Boston Red Sox top 25-man roster in franchise history

16 of 26

Starting Pitcher 1

Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

Pedro Martinez

Career Stats: 219 W, 2.93 ERA, 10.04 K/9, 2.42 BB/9, 84.3 WAR
With Red Sox: 117 W, 2.52 ERA, 10.95 K/9, 2.01 BB/9, 51.8 WAR

In November of 1997, then-general manager Dan Duquette robbed the struggling Montreal Expos franchise of reigning NL Cy Young winner Pedro Martinez, acquiring perhaps the greatest pitcher to ever put on a Red Sox uniform.

The crowd at Fenway Park buzzed with electricity anytime Pedro took the mound, creating a euphoric atmosphere unlike any other. If you were unable to attend the game, any Pedro start still became must-watch TV. His performances were captivating, keeping fans in a near hypnotic trance as they watched him dazzle opposing hitters with his deceptive fastball and unhittable circle-change.

The prime of Martinez’s career saw him produce the most dominant back-to-back seasons in the modern era. Pedro led the league in 1999 with 23 wins, a 2.07 ERA and an astounding 313 strikeouts to capture his second career Cy Young, while finishing as the runner-up in the MVP race. As unfathomable as it seems for anyone to top that season, Pedro was arguably even better the following year, lowering his ERA to 1.74 and producing a career-best 291 ERA+ and 11.7 WAR.

Martinez’s last season in Boston came in 2004, when he helped the Red Sox capture their first World Series title in 86 years. He fled to the New York Mets when Boston balked at signing the 33-year old to a long-term deal. The sting of watching Pedro put together another All-Star campaign for another team left fans bitter with ownership for letting their ace get away, but when injuries and ineffectiveness derailed the last few years of his career it served as a reminder that it’s best to let a player go a year too early rather than several years too late.

Pedro will forever be remembered most for his time in Boston, which is now symbolized by the Red Sox cap that he wears on his Hall of Fame plaque.

Next: Starting Pitcher 2