The year was 2006, I was 12 years old and up later than I should have been. It was a west coast trip for the Boston Red Sox.
They were facing the Los Angeles Angels, who were a good team back then, if most of you don’t recall. I'll admit, at the time I was not the biggest baseball fan, I loved going to the games but never really got into it as a whole. All I remember growing up was Nomar Garciaparra fixing his gloves for what seemed like centuries, but I loved every minute of it. It was something as a kid you would mimic right before you struck out in every little league at bat you ever had(or maybe that was just me).
So let me set the scene, it has to be around 12 am and i'm starting to drift off, but then this little SS comes to the plate with the name Dustin Pedroia. The bases were loaded, must have been one out or maybe none, all I know is that this guy was tiny and had a huge swing. He was probably the oddest SS id ever seen, but I could tell by the way he swung he could compete with the biggest and the strongest. Did I know he would turn into what he is today? Absolutely not, I wanted Alex Cora to be our SS or 2B. (ooops). So back to the at bat, he smokes a liner to what I thought was going to be the left centerfield gap, but nope, the SS snags it and doubles the runner off at 2nd. Leaving Pedroia frustrated and me with my jaw dropped. How did that little guy hit it so hard? Years later I would end up being the same height as him, but that's a story for another day. That was the first game that I ever sat down and watched by myself as a kid, and that game was the moment I fell in love with MLB and the Boston Red Sox.
Why did I become obsessed with the Red Sox after that game? I have no idea, it may have been Dustin Pedroia's fire for the game of baseball. It definitely was not because of seeing John Lackey's face that late at night, I ended up having to call my mom to come pick me up after that, absolute nightmares. That is when I became an avid fan of Sox Space on myspace ran by the one and only Jared Carrabis. Everyday after that I watched every single game, read every single article. That love of baseball was a gateway to the rest of New England sports. I had missed out on so many years of great action, I now must never miss an inning, a home run, a touchdown, a buzzer beater ever again.
Dustin Pedroia, your existence has made my life 1000x better but you are also to blame for the last 10 years of stress and agony from when my teams don’t win the championship. We are simply spoiled here in New England, thank you for the way you play every day and how hard you work on a daily basis. Good luck to the 2017 Boston Red Sox, I hope there are kids out there this year that discover the magic of being a Boston Red Sox fan like I did 11 years ago. I also have to thank my babysitter for dragging me to games and making me sell tickets as a child, that really made me fall in love with the business side. I also know what every ticket scalper on Yawkey way looks like.