- For the pitcher in the Red Sox organization, see Edgar R. Martínez
Edgar Martínez born January 2, 1963 in New York, New York, but raised in the Maguayo neighborhood of Dorado, Puerto Rico, is a former longtime Major League Baseball player who retired at the end of the 2004 season. He is unique in that he spent his entire major-league career with the Seattle Mariners, in the American League West division.
Martinez is considered the greatest designated hitter (DH) in Major League Baseball history. Edgar Martínez, Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby, and Lou Gehrig are the only players in history with 300 home runs, 500 doubles, a career batting average higher than .300, a career on-base percentage higher than .400 and a career slugging percentage higher than .500.
In December 19, 1982, the Seattle Mariners signed Martinez to a minor league contract. Martinez worked his way through the Mariners minor league system, making stops at Chattanooga and Calgary. Martinez made his major league debut in September 12, 1987, and finally became a fixture in the Mariners lineup in 1990, replacing Jim Presley at third. 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. just before the 1993 season, and never fully recovered. Martinez became a full-time designated hitter in 1995. To date, he is the only DH ever to have won a batting title (in 1995 with a .356 average).
His eighteen seasons with the Mariners netted him seven All-Star appearances, along with two batting titles and five Silver Slugger awards. He finished first or second in on-base percentage (OBP) in 6 different years, and in the top 5 in the same category in 10 different years. Over the seven year span of 1995-2001 he was considered one of the most consistent right-handed hitters in the game. During this time he hit .329 with a .445 on-base percentage and a .574 slugging percentage for an OPS (On-base Plus Slugging) of 1.019. In 1996, he became only the fifth player in the 20th century to hit 50 doubles in two consecutive seasons. He is the Mariners' all-time leader in hits (2,247), doubles (514), walks (1,283), and games played (2,055). He is also among the top 10 in other categories including at-bats (7,213), runs (1,219), home runs (309), RBI (1,261), total bases (3,718) and extra base hits (838).
He is 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 gave the Mariners a 10-6 lead 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, Martinez hit a two-run double (called "The Double" by Mariners fans) off Jack McDowell, winning the game for the Mariners, 6-5.
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.
During his career, Martinez 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, S. Atlantic Street in Seattle was renamed Edgar Martínez Drive. The Mariners have not issued Martinez' #11 jersey since he retired. Under Mariners' team policy, he will not be eligible to have his jersey formally retired until 2010 (when he is eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame for the first time, see below). However, it is highly unlikely that any Mariner will ever wear that number again.
Martinez was inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame.
Possible Induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame
Martinez will be on the ballot for the National Baseball Hall of Fame after the 2009 season. His chances for induction are considered uncertain because he spent two thirds of his career as a designated hitter. Martinez was not given regular playing time in the major leagues until 1990 (when he was 27), despite hitting extremely well in the minors and in his first September call-up to the Mariners. Because of the late start, he has not amassed the totals for hits (fewer than 2,300) and home runs (309, 100th all time) that some associate with a Hall of Fame slugger. But Martinez was more of a gap hitter, as evidenced by his 514 career doubles (35th all time). Known for incredible plate discipline, he is ranked 69th all time in number of times on base (3619). Compared to the 164 Hall of Fame hitters, Martinez's on-base percentage (.418) would rank 13th, and his .933 OPS would rank 17th. He has the sixth-highest OPS for a right-handed hitter ever, behind Foxx, Greenberg, Hornsby, McGwire and DiMaggio. Since 1946, only two Hall of Famers have finished with an on-base percentage better than Martinez's .418: Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle. He is also second behind Frank Thomas in career home runs as a designated hitter with 243.
- 1990: Finished 3rd in on-base percentage and 6th in batting average
- 1991: Finished 4th in hit by pitch, 5th in on-base percentage, 7th in times on base, and 10th in walks
- 1992: Won the American League (AL) batting title and Silver Slugger Award (3B). Led the league in doubles, finished 2nd in slugging percentage, 3rd in OPS, 5th in extra-base hits, 7th in hits, and 8th in runs and total bases.
- 1995: Won the AL batting title and Silver Slugger Award (DH). Led the league in on-base percentage, OPS, games, runs, doubles, runs created, and times on base; finished 2nd in hits, extra-base hits, walks, and intentional walks; 3rd in slugging percentage and total bases; and 4th in runs batted in.
- 1996: Finished 2nd in on-base percentage, doubles, and walks; 4th in OPS and times on base; 6th in intentional walks; 7th in extra-base hits; 8th in batting average and runs; and 9th in slugging percentage.
- 1997: Won the AL Silver Slugger Award (DH). Led the league in times on base; finished 2nd in batting average, on-base percentage, and walks; 4th in OPS; 7th in hit by pitch and intentional walks; 8th in slugging percentage; 9th in hits; and 10th in total bases.
- 1998: Led the league in on-base percentage and times on base, 3rd in doubles and walks, 6th in OPS, 7th in batting average, 9th in extra-base hits, and 10th in total bases.
- 1999: Led the league in on-base percentage, 4th in batting average and OPS, and 7th in walks.
- 2000: Led the league in runs batted in, 6th in on-base percentage, 7th in times on base, and 10th in slugging percentage and home runs.
- 2001: Won the AL Silver Slugger Award (DH). Finished 2nd in on-base percentage, 5th in OPS, 6th in doubles and sacrifice flies, 8th in slugging percentage and walks, and 9th in runs batted in.
- 2003 Won the AL Silver Slugger Award (DH). Finished 4th in on-base percentage and 7th in walks.
- In 2004, MLB Commissioner Alan H. "Bud" Selig announced that the Designated Hitter of the Year Award would be named the Edgar Martínez Award.
- In 2004, the City of Seattle renamed the stretch of S Atlantic St to the South of Safeco Field "Edgar Martínez Drive."
- In 2004, he became the first Puerto Rican player to be honored with the Roberto Clemente Award, given by Major League Baseball for humanitarian service.
- In 2005, he was named the third baseman on Major League Baseball's Latino Legends Team.
- On June 2, 2007, Edgar Martínez was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame.
- On June 20, Martinez was inducted into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame in Boise, Idaho.
Martinez 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 (www.seattlechildrens.org), 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. Martinez 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 and Mariners Care. Because of his contributions, on June 20,2007, Martinez was inducted into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame in Boise, Idaho.
The Humanitarian Hall of Fame annually inducts individuals who are world-class in athletic ability, role models in their community, and have a strong record of humanitarian efforts. “The World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame is honored to include Kyle Petty, Dikembe Mutombo, and Edgar Martínez among its fraternity of role models,” said Larry Maneely, President, Board of Directors of the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame. “As humanitarians and community leaders they represent all that is good in sport and remind us of the importance of setting positive examples through community service for our peers and our youth.”
- Though born in New York, Martinez returned to his family's native Puerto Rico in 1965 when his parents divorced. He grew up in Dorado and graduated from American College (Puerto Rico), (he speaks English with a mild Spanish accent as a result.) 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 Redmond, Washington.
- Edgar enjoyed some of his best seasons as a hitter after having been diagnosed with strabismus, an eye condition, in 1999. He overcame the condition through strenuous exercise and by avoiding some things such as watching movies.
- He is the cousin of former outfielder/first baseman Carmelo Martínez.
Martinez is one of the founders of Plaza Bank, founded in 2005 as Washington's first "Hispanic" bank.
- October 4, 1990: In his first full year, Martinez finished 6th in batting average and 3rd in on-base percentage in the American League
- October 4, 1992: As a third baseman, Martinez wins his first American League batting title with a .343 average and finishes second with a .544 slugging percentage
- October 2, 1995: Martinez wins his second American League batting title with a .356 average and led the AL with a .479 on-base percentage and finished third with a .628 slugging percentage
- May 4, 1996: Martinez hits 99th and 100th Home Runs of career against Albie Lopez
- July 6, 1996: Martinez hits 3 Home Runs against Texas Rangers
- May 18, 1999: Martinez hits 3 Home Runs against Minnesota Twins
- April 15, 2000: Martinez hits 200th Home Run of career against Pedro Borbon, Jr.
- October 7, 2001: Martinez hits over .300 for the 10th time in his career helping lead the Mariners to an American League best ever 116 regular season wins
- May 12, 2004: Martinez hits 300th Home Run of career against Brad Radke
- August 9, 2004: Martinez announced that he would retire from baseball at the end of the season
- September 17, 2004: He got his 1,000th career run batted in as a designated hitter. He holds the record for RBIs at the position.
- October 2, 2004: Officially retired at a huge ceremony in Safeco Field, attended by then-Governor of Washington Gary Locke, Seattle mayor Greg Nickels, and Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig.
- October 26, 2004: Martinez presented with the 2004 Roberto Clemente award, as "the player who best combines outstanding baseball skills with devoted work in the community"
- June 2, 2007: Edgar Martínez was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame.
- Seattle Mariners All-Time Leader in On-base percentage (.418), Games (2,055), At Bats (7,213), Runs (1,219), Hits (2,247), Total Bases (3,718), Doubles (514), RBI (1,261), Walks (1,283), Singles (1,409), Runs Created (1,559), Adjusted Batting Runs (566), Extra-Base Hits (838), Times on Base (3,619), Hit By Pitch (89), Sacrifice Flies (77) and Grounding into Double Plays (190).
- Holds Seattle Mariners single season records for On-base percentage (.479 in 1995), OPS (1.107 in 1995) and Walks (123 in 1996) nad Adjusted Batting Runs (74 in 1995).
- Ranks 89th on Major League Baseball All-Time Batting Average List, 21st in All-Time On-base percentage, 63rd in All-Time Slugging Percentage, 35th in All-Time OPS, 36th in All-Time Doubles, 38th in All-Time Walks, 61st in All-Time Runs Created, 72nd in All-Time Extra-Base Hits, 69th in All-Time Times on Base, 90th in Hit By Pitch, 88th in Sacrifice Flies, 81st in Intentional Walks and 99th in Grounding into Double Plays.
Regular season stats
- Top 500 home run hitters of all time
- List of famous Puerto Ricans
- Players from Puerto Rico in MLB
- MLB designated hitter statistics
- List of Major League Baseball players with 2000 hits
- List of Major League Baseball doubles records
- List of Major League Baseball players with 400 doubles
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 runs
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 RBI
- List of Major League Baseball RBI champions
- List of Major League Baseball batting champions
- List of Major League Baseball runs scored champions
- List of Major League Baseball doubles champions
- Major League Baseball hitters with three home runs in one game
- The Seattle Times: Memories of Edgar
- The Seattle Times: Memories of Edgar
- Edgar Martínez | BaseballLibrary.com
- The Seattle Times: Mariners: Edgar Martínez to be inducted into Mariners' Hall of Fame
- Edgar Martínez, supporting the candidacy for the Baseball Hall of Fame when he retires
- Edgar Martínez, supporting the candidacy for the Baseball Hall of Fame when he retires
- Branded Solutions by Edgar Martínez
- The Sporting News, May 7, 2001
- Launchers: risk takers who started companies or causes - Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle):
- Career statistics at Baseball Reference
- Bio at the official Mariners website
- Seattle Weekly article
- Profile at Baseball Page
- Page at Baseball Library
- Branded Solutions
|American League Player of the Month
July & August, 1992
|American League Batting Champion
|American League RBI Champion
|Major League Baseball | MLB Latino Legends Team|
Iván Rodríguez |
Albert Pujols |
Rod Carew |
Edgar Martinez |
Alex Rodriguez |
Roberto Clemente |
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