Longtime Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is married to Kelli Hatley Pedroia. The two have been married since 2006 and have three sons, Dylan, Cole and Brooks.
The 33-year-old Pedroia has spent his entire 12-year career with the Boston Red Sox, earning the AL Rookie of the Year title in 2007 and winning AL MVP in 2008. He’s also a two-time World Series champion, since he won in 2007 and 2013. Since the retirement of David Ortiz, he’s the last member of the 2007 team remaining with the franchise.
Recently, Pedroia has been struggling to stay healthy. The Boston Globe reports that his knee injury might mean the Red Sox will put him on the 10-day disabled list. In 85 games this season, “Pedey” has been batting .307 with six home runs and 54 RBIs.
Here’s what you need to know about Pedroia’s wife Kelli.
1. Kelli Fought Melanoma After Using a Tanning Bed During her Teen Years
After her husband began making a mark in Boston, Kelli found her own way to make a good impression on the city. The 33-year-old, who grew up in the Chicago area, joined the Melanoma Foundation of New England as a spokeswoman to let young people know that using tanning beds as a teen is not a good idea.
Kelli was diagnosed with melanoma, a type of skin cancer, when she was 18 years old. According to a 2008 Boston Globe profile, she started using a tanning bed when she was 14 after her older sister signed for her. During the summer and on spring break, she would always go out in the sun without using sunscreen or tanning oil.
After a trip to the Cayman Islands, she visited her doctor, who removed a red mole on her right thigh. Her doctor was stunned and told Kelli that he never had a patient so young with stage two melanoma. But this wasn’t enough to scare her from going into the sun and two years later, she had another mole removed. In 2007, she had a third mole removed.
“This is so embarrassing, but I was still in my leg cast and I was at the pool. I thought I was invincible,” she told the Globe.
It wasn’t until May 2007 that Pedroia finally succeeded in convincing Kelli to stop going to tanning parlors. She also began taking melanoma seriously when the MLB asked them to take part in its melanoma awareness campaign.
“Dustin said you need to stand behind your word,” she told the Globe. “”Now, I get it. I’m passionate about it. I don’t want any other girl to go through what I went through. Being tan is not that cool. You don’t realize the damage you do.”
2. Kelli & Pedroia Were College Sweethearts & Met at Arizona State University
Kelli and Pedroia married on November 11, 2006. The two were college sweethearts, meeting at Arizona State University. The couple still split their time between Chandler, Arizona during the offseason and Boston.
During his career at ASU, Pedroia put his name in the record books. His .384 average is good for seventh place in school history, and had 298 hits in just three years. HE started all 185 games with the ASU Sun Devils and had 71 career doubles, fourth-most in school history. Pedroia was drafted by the Red Sox with the 65th overall pick in the 2004 draft.
““This kid is such a throwback,” Pedroia’s college coach, Pat Murphy, told Boston.com in 2008. “He doesn’t care who’s on the mound, doesn’t care who’s pitching. He doesn’t want to offend anybody. He just plays the game with an urgency. He’ll never admit this to you, but he’s playing the game like, ‘I’m going to get in the Hall of Fame. I’m going to win championships for my team.’”
3. Pedroia Missed the 2009 All-Star Game Because Kelli Had Labor Complications Before Dylan Was Born
Pedroia had to miss the 2009 All-Star Game because Kelli was hospitalized due to labor complications before their first son, Dylan, was born. He wasn’t due until August 2009.
“After consulting with [then-Red Sox manager Terry Francona], [then-Red Sox GM] Theo [Epstein], Phyllis Merhige of Major League Baseball and my wife, Kelli, I have decided to withdraw from this year’s All-Star Game in St. Louis. I will instead stay in Boston with my wife as we tend to a serious family health matter,” Pedroia said in a statement.
Dylan was born healthy on August 18, 2009. HE weighed seven pounds and measured 20.5 inches long.
“It’s good,” then-teammate Kevin Youkilis told Boston.com. “I think it’s great for him after everything she’s been through, Dustin’s been through mentally. It’s going to be a great thing for Dustin.”
4. Pedroia Also Left a Game Against the Yankees in 2012 When Kelli Went Into Labor Before Cole’s Birth
Cole also had an eventful birth in 2012. As Deadline reported at the time, Pedroia was pulled out in the middle of the seventh inning of a game against the Yankees when then-manager Bobby Valentine told him that Kelli was going into labor.
Cole was born a short time after the game and weighed nine pounds at birth. Pedroia later told the Boston Globe that Dylan was excited to meet Cole.
“He’s all fired up,” Pedroia said. “Thank God the baby’s big, because he’ll probably beat on him a little bit.”
5. Kelli Co-Hosted 24 Boston Military Moms-to-Be at Fenway in June
The Pedroias and the Red Sox Foundation co-hosted an Operation Shower event at Fenway Park on June 29. Kelli hosted 24 Boston-area military moms-to-be for the second consecutive year. Operation Shower organizes baby showers for local military spouses of deployed soldiers.
Dustin and Kelli Pedroia also launched Pedroia Platoon in 2014 to honor Boston-area military members and their families. The group sponsors a VIP experience at the ballpark that includes four seats behind home plate. Kelli also organizes an annual Heroes at Home initiative to provide 15 military spouses with a “day of pampering.”
“For countless military families ‘balance’ is key,” reads a statement on the site. “That’s why the Pedroias have teamed up with New Balance to ensure that the Heroes at Home Appreciation Day gets going on the right foot (or left)!”