The legend of Pedro Martinez has already been immortalized in Red Sox history, but now it will become official by symbolizing his legacy above right field in Fenway Park .
The Boston Red Sox announced Monday that the team will retire Martinez’s No. 45 jersey during a pregame ceremony on July 28. The ceremony takes place two days before the former Red Sox ace will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
"“To be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame upon his first year of eligibility speaks volumes regarding Pedro’s outstanding career, and is a testament to the respect and admiration so many in baseball have for him,” Red Sox principal owner John Henry said in a statement."
Martinez spent seven years in Boston during the peak of his career, posting a 117-37 record and 2.52 ERA during that span. The right-hander captured two of his three career Cy Young awards while wearing a Red Sox uniform and helped lead Boston to their first World Series title in 86 years in his final season with the team in 2004.
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Over the course of his career, Martinez won 219 games while posting a 2.93 ERA and recording a 10.0 K/9 strikeout rate that ranks as the third best all-time. Martinez’s 154 Adjusted ERA+ is the second best in league history and he’s third in K/BB ratio at 4.15.
Martinez left Boston to sign a lucrative four-year deal with the New York Mets after the 2004 season. Losing Pedro was a tough pill for Red Sox fans to swallow, but ownership refused to budge on their stance on offering their ace the long-term deal he desired. Martinez produced an All-Star performance in his first season in New York, but the concerns the Red Sox had about his future would be proven right, as the veteran pitcher struggled through injuries and decline through the final few years of his career.
Despite an uneasy exit from the franchise, Martinez would later find himself back on good terms with the Red Sox. The club honored him last summer by inducting him into the Red Sox Hall of Fame and he has served as a consultant for the team following his retirement in 2009.
The Red Sox haven’t retired a jersey number since Jim Rice‘s No. 14 in July of 2008, following his induction into the Hall of Fame. No Red Sox player has worn the No. 45 since Pedro left town, and now no one ever will again.