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Former Red Sox Teammates, Managers Remember Dustin Pedroia As Ultimate Team Player, Competitor

BOSTON (CBS) -- Dustin Pedroia announced his retirement from baseball on Monday after an incredible 17-year run with the Boston Red Sox. He will go down as a Red Sox great for what he accomplished on the field, and he will no doubt take his place in the team's Hall of Fame -- and likely Cooperstown -- sometime soon.

Pedroia was beloved among his teammates and managers for his fierce competitiveness and do-or-die approach on the field. Shortly after Pedroia's announcement on Monday, tributes began to pour in from those who one time shared the field with the three-time World Series champ and former AL MVP.

Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona

Terry Francona, Dustin Pedroia
Red Sox manager Terry Francona greets Dustin Pedroia after he scored during the 2008 season. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

"He was the ultimate team player. He always seemed to save his very best plays for the most important time of the game. He seemed to will himself at times to lead us to victory. It is impossible to spend any amount of time with him and not become close to him. He just has that type of personality. I wish PeeWee success in his next endeavor, and will laugh as Kelli (Pedroia's wife) kicks his ass!"

Former Red Sox manager John Farrell

Dustin Pedroia, John Farrell
Home plate umpire Bill Welke watches as Dustin Pedroia is led away by manager John Farrell after arguing a called third strike during the 2016 season. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

"Arguably the best second baseman to wear a Sox uniform. From the first day of spring training to the final out of each season his competitiveness and determination were an example to all. Any conversation about the greatest players in Red Sox history has to include Dustin Pedroia."

Former Red Sox Captain Jason Varitek

Dustin Pedroia, Jason Varitek
Dustin Pedroia is congratulated by teammate Jason Varitek after scoring a run agianst the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the 2007 ALCS. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

"Dustin is a great teammate that brings it every day, day in and day out. Not only great talent and an MVP-type player, he brought heart, soul, and hustle to all the teams that he played on. As a competitor, no one stands quite as tall as Pedroia. He may be short in stature, but tall in presence. He not only worked his way to the player that he is, but had a heart of a lion to get it done. Dustin Pedroia truly exemplifies what it means to wear the uniform of the Boston Red Sox. He is a true Red Sox and always will be."

Former Red Sox DH David Ortiz

David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia
David Ortiz congratulates Dustin Pedroia after the second baseman hit a home run during the 2015 season. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

"I can say so much about Dustin. It got to the point while I played that I asked myself one day, who would be a player that you would buy a ticket to see, because it was worth it to watch him play for nine innings. And my answer was Dustin Pedroia. He played with a little chip on his shoulder. He basically had the F-U type of mentality whenever he took the field. I got to the point where I worried so much about him, the way he hustled, the way he played hard, his discipline. He was committed to do well for his team and his teammates. His commitment was extraordinary. I used to watch the little guy and ask that question to myself because he was that type of guy. I really appreciate the fact that I was able to play and have a teammate like Dustin because I learned so much from him. The one thing I learned for sure was that this was not about size. This was about heart. He was the whole package. I'm happy, thankful, grateful and proud that I was able to have a teammate like him because he was a guy who motivated me to do well. Happy retirement buddy. Love you man."

Former Red Sox Manager/Infielder Alex Cora

Alex Cora, Dustin Pedroia
Dustin Pedroia and Alex Cora celebrate a win during the 2007 season. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

"From the first day we shared the field until today, the love, passion and enthusiasm for the game has not changed. It has been a pleasure to watch you grow as a player, teammate, husband and father. You have impacted our organization like few others and I live proud of you."

Former Red Sox Closer Jonathan Papelbon

"Dustin is the most inspiring person and player I have ever been around. He makes everyone around him a better player and person. He is a first ballot Hall of Famer! I am lucky to call him a friend, and to have played with him and win a world championship with him. He is an amazing husband, father, son, friend, and athlete. Diamonds are forever and so is Dustin Pedroia."

Former Red Sox Third Baseman Mike Lowell

Mike Lowell, Dustin Pedroia
Mike Lowell is greeted by former teammate Dustin Pedroia before a game during the 2011 season. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

"From the first day I met Pedey, I was impressed with the love he had for the game of baseball, the competitive fire to always go out and give 100%, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. The Red Sox found a gem at second base and he proved his worth year after year. I enjoyed most our card games on team flights and just talking baseball. Congrats on a standout career and all the best in this next chapter of your life."

Former Red Sox Pitcher Jon Lester

Jon Lester, Dustin Pedroia
Dustin Pedroia visits Jon Lester on the mound during a game against the Yankees in 2014. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

"Best teammate, person, competitor and friend I ever had the privilege to see and play with!!"

Red Sox Principal Owner John Henry

Dustin Pedroia
Dustin Pedroia waits for his turn in the batting cage during the Red Sox World Series workout at Fenway Park in 2013. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

"Dustin is so much more than his American League Most Valuable Player award, his All-Star Game selections, and the Gold Gloves he amassed throughout his impressive 17-year career in our organization. ... Dustin came to represent the kind of grit, passion, and competitive drive that resonates with baseball fans everywhere and especially with Red Sox fans. He played the game he loves in service to our club, its principles and in pursuit of championships. Most of all we are forever grateful to him for what he brought to our club and to our region as an important role model showing all of us how much one can accomplish with determination and hard work."

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