August 23, 1941|
|Died: March 8, 2007
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
|May 2, 1962, for the Minnesota Twins|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 4, 1972, for the Texas Rangers|
|Runs batted in||57|
Orlando "Marty" Martínez Oliva (August 23, 1941 – March 8, 2007) was a utility player, manager, coach and scout in Major League Baseball. Martínez batted switch-hitter and threw right-handed. He was born in Havana, Cuba.
Martínez never hit a home run in 945 major-league career at-bats, but he did everything a player was asked to do. He appeared at shortstop in 157 games, and also played at first (5), second (59), and third bases (74); caught (30), and made a relief appearance. Nevertheless, he is best remembered as the man who scouted and signed Edgar Martínez and Omar Vizquel, among other distinguished players.
Signed by the Washington Senators as an amateur free agent in 1960, Martínez reached the majors in 1962 with the Minnesota Twins, spending one year with them before moving to the Atlanta Braves (1967–1968), Houston Astros (1969–1971), St. Louis Cardinals (1972), Oakland Athletics (1972) and Texas Rangers (1972). In 1968 with Atlanta, he appeared in a career-high 113 games as a defensive replacement for Félix Millán (2B), Clete Boyer (3B) and Sonny Jackson (SS). In 1969, he hit a career-high .308 in 78 games for Houston as a backup catcher for Johnny Edwards and also played in six different positions. He also spent playing time with the Cardinals, Athletics and Rangers in 1972, his last major league season.
Following his majors career, Martínez played and managed for the Tulsa Drillers, Texas Rangers Double-A affiliate. He managed the Drillers in 1977 and 1978 and led the team to a Texas League first-half title in 1977. After that, he spent more than a decade in the Seattle Mariners organization as a coach on the staffs of Del Crandall, Chuck Cottier and Bill Plummer (1983–86, 1992), serving as the Mariners interim manager in the 1986 season. As a Mariners instructor, he nurtured and molded a whole generations of Seattle infielders, including Omar Vizquel, Edgar Martínez, Harold Reynolds and Spike Owen.
After retiring from baseball, Martínez was still trying to help the young people out and do things in baseball. He moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in addition to maintaining a home in the Dominican Republic, where he died of a heart attack at the age of 65.