Boston Red Sox Retire the Great Martinez No. 45

Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox will retire the number 45, which is the number of one of the greatest pitchers of all time, Pedro Martinez, on July 28, 2015. There will be a brief but formal ceremony right before Boston’s game with the Chicago White Sox on the Boston home field, Fenway Park.

Martinez is to be honored only days after he is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He is one of a trio voted in by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). Along with Martinez, baseball greats Randy Johnson and John Smoltz represent the three big-league pitchers to be honored with this mention after being on the ballot for only one year. Their formal induction into the Hall will be on the last Sunday of July as part of a weekend extravaganza.

On July 28, the Boston Red Sox will retire great pitcher Martinez’s number 45, just before they face the White Sox on their home field of Fenway Park. His number will be the ninth jersey to be honored with a spot on the wall at the ballpark. Being inducted into the Hall on his first year of eligibility says a great deal about his career and reputation. John Henry, the Boston Red Sox owner, said on Monday that it is proof of what the pitcher means to this sport. More impressive is that he was told in every place he played that he was too big to be a major league pitcher. Now, he will go to one last place, Baseball’s Hall of Fame, proving the experts wrong.

The Boston Red Sox’s right-handed pitcher was born in the Dominican Republic in 1971. His talented pitching and his brother Ramon’s skills attracted the scouts, which gave both he and his brother the chance to make a life for themselves in America. His brother went to play with the Dodgers in 1984, and signed on to the team in 1988.

It was his tall frame and big hands that made everyone think he would not have what it takes to play as well as he did. It was not until 1993 that he was given a regular work-out in the bullpen, and he surprised everyone by achieving 119 strikeouts in just over 105 games. In spite of his terrific start, he was traded to Montreal, where he developed a dangerous fastball that averaged 97 mph. Combined with a confusing change-up and amazing control, he was unbeatable and nearly impossible for batters to get a hit.

He was traded to the Boston Red Sox in 1998, which was right after he won his first Cy Young award, but they were afraid that he might become a free agent. He is one of three pitchers to win nine Cy Young awards.

Martinez was a member of the 1998-2004 Boston team. In his last season in Boston, he helped to bring them a World Series championship. It was their first World Series Championship in 86 years.

He had a total of 117 wins, and had his ERA up to 2.52. In addition, he had almost 1,700 strikeouts during his time with the organization. Martinez played with a total of five teams throughout his career, including the Montreal Expos, the Mets, the Dodgers, the Phillies, and, of course, the Boston Red Sox. For more than two years, Martinez has acted as a special assistant to the GM of the team. His incredible career as one of the greatest pitchers of all time and commitment to the Boston Red Sox have all led to his number 45 being retired by the team.

By Katherine Miller-Chichester

Edited by Jennifer Pfalz

UPI: Boston Red Sox to retire Pedro Martinez NO. 45
National Baseball Hall of Fame: Hall of Fame class of 2015
BBWAA: Writers elect 4 for the first time in 60 years

Photo Courtesy of BaseballBack’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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