Pedro Martínez

Pedro Martínez bigraphy, stories - Baseball player

Pedro Martínez : biography

October 25, 1971 –

Pedro Jaime Martínez (born October 25, 1971) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who is currently assigned to the Boston Red Sox as a "Special Assistant to the General Manager". He is an eight-time All-Star, three-time Cy Young Award winner, and 2004 World Series champion. At the time of his 200th win in April , Martínez had the highest winning percentage of any 200-game winner in modern baseball history (he eventually slipped .003 behind Whitey Ford). His WHIP is the lowest of any live-ball era starting pitcher in MLB history, and his ERA+ is the highest of any starting pitcher in MLB history.

Officially listed at 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) and 195 pounds (88 kg), Martínez was unusually small for a modern-day power pitcher, and he is believed to be somewhat smaller than his officially listed height and weight.

Baseball career

Los Angeles Dodgers

Martínez was originally signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as an amateur free agent in 1988. After pitching in the Dodgers farm system for several years, he made his Major League debut on September 24, 1992 for the Dodgers against the Cincinnati Reds, working two scoreless innings of relief. He made his first start for the Dodgers on September 30, taking the loss while giving up two runs in a 3-1 loss to the Reds.

Although Pedro’s brother Ramón Martínez, then a star pitcher for the Dodgers, declared that his brother was an even better pitcher than he, the younger Martínez was thought by manager Tommy Lasorda too small to be an effective starting pitcher at the Major League level; Lasorda used Pedro Martínez almost exclusively as a relief pitcher. Lasorda was not the first to question Martínez’s stature and durability; in the minor leagues, the then-135-pound pitcher was threatened with a $500 fine if he was caught running. Martínez turned in a strong 1993 season as the Dodgers’ setup man, going 10–5 with a 2.61 ERA and 119 strikeouts, in 65 games; his 107 innings led all NL relievers.

. With the Dodgers in need of a second baseman after a contract dispute with Jody Reed, Martínez was traded to the Montreal Expos for Delino DeShields before the 1994 season. 

Montreal Expos

It was with the Expos that he developed into one of the top pitchers in baseball. On April 13, 1994, Martinez took a perfect game through 7.1 innings until throwing a brushback pitch at Reggie Sanders, leading to him immediately charging the mound and starting a bench-clearing brawl. Martinez ended up with a no-decision in the game, which the Expos eventually won 3–2.

On June 3, 1995, Martínez pitched nine perfect innings in a game against the San Diego Padres, before giving up a hit in the bottom of the 10th inning. He was immediately removed from the game, and was the winning pitcher in Montreal’s 1–0 victory. [See Memorable Games]

In 1997, Martínez posted a 17–8 record for the Expos, and led the league in half a dozen pitching categories, including a 1.90 ERA, 305 strikeouts and 13 complete games pitched, while becoming the only Expo ever to win the National League Cy Young Award. The 13 complete games were tied for the second-highest single-season total in all of baseball since Martínez’s career began (Curt Schilling had 15 in 1998; Chuck Finley and Jack McDowell also reached 13 in a year). However, this 1997 total is by far the highest in Martínez’s career, as he only completed more than 5 games in one other season (7, in 2000). Martínez was the first right-handed pitcher to reach 300 strikeouts with an ERA under 2.00 since Walter Johnson in 1912.

Boston Red Sox

Approaching free agency, Martínez was traded to the Boston Red Sox in November 1997 for Carl Pavano and Tony Armas, Jr., and was soon signed to a six-year, $75,000,000 contract (with an option for a seventh at $17 million) by Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette, at the time the largest ever awarded to a pitcher. Martínez paid immediate dividends in 1998, with a 19–7 record, and finishing second in the American League in ERA, WHIP, strikeouts, and the Cy Young voting.