But 7 years later, Pedroia could become the first second baseman in MLB history to win a batting championship, a Gold Glove, and the MVP, all in one season. That's of course only one year after he won Rookie of the Year.
While some people sometimes compare Pedroia to David Eckstein, that's a huge insult to Pedroia. Pedroia isn't a "scrappy" player, he's a HELL of a player. But, as is usually case in sports, people tend to hold your size against you.
But the cool thing is that Pedroia has never let that get to him. In fact, he's one of the cockiest and biggest trash-talking athletes out there since Gary Payton in his heyday.
And there's one great anecdote about Pedroia taking on Brady Quinn in a ping-pong game.
Pedroia also got his start in baseball when as an 18-month old kid, he sent the family pet, a goose, into the great bullpen in the sky with one swing.
Pedroia's ping-pong victims include Cleveland Browns quarterback Brady Quinn, whom Pedroia baited into a match last year at the Athletes' Performance Institute in Arizona. Never mind that Quinn, a rugged 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds, towered over him.
"You want a piece of me, meat?" Pedroia said.
Ethier, who witnessed the scene, said, "Dustin was talking smack to him the whole time, talking about how he would sack Brady and put him on his back. Dustin absolutely destroyed him, and Brady couldn't stand losing to someone who is 5-foot-something. It was pretty incredible."
But anyway, I'll just let you read it.
Most valuable half-pint [Boston Globe]