The Muddy Chicken is getting ready. He’s lacing up a new pair of cleats, slightly broken in from a few days’ wear and tear, the leather just beginning to soften. His pants worn long and tight and fitting to move comfortably with him when he’s in the field, whether diving in the hole or handling a routine grounder. The undershirt, a new-age technology fabric to wick away unwanted perspiration from his chest, form-fitting under his new season-ready clean jersey. On his head, a new, just slightly bent brim specialty Opening Day version of the authentic MLB cap. On his hands, the custom-made Franklin Sports batting glove, made to his specifications, right down to the color of the stitching.

Like a middle-school student primping before the first day of school, picking out just the right outfit to both look the part and be comfortable, Dustin Pedroia is dressing for Opening Day. With last season’s team struggles behind him, Pedroia has done the preparation, the hard work, the attention to detail, and is ready to step into the batter’s box for another MLB season.

Chasing another Gold Glove, the All-Star second baseman is also looking to provide the Red Sox with some pop, like he has done before. In 2008, Pedroia was the season MVP with over 200 hits with 54 doubles and a batting average of .326. In 2011, he hit 21 homers. The 2013 campaign saw 42 doubles. Those seasons produced All-Star numbers, for sure.

But 2015 was a different story. Pedroia played in 93 games, far fewer than previous years. For 2016, Baseball-Reference projects a .281 average with 24 doubles and 119 hits over the course of the season. Potentially All-Star caliber, and certainly a serviceable second baseman.

Pedroia has designs on a different plan: “My favorite is green, because of the Green Monster. And I plan on hitting that thing… a lot,” shares Pedroia. He wears a serious, determined look when he says this.

Featured in a Franklin Sports video, where he designs his own “Green Monster”-monikered batting gloves, Pedroia sits with Justin Upton and executives from Franklin Sports, focused on the details. Watch the clip here:

With Opening Day here, this video shows that Pedroia is ready for the new campaign, standing strong — and looking good — proud of the aspect of the season he’s personally designed, his customized Franklin Sports batting gloves: “There are a lot of hits in this one.”

About The Author

Michael Dittelman

Michael Dittelman, an adjunct professor at Columbia University, has enjoyed varied senior-level management roles with leading sports media and entertainment properties, including Sports Illustrated, USA Today, SportingNews, the NBA, Harlem Globetrotters and A graduate of Brandeis University with a B.A. in American History, American Studies, and Sociology.

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