Dustin Pedroia’s streak wasn’t the longest in league history (Joe DiMaggio, famously, went on a 56-game tear in 1941) or even team history (that belongs to Joe’s brother, Dom DiMaggio, with 34 games in 1949). But it was the longest in the American League thus far in 2011, and it was a blast to watch.
I’ve been on record numerous times this season that Pedroia is the most fun player to watch in baseball. He might not be the best — arguments could easily be made for Albert Pujols, Robinson Cano, Adrian Gonzalez, Miguel Cabrera or a number of pitchers — but I certainly don’t enjoy watching anyone quite as much these days.
He looks like he might twist and implode on every splinter-straining swing. He dives into gaps with reckless abandon, always seeming to pop up and fire the throw to first on target. And, as in a 25-game run from June 29 to July 28, he hits. He hits liners through short, bloopers into the short outfield, screaming liners off the wall, and home runs that race out of the park in a hurry.
He’s been entertaining his whole career, and he’s having his best year as a pro yet. And making this graphic was almost as fun as watching him build his case for Most Valuable Player.