The Matchup: Dustin Pedroia and Don Wakamatsu are two of the best to ever put on a Sun Devil baseball uniform. Wakamatsu’s teams made multiple College World Series appearances, while Pedroia’s teams never got to that stage he has had the much better pro career as it never paned out for Wakamatsu.
No. 2 Dustin Pedroia
Basic info: Born: August 17, 1983 in Woodland, California. High School: Woodland. Height/weight: 5-foot-9, 175 pounds. ASU career: 2002-2004. MLB career: 2006-present (Red Sox)
Notables: For the Boston Red Sox, the 5-foot-9 second baseman they call the “Laser Show” took home the AL Rookie of the Year in 2007. He then became one of the shortest MVPs of all time the next year winning the 2008 AL MVP. According to Baseball reference, Pedroia is 16th in WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of all active players with 52.3.
What you don’t know: Along with Cal Ripken and Ryan Howard, Pedroia is one of three players to win Rookie of the Year and MVP in back-to-back seasons. In the 2007, he and Jacoby Ellsbury became the first rookies to hit one-two in a lineup of a World Series game. The “Laser Show” nickname reportedly came from his Sun Devil days and how he carried himself, saying he was going to hit lasers.
Laser Show’s Resume
|2003 Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year|
|2007 American League Rookie of the Year|
|2008 American Legue MVP|
|4-time All-Star (2008-2010, 2013)|
|4-time Gold Glover (2008, 2011, 2013-2014)|
No. 7 Don Wakamatsu
Basic info: Born: February 22, 1963 in Hood River, Oregon. High School: Hayward (California). Height/weight: 6-foot-2, 200 pounds. ASU career: 1983-1985. MLB career: As a player, 1991 (White Sox). As a coach/manager, 2003-2007 (Rangers), 2008 (A’s), 2009-2010 (Mariners), 2011-2012 (Blue Jays), 2014-2017 (Royals), 2018-Present (Rangers).
Notables: Wakamatsu in his three years at ASU collected All-Pac-10 honors as a catcher each season. He won the 1998 California League Manager of the Year, when he was in charge of the High Desert Mavericks of the Arizona Diamondbacks. In his two years as the manager of the Seattle Mariners his record was 127-147.
What you don’t know: In the 1984 MLB Draft, Wakamatsu was the last overall player selected and decided to return to ASU for another year. His son Luke is currently in the Cleveland Indians organization.
|3-time All Conference player (1983-1985)|
|2-time College World Series attendee (1983-1984)|
|Pro Coaching Career|
|1998 California League Manager of the Year|
|2015 World Series Champion|