Boston Red Sox’s Pedro Martinez throw against the Los Angeles in the first inning at Fenway Park in Boston, Saturday, June 13, 2004.
Martinez certainly stood out from his fellow inductees – Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson and John Smoltz – each of whom also wore a blue suit, but one in a much more conservative style.
All across the vast pasture of the Clark Sports Center hundreds of navy, red and white Dominican flags waved vigorously while, pressed up against the picket fence that separated the general fan populace from the media and the Hall of Fame families and dignitaries, a tin drum mini-meringue band periodically filled the meadow with, well, a symphony to Pedro.
“Don’t look at me as numbers, as baseball, as achievements”, said Martinez during his speech.
Appropriately, Biggio was selected to be the leadoff hitter and his combined Houston Astros Seton Hall constituencies were nearly as large and vocal as Pedro’s. Johnson also showed off some of his humor during his speech. He also took the opportunity to talk about protecting young arms. He went on to win three Cy Young awards and finished with a 219-100 record over 18 years, a winning percentage of.687.
The Dominican Republic native wants to be remembered for his impact beyond the diamond, and his love for his country shined through Sunday, as he spoke in both English and Spanish. That seems fitting when you think about his career.
To be expected, Martinez participated in some hijinks during the event. Martinez pitched for the Dodgers and Expos before being traded to Boston in 1997.