Martínez with the Seattle Mariners in 1997
|Designated hitter / Third baseman|
|Born: January 2, 1963|
New York, New York
|September 12, 1987, for the Seattle Mariners|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 3, 2004, for the Seattle Mariners|
|Runs batted in||1,261|
|Career highlights and awards|
Edgar Martínez (born January 2, 1963), nicknamed "Gar" and "Papi", is a former Major League Baseball designated hitter and third baseman. He spent his entire 18-year Major League Baseball career with the Seattle Mariners. He is of Puerto Rican descent.
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.
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.
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Martínez 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.
Baseball lore says that 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.
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. The Mariners retired Martinez's #11 jersey on August 12, 2017.
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 2004, Major League Baseball renamed the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award in Martínez's honor. A five-time winner of the award, he is one of eight players to have MLB awards named for them. The others are: Jackie Robinson for Rookie of the Year, Cy Young for pitching, Hank Aaron for batting, Roberto Clemente for "sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team", Ted Williams for the All-Star Game MVP Award, and Tony Gwynn (National League) and Rod Carew (American League), whose names are attached to the Batting Champion award of each league .
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 Ibañez, 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.
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 Martinez failed to see a significant increase in support, peaking at 43% in the 2015 balloting but in the 2017 ballot his percentage rose to 58. While some sports writers feel that his batting numbers do not overcome the one-dimensional aspect of his career as a D.H., others have compared this to the specialty of closers whose contribution to their teams victories resides on working one inning to preserve an advantage and the fact that these late inning relievers are not involved in other facets of the game such as hitting and base running.  Martinez received a higher vote percentage in the 2018 ballot, his 9th year on the ballot, with 70.4%, placing him closer to the 75% minimum percentage for election. The 2019 ballot will be his last chance for BBWAA election. If inducted, Martínez would be the sixth player to be elected in his final ballot, after Red Ruffing, Joe Medwick, Ralph Kiner, Jim Rice, and Tim Raines.
For the 2013 season, the Mariners worked with Martínez, local chef Ethan Stowell and bartender Anu Apte to create Edgar's Cantina at Safeco Field.
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." Versus Rivera, Martínez was able to log a .579 batting average, with 11 hits during 19 at bats. Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martínez (no relation) also named Edgar Martínez as one of the toughest hitters he had to pitch against in his career because, Pedro said, he was very disciplined at the plate and "would foul off pitches that would wipe out anybody else."
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. Martínez taught himself how to speak English (which he speaks with a mild Puerto Rican accent) and how to use computers. 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 runs Branded Solutions by Edgar Martínez, a byproduct of his family's embroidery business, in Kirkland, Washington. Martínez is one of the founders of Plaza Bank, founded in 2005 as Washington's first Hispanic bank. He is the cousin of former outfielder/first baseman Carmelo Martínez. Edgar Martínez was diagnosed with strabismus, an eye condition, in 1999. He overcame the condition through strenuous exercise and by avoiding some things such as watching movies.
Martínez has been honored for countless hours, funds, resources, and contributions that he and his wife Holli have made available to Seattle Children's Hospital, 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.
- List of Major League Baseball annual doubles leaders
- List of Major League Baseball annual runs batted in leaders
- List of Major League Baseball annual runs scored leaders
- List of Major League Baseball batting champions
- List of Major League Baseball career batting average leaders
- List of Major League Baseball career doubles leaders
- List of Major League Baseball career extra base hits leaders
- List of Major League Baseball career hits leaders
- List of Major League Baseball career home run leaders
- List of Major League Baseball career on-base percentage leaders
- List of Major League Baseball career OPS leaders
- List of Major League Baseball career runs batted in leaders
- List of Major League Baseball career runs scored leaders
- List of Major League Baseball career slugging percentage leaders
- List of Major League Baseball doubles records
- List of Major League Baseball players from Puerto Rico
- List of Major League Baseball players who spent their entire career with one franchise
- List of Puerto Ricans
- Roberto Clemente Award
- Seattle Mariners all-time roster
- Stone, Larry; José Miguel Romero; Les Carpenter (October 4, 2004). "Goodbye, Mr. Baseball: The Final Years (2002-present)". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on October 14, 2012. Retrieved October 6, 2008.
- Finnigan, Bob (October 4, 2004). "Memories of Edgar". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on October 14, 2012. Retrieved November 29, 2008.
- Goodbye, Edgar: He hopes to "enjoy the moment" in next 7 weeks seattletimes.com
- "Martinez is beloved by Seattle fans ; what about Hall voters?". ESPN.com. September 25, 2004. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012.
- Johns, Greg. "Mariners to retire Edgar's No. 11 in August". Retrieved 25 January 2017.
- Stone, Larry (January 24, 2007). "Edgar Martinez to be inducted into Mariners' Hall of Fame". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on October 14, 2012.
- Matt Snyder (December 25, 2013). "Martinez HOF case". CBS Sports. Archived from the original on December 26, 2013. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
- Perry, Julien. "Look Inside Edgar's Cantina at Safeco Field". seattle.eater.com. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- Rose, Charlie (2013). "Charlie Rose: October 16, 2013". Charlie Rose Show. Bloomberg News: 34:00.
- Booth, Randy (April 8, 2010). "Nobody Can Beat Mariano Rivera -- Except This Lineup". SB Nation. Archived from the original on November 9, 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
- DeMartino, Joe (May 7, 2015). "Here are the five toughest hitters Pedro Martinez ever had to face". ESPN. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
- Bob Finnigan (2000). "Edgar Martinez - Mariners' hitting machine". Baseball Digest. CSN Sports Network. 59 (11): 23.[dead link]
- Branded Solutions by Edgar Martínez Archived July 20, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Launchers: risk takers who started companies or causes". Puget Sound Business Journal. December 25, 2005. Archived from the original on January 1, 2006.
- The Sporting News, May 7, 2001
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| AL Player of the Month
July & August 1992