November 10, 2007
ONE TOUGH DOMINICAN:
Toughest little man: Pedroia reveals he played final two months with cracked bone (Alex McPhillips, 11/11/07, MLB.com
He looked the part of a Boston favorite, throwing his body around the right side of the infield and exhibiting a tough-guy charm that belied his 5-foot-9 frame. So it's not surprising, perhaps, that Dustin Pedroia played that part -- quietly -- through pain.
Pedroia played the final two months of the 2007 season with a cracked hamate bone in his left hand, The Boston Herald reported on Saturday. Pedroia told the newspaper that he didn't know when the injury occurred, only that an MRI and bone scan on Sept. 10 revealed the break.
The recent phenomena of youngsters having elective Tommy John surgery because they think they'll throw harder is pretty dubious, but why not just have your hamates removed in the offseason if you have a shot at a big league career?
Pedroia isn't small-town news (Gordon Edes, June 5, 2007, Boston Globe)
It was at Arizona State that Pedroia came into his own as a player. Three years in a row he was All-Pac 10 and as a sophomore was Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year. As a junior, he was one of five finalists for the Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation's best college player. He didn't miss one of ASU's 185 games while in college, batting .384 overall.Posted by Orrin Judd at November 10, 2007 9:21 PM
But here's what else they remember about Pedroia at ASU. After his freshman year, he gave his scholarship back.
"There was a pitcher transferring from Winthrop named Ben Thurmond," Pedroia said. "I knew him from Team USA. We didn't have any scholarships left to offer him. I told the coaches, 'If we can get this guy, he can have my scholarship. I wanted to win the [College] World Series."
Pedroia said he called and talked it over with his parents before surrendering his scholarship. "Here's what happened," said Debbie Pedroia, who was at McAfee Coliseum with the family and a dozen or so friends last night, with half of Woodland coming later in the week. "Dustin called and said, 'Mom, I really want to get to the World Series. I gave my scholarship back, but I knew you wouldn't mind.' "
Debbie Pedroia, who was a highly competitive college tennis player ("When I lost, I couldn't sleep for four days"), laughed at her son's spur-of-the-moment judgment. "He wanted to win," she said, to which Guy Pedroia added, "What's a few extra tires?"
The Sun Devils didn't make it to the World Series. They lost to Chad Cordero and Cal-State Fullerton in the regionals. "But it was the right thing to do," Pedroia said. "Ben was a great teammate and a great friend."
No, he laughed, Thurmond didn't ask for a piece of his signing bonus after he was drafted by the Red Sox.