Martinez was a starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets. He played a huge part in helping the Boston Red Sox end their 86-year drought and win the World Series in 2004. He is recognised as one of the greatest pitchers in MLB history, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015.
Statistically, Martinez is incredibly impressive. An 8-time All-Star, Martinez’ best years were 1997-2003. He won the Cy Young Award three times, posting a cumulative record of 118–36 (.766) with a 2.20 ERA. In 1999, he was runner-up for the American League (AL) Most Valuable Player Award after winning the pitching Triple Crown with a 23–4 record, 2.07 ERA and 313 strikeouts.
He reached the dizzying heights of winning the Cy Young Award in both the American and National Leagues – a rare feat. He also holds the record for the lowest single-season WHIP in major league history (0.737 in 2000) and the lowest single-season Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) in the live ball era (1.39 in 1999).
From 2002 to 2006, Martinez held the major league record for the highest career winning percentage by a pitcher. He retired in December 2011 with the fourth-highest percentage in history, and the highest by a right-hander since 1893.
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery bought an oil painting of Martinez for their collection in 2011.
Next time on Dominican Baseball Legends, we’ll meet David Ortiz, the pro baseball star with a heart for making a difference, and Sammy Sosa, the home-run record chaser!
In the meantime, don’t miss out on the chance to attend a baseball match while you’re in the Dominican Republic. It could be the cultural experience you never knew you needed!