honor," Pedroia said. "We all take pride in playing defense, the work you put in during the year, your infield coach, the video you watch. Everybody on your team, we're all trying to position each other to make plays, so everybody plays a big part in that award."
The awards highlight the offseason, but Pedroia's 2014 season was filled with nagging injuries and ultimately ended prematurely with wrist surgery in September.
All that appears to be behind Pedroia now as his rehab is progressing, and he plans to be ready for Spring Training.
"I feel great," Pedroia said. "Cleared to get after it, so I've been lifting and can't wait for next year."
Although the 31-year old has accomplished a lot in his nine-year career, he's yet to have the time to reflect.
"It's crazy," Pedroia said. "Time flies, but I haven't had time to sit down and think about all of it. You're always trying to think about what you're doing next and prepare for that, so I'm sure eventually I'll sit back and look at how special it all is."