Dennis Eckersley played 24 seasons in the major leagues and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004. He played eight seasons with the Red Sox, including his last in 1998, which was Pedro’s first with the Red Sox. In fact, Eckersley pitched one inning in Pedro’s first start on opening day in Oakland.
“I first saw Pedro pitch in 1997 when I was with the St. Louis Cardinals and he was with Montreal. I knew then he was special and was going to be a great pitcher. Turns out I was right, he is one of the greatest pitchers of all-time. And what sets him apart from everyone is the fact that he pitched in the toughest era, the PED era. He played with a chip on his shoulder and seemed like he always had something to prove. I was fortunate enough to play with him on the Red Sox in my last year, 1998.”