Jul 28, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Hall of Fame player
poses for a selfie with Boston Red Sox designated hitter
(34) during his number retirement ceremony before the game against the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
3) Pedro Martinez inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame
This had to be here, the only question was where.
I hesitate to provide an introduction to Pedro Martinez, perhaps the greatest pitcher in recent memory and certainly the greatest Red Sox pitcher of all time. His record very much speaks for itself. An 8 time All-Star, 3 time Cy Young winner, with the lowest career WHIP and ERA+ in baseball history. That’s only for starters. Statistics fail to tell even a small part of the incredible Pedro Martinez story. It thus came as no surprise that he was elected to join the Baseball Hall of Fame and at the same time, the Red Sox retired his number 45 and all this happened in 2015.
Seeing Martinez walk to the podium at the induction ceremony as the fans chanted “Pedro! Pedro!” was scintillating. He was dressed in a blue suit, ever the dapper gent, with patches for his native Dominican Republic and his home, the United States. His speech was textbook Pedro, with humor and reflection casually mixed but his underlying modesty shining through.
The highlight of the day may well have been the video presentation of Jason Varitek talking about working with Pedro. Showcased throughout was his stunning six innings of no-hit relief provided in 1999 against the Cleveland Indians. Pedro was injured, had no fastball or changeup command or speed, yet still managed to flummox what was then the best hitting team in baseball with his unhittable curveball alone.
Pedro Martinez has been a Boston legend ever since, but now he is finally recognized by MLB as the baseball legend he really is. “Boston, I don’t have enough words to say how much I love you,” Martinez said. We love you too, Pedro.
Next: Rich Hill's complete game shutout