Edgar Martinez's No. 11 flying high atop the Space Needle
SEATTLE -- Edgar Martinez's iconic No. 11 that he wore during his 18 year career with the Seattle Mariners is now flying high over the city.
Martinez, flanked by family members, raised a large "11" flag atop the Space Needle Friday morning -- the first event of an entire weekend the Mariners are dedicating to their long-time designated hitter.
On Friday, it's Edgar Martinez bobblehead night and Sunday is his replica jersey night. But the main event comes Saturday night when the team will retire Edgar's number, becoming the third number retired by the organization, joining Jackie Robinson (42) and Ken Griffey Jr., whose 24 was retired last year.
"Thank you so much for being here and for this honor," Martinez said just before he began raising the flag atop the Space Needle. "It's been great to play in Seattle for 18 years."
Martinez, currently the team's hitting coach, played his entire career for the Mariners. A 7-time All-Star, he finished with a .312 career batting average to go with 309 home runs and 1,261 RBIs. His name now adorns the "Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award" -- awarded each year to the baseball's best designated hitter.
"Never would have thought that playing for all these years it would come to this, but this is really cool," Martinez said. "It's really great to have this honor."
He's had several big hits through his career, but perhaps none more memorable than "The Double" that scored Joey Cora and Ken Griffey Jr. in the bottom of the 11th inning of the 1995 ALDS to beat the New York Yankees 6-5 and send the Mariners to their first ever playoff series win.
Martinez is also a hopeful Hall of Fame candidate. In his 8th year on the ballot last year, he garnered just under 60 percent of the vote in his best showing on a Hall of Fame ballot.