January 16, 1957 |
Long Beach, California
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|August 19, 1981 for the Detroit Tigers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 5, 1985 for the Detroit Tigers|
|Career highlights and awards|
Martin Horace Castillo (born January 16, 1957 in Long Beach, California) is a former Major League Baseball third baseman and catcher. Castillo, who is of Mexican descent, is an alumnus of Savanna High School in Anaheim, California.
Drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 5th round of the 1978 MLB amateur draft, Castillo made his Major League Baseball debut with the Detroit Tigers on August 19, 1981. Castillo played in only 7 games combined in the 1981 and 1982 seasons, but saw more frequent action in 1983, playing in 67 games.
Castillo had his best statistical season as a member of the Detroit Tigers team that defeated the San Diego Padres in the 1984 World Series. Castillo played 33 games at third base and 36 at catcher for the 1984 Tigers. He had career highs in 1984, including a .234 batting average, 33 hits, 11 extra base hits, and 17 RBIs. On August 26, 1984, Castillo went 3-for-4 and scored 3 runs in a victory over the Angels. On September 23, 1984, Catillo went 2-for-3, including a home run, and 2 RBIs, to help the Tigers win their 100th game of the season—a 4-1 victory over the New York Yankees.
Castillo played well in the post-season. He had 2 RBIs in the 1984 American League Championship Series, including the game-winning, pennant clinching RBI in Game 3, knocking in Chet Lemon for a 1-0 victory, sending the Tigers to the World Series. Castillo also caught the ball at third base for the final out of the pennant-clinching game in 1984. An article in The Detroit News several years ago questioned whether Castillo still had the ball.
Castillo continued his strong hitting in the 1984 World Series, batting .333 with a .455 on-base percentage and a .667 slugging percentage. He had 9 at-bats in the World Series and had 3 hits, 2 runs scored, 2 walks, 2 RBIs, and a home run. What Castillo called "the greatest feeling of my life" came in Game 3 of the World Series, when he hit a two-run home run. With a count of one ball and two strikes, Castillo hit a fastball into the left field upper deck. He said of his reaction that "I wanted to do a couple of cartwheels, a backflip and a roundoff." Castillo was also on base in Game 5 (the final game) when Kirk Gibson hit his 3-run home run in the bottom of the 8th inning off Goose Gossage.
He may be best remembered among Detroit-area fans from his appearance in a series of Little Caesars Pizza commercials promoting commemorative drinking glasses—the joke being that on a team with so many great players, Castillo was angered that he didn't get respect in the field and also didn't get his face on one of the glasses.
In a 1984 Sports Illustrated article, Castillo was described as "an outgoing practical joker" and "one of the more popular Tigers." The article noted that Castillo was "so nice that Tom Monaghan, owner of the club and Domino's Pizza, doesn't object to Castillo's endorsing Little Caesars Pizza." When asked by Sports Illustrated if he would gain other endorsements as a result of his World Series home run, Castillo responded, "I'm not going to worry about it. But my new phone number is ..."
Castillo became a favorite in Detroit after his role in the 1984 "Bless You Boys" season, but hit .119 in 84 at-bats in 1985. Castillo played his last major league game with the Tigers on October 5, 1985.
- "They all flock to 'cuz' Marty". Spokane Chronicle. 1986-01-22. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
- "Marty Castillo". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
- "Lemon's Slam Sparks Tigers In 12–6 Victory Over Angels". Schenectady Gazette. United Press International. 1984-08-27. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
- Downey, Mike (1984-10-07). "Castillo refused Bair's dare, squeezed ball that won title". The Day. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
- "Reunion of '84: Tigers is chance to catch up with some old friends". The Detroit News. 1999-07-22.
- "Castillo was in the right place at the right time for the Tigers". The Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. 1984-10-13. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
- Wulf, Steve (1984-10-22). "Detroit Jumped All Over 'Em". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference
- "Bless You Boys: Diary of the Detroit Tigers' 1984 Season", by Sparky Anderson