Edgar Martínez

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For the Uruguayan footballer, see Edgar Martínez (footballer).
Edgar Martínez
Edgar Martinez 1997.jpg
Martinez in 1997
Designated hitter / Third baseman
Born: (1963-01-02) January 2, 1963 (age 51)
New York, New York
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 12, 1987 for the Seattle Mariners
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 2004 for the Seattle Mariners
Career statistics
Batting average .312
Hits 2,247
Home runs 309
Runs batted in 1,261
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Edgar Martínez (born January 2, 1963[1]), nicknamed "Gar" and "Papi", is a former Major League Baseball third baseman and designated hitter of Puerto Rican descent. He spent his entire 18-year Major League career with the Seattle Mariners. He is the cousin of Carmelo Martínez.

Professional career[edit]

Seattle Mariners[edit]

On December 19, 1982, the Seattle Mariners signed Martínez to a minor league contract. Martínez worked his way through the Mariners minor league system, making stops with the Chattanooga Lookouts and the Calgary Cannons. Martínez made his major league debut on September 12, 1987, and became a fixture in the Mariners' lineup in 1990, replacing Jim Presley at third base. He began his career as a third baseman and won an American League batting title in 1992, but then he tore his hamstring during an exhibition game at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, B.C. on an unzipped seam in the turf between first and second, just before the 1993 season, and never fully recovered.[2]

Martínez became a full-time designated hitter in 1995. To date, he is the only designated hitter ever to have won a batting title, winning it in 1995 with a .356 average.

On August 9, 2004 Martínez announced his retirement, effective at the end of the season. Martínez said this about his choice of retiring and career in Seattle:

It is hard, very hard, I feel in my mind and my heart I want to keep playing. But my body is saying something differently, so I feel this is a good decision.

—Edgar Martínez, The Seattle Times: August 10, 2004[3]

The Double[edit]

The winning call of the 1995 American League Division Series, now named "The Double", as called by Dave Niehaus.

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He is perhaps best remembered for his performance in the 1995 American League Division Series against the New York Yankees in which he hit .571 and was on base 18 times in 5 games. In game 4 of that series, he hit a three-run homer, then a grand slam home run that broke a 6-6 tie, en route to an 11-8 victory. His RBI total in that game set a single-game postseason record. The win knotted the best-of-five series at two games apiece and forced game 5. Down 5-4 in the 11th inning of that decisive game, Martínez hit a two-run double, called "The Double" by Mariners fans, off Jack McDowell, winning the game for the Mariners, 6-5, and series, 3-2. The win sent the Mariners to the American League Championship Series for the first time in franchise history, against the Cleveland Indians, a series they would eventually lose in 6 games.

A lot of people remember that double when they talk about my career, I'd say, yeah, that would define my career.

—Edgar Martínez, espn.com: September 25, 2004.[4]

Baseball lore says that Edgar Martínez saved Seattle baseball with that double. While his series-winning hit did help build the groundswell that the Washington State Legislature eventually had to respond to, by enacting legislation to fund Safeco Field, it was one of many moments in a "miracle run" by the Mariners in September and October 1995 that changed public sentiment towards the team and towards public financing of a baseball-only stadium as a partial replacement for the Kingdome.

Legacy[edit]

Edgar Martínez at bat

During his career, Martínez was a Mariner fan favorite, playing his entire career with the team, and always being willing to sign autographs for fans. In October 2004, following his retirement, the part of South Atlantic Street in Seattle adjoining Safeco Field was renamed Edgar Martínez Drive South. At his retirement ceremony a portrait "featuring his high stepping batting style" painted by artist Michele Rushworth was presented to him by the Mariners.

The Mariners have not issued Martínez' #11 jersey to anyone since he retired. Under Mariners' team policy, he was not eligible to have his jersey formally retired until 2010, when he became eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame for the first time. However, it is highly unlikely that any Mariner will ever wear that number again.

He was inducted into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame on June 2, 2007.[5]

Martínez was inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame on September 9, 2003, in a pregame on field ceremony at Safeco Field, in Seattle, Washington.

In 2004, Major League Baseball renamed the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award in Edgar's honor. A five-time winner of the award, he is one of five players to have MLB awards named for them. The others are: Cy Young for pitching, Hank Aaron for batting, Roberto Clemente for "sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team", and Ted Williams for the All-Star Game MVP Award.

Martinez was first eligible to be elected into the baseball Hall of Fame in 2010. He received 36.2% of the vote. In subsequent years however Martinez has failed to see a significant uptick in support, peaking at 36.5% in the 2012 balloting. It is felt by many sports writers that his batting numbers do not overcome the one-dimensional aspect of his career as a D.H.[6]

In December 2007 former Mariners outfielder Shane Monahan gave an interview with ESPN.com in which he stated that amphetamines and steroids were both rampant in the team's clubhouse in the late '90s. Monahan said that just about every Seattle player other than former catcher Dan Wilson used amphetamines while he was in Seattle. Martínez, like former teammates Jamie Moyer and Raúl Ibáñez denied allegations of such use in the clubhouse. Martínez made this statement while visiting the Mariners in spring training: I don't know why [Monahan] said that, I was there for a long time, and I didn't see what he saw... What are you going to do? There has been a lot of this going on around baseball... But like I said, I was there for a long time and never saw any of that. —Edgar Martínez, The Seattle Times: March 15, 2008.[9] .

For the 2013 season, the Mariners worked with Martinez, local chef Ethan Stowell and bartender Anu Apte to create Edgar's Cantina at Safeco Field.[7]

Retired Yankee great Mariano Rivera, when asked whether there was anyone he was afraid to face, said that he was never afraid, but "I will put it like this: The only guy that I didn't want to face, when a tough situation comes, was Edgar Martínez. The reason is because I couldn't get him out. (laughs) I couldn't get him out. It didn't matter how I threw the ball. I couldn't get him out. Oh, my god, he had more than my number. He had my breakfast, lunch and dinner. He got everything from me. Oh, my god, yeah. I mean, that's something, though. But, uh, that's the game."[8] Versus Rivera, Martinez was able to log a 0.625 batting average, with 10 hits during 16 appearances.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Martinez in 2009

Though born in New York, Martínez returned to his family's native Puerto Rico in 1965 when his parents divorced. He grew up in Dorado and graduated from American College in Puerto Rico (he speaks English with a mild Spanish accent as a result). Martínez taught himself how to speak English, and how to use computers.[10] A beloved figure in Seattle, he is now living in Bellevue, Washington, with his wife Holli and their three children: Alex, Tessa, and Jacqueline. He now runs Branded Solutions by Edgar Martínez, a byproduct of his family's embroidery business, in Kirkland, Washington.[11] He is the cousin of former outfielder/first baseman Carmelo Martínez. Edgar Martínez was diagnosed with strabismus, an eye condition, in 1999.[12] He overcame the condition through strenuous exercise and by avoiding some things such as watching movies.[citation needed]

Humanitarian leadership[edit]

Martínez has been honored for countless hours, funds, resources and contributions that he and his wife Holli have made available to Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle, including the Edgar Martínez Endowment for Muscular Dystrophy Research, established by the Mariners in honor of his retirement, and the Children's Hospital Annual Wishing Well Night at Safeco Field. Martínez has also supported the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, Overlake Hospital, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Wishing Star Foundation, United Way, Esperanza, Page Ahead Children's Literacy Program, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Mariners Care. Because of his contributions, on June 20, 2007, Martínez was inducted into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame in Boise, Idaho.

In December 2001, he and his wife hosted "A Night of Hope" fundraising dinner and auction. The event raised $100,000 for Parent Project and created two research fellowships for Seattle-based scientists studying Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Banking[edit]

Martínez is one of the founders of Plaza Bank, founded in 2005 as Washington's first Hispanic bank.[13]

Regular season stats[edit]

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG TB SH SF IBB HBP
2055 7213 1219 2247 514 15 309 1261 49 30 1283 1202 .312 .418 .515 3718 10 77 113 89

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stone, Larry; José Miguel Romero; Les Carpenter (October 4, 2004). "Goodbye, Mr. Baseball: The Final Years (2002-present)". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  2. ^ Finnigan, Bob (October 4, 2004). "Memories of Edgar". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  3. ^ Goodbye, Edgar: He hopes to "enjoy the moment" in next 7 weeks seattletimes.com
  4. ^ Martinez is beloved by Seattle fans ; what about Hall voters?
  5. ^ Stone, Larry (January 24, 2007). "Edgar Martinez to be inducted into Mariners' Hall of Fame". The Seattle Times. 
  6. ^ Martinez HOF case cbssports.com, retrieved 2013-12-25
  7. ^ Perry, Julien. "Look Inside Edgar's Cantina at Safeco Field". seattle.eater.com. Retrieved May 22, 2013. 
  8. ^ Rose, Charlie (2013). "Charlie Rose: October 16, 2013". Charlie Rose Show (Bloomberg News): 34:00. 
  9. ^ Booth, Randy. "Nobody Can Beat Mariano Rivera -- Except This Lineup". SB Nation. Retrieved November 8, 2014. 
  10. ^ Bob Finnigan (2000). "Edgar Martinez - Mariners' hitting machine". Baseball Digest (CSN Sports Network) 59 (11): 23. 
  11. ^ Branded Solutions by Edgar Martínez
  12. ^ The Sporting News, May 7, 2001
  13. ^ "Launchers: risk takers who started companies or causes". December 25, 2005. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Kirby Puckett
Manny Ramírez
Jermaine Dye
Alfonso Soriano
AL Player of the Month
July & August 1992
June 1995
May 2000
May 2003
Succeeded by
Frank Thomas
G. Anderson
Albert Belle
Jason Giambi