Beloved Mariners legend Edgar Martinez overwhelmed by jersey retirement weekend
SEATTLE – On Saturday, the Seattle Mariners will retire the jersey of former designated hitter and current hitting coach Edgar Martinez.
Martinez’ No. 11 jersey will sit next to Ken Griffey Jr.'s No. 24 and Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 as the only jerseys the franchise has retired.
“It’s pretty amazing,” Martinez said in an interview leading up to the retirement. “I still can’t believe it’s going to happen, but I will enjoy the moment for sure.”
Martinez played exclusively for the Mariners in his 18-year pro baseball career.
“They gave me the opportunity when I was just a kid, as a rookie, and I played the whole career here with the organization," he said.
Martinez was a seven-time All-Star, two-time American League batting champion, and five-time Silver Slugger recipient.
With a lifetime batting average of .312, Martinez was known for his simple yet extremely effective approach at the plate.
The three-year hitting coach for Seattle, Martinez now imparts his knowledge to the current Mariners.
“For as a good hitting lineup we have, he brings that sense of calm, that simplicity of what we should be doing,” said Mariners cather Mike Zunino.
Martinez is arguably best known for his game-winning double in Game 5 of the 1995 American League Divisional Series against the New York Yankees.
His double to left field scored Joey Cora and Ken Griffey, Jr., sending the Mariners to the American League Championship Series against the Cleveland Indians.
In 2007 he was inducted into the Seattle Mariners' Hall of Fame.
Martinez’ legacy is not complete without including his time in the community. He often traveled back to Puerto Rico, where he grew up, and served the community there.
In addition, along with his wife Holly, Martinez was very active in raising research money to fight muscular dystrophy.
In 2004, Martinez received the Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to the baseball player who best represents sportsmanship and servitude to his community.
In 2017, Martinez received votes from 58 percent of the Baseball Hall of Fame ballots.
A candidate must secure 75 percent of the votes to be inducted. First considered in 2010, Martinez has two more years of eligibility.