But it is not Pedroia's hardware, or even his tools that make him one of the faces of the franchise, a captain in all but name. Dustin Pedroia is a de facto leader of the Red Sox because he puts the team first - you can feel his will to win.
I have the utmost confidence that if Pedroia were asked to trade his individual accolades (RoY, MVP, four-time All Star, four-time Gold Glove, Silver Slugger) for another World Series win, he'd immediately ask where to sign up.
The Red Sox were not a good team this year. There was remarkably little griping from a fanbase famous for it, but mostly because we were still awash in the hangover from 2013 until nearly June. But this award for Pedroia shows that he gives 110% every day, every season.
He's on the wrong side of thirty now, but he still throws his body around like he's fresh from the minors (in fact, sometimes I wish he'd be more careful). There is no halfway when it comes to Dustin Pedroia's style of play; he's the player I want in the big situations - though I wouldn't say no to Papi.
Gold Gloves aren't super accurate for actually measuring a player's defensive prowess - Derek Jeter won two after the age of thirty-five, and his range wasn't even that great in his prime.
By some metrics, Dustin Pedroia is the best second baseman in the American League, and that's all fine and good, but the real question is: if you could have an second baseman, would you pick him?
For me, the answer is always, unequivocally, yes.