BOSTON -- To say Dustin Pedroia is in the midst of one of his perennial hot streaks would be an understatement.
The Red Sox second baseman has hit safely in each of his last 10 games and is batting .500 (20-for-40) with 12 runs, 4 doubles, 1 home run and 8 RBI during this streak. His ailing right knee is feeling better and it’s showing at the plate.
After the Red Sox completed their sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday night, Boston is off Monday before beginning a three-game series against the Rockies on Tuesday in Colorado. The last time the Red Sox played at Coors Field, they celebrated their second World Series title in four seasons when they swept the Rockies in the 2007 Fall Classic.
During that postseason run, Pedroia hit .283 with two homers and 10 RBI, starting all 14 playoffs games. In the World Series, he hit .278 with four RBI and even homered to lead off the bottom of the first inning in Game 1 at Fenway Park.
After the Red Sox won Game 2 at Fenway, they traveled to Denver for Games 3 and 4. But Pedroia, a rookie at the time, had a little trouble getting into the ballpark prior to Game 3, because a security guard didn’t believe he was a major-leaguer.
Here’s the prologue of Pedroia’s autobiography “Born to Play: My Life in the Game” where author Edward J. Delaney describes the scene at Coors Field:
He’s right at the gate, and they won’t let him pass. It seems that for so long, that’s always been how it is.
It’s Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007, and Dustin Pedroia is once again trying to get where people don’t believe he should go. It’s been that way in high school and college and in the minor leagues and in the majors. And now, in the World Series, where he’s playing for the Boston Red Sox, who have just arrived at Denver’s Coors Field to get ready for that evening’s Game Three against the Colorado Rockies.
But the security guard who patrols the players’ entrance isn’t buying the idea that this … kid … could possibly be a major-league ballplayer.
To this guard, whose job it is to know a major-leaguer from everybody else trying to crash the party, this kid is clearly another one of these wanna-be’s. They come like this, the autograph seekers, the hangers-on, the jokers. Clearly you can tell the kinds of guys who do not belong in a big-league clubhouse. They’re always trying to fake their way in, or push their way in, or talk their way in.
This guy has got to be kidding. Look at him! Too short, too slight, too young. He looks too much like a normal person, too much like the rest of us. The real players have been coming through, men with size and substance and the looks that speak of lifetimes of success upon success. There is, always, a kind of easiness to them that does not reside in the everyday people who line up at the turnstiles and pay to enter.
And now this guy’s trying to slip past? The guard isn’t buying it, but the kid is still trying to push on through.
That’s how it’s always been, the giant talent in the small package, the looks-can- be-deceiving attitude that forms itself in a swagger, and an attitude, and sometimes in anger, be it real or sarcastic. The chip on the shoulder; the in-your-face posture.
The guard at this gate wants an ID, but when he is shown it, he still can’t bring himself to believe it. The anger forms in the kid’s face, the voice rises.
Dustin Pedroia has come a long way to be here, and now he’s this close to the dream. He’s just going to push on by. He’s going to make them have to stop him.
After Sunday’s 2-0 victory over the Dodgers, Pedroia was asked about returning to Coors and if security will recognize him this time.
“Probably not. I didn’t get better-looking, so probably not,” he said. “It’s a great place and a great city. They have a good team, too, and a guy (Ubaldo Jiminez, 13-1) who’s having an unbelievable season. It should be fun. It’s great. I like interleague. It’s fun playing those guys you never really see.”