Pedro Martinez. Arguably the best pitcher the game has ever seen.
He went 219-100 in his career, with a 2.93 ERA and 3,154 strikeouts. He played for 5 different teams over his 17 year career. Los Angeles Dodgers, Montreal Expos (Washington Nationals), Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, and Philadelphia Phillies.
He only had one losing season in his entire career, 2008 with the New York Mets he went 5-6.
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Now, 5 years after retiring from the game he loves, he has been inducted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, first ballot, as many thought he would be. On July 28, 2015 he will have his number retired by the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
His number will be hung with the likes of, Bobby Doerr (#1), Joe Cronin (#4), Johnny Pesky (#6), Carl Yastrzemski (#8), Ted Williams (#9), Jim Rice (#14), Carlton Fisk (#27). That's some pretty good company to be with. In honor of his number retirement, I'm going to countdown Pedro's top 5 greatest moments of his Red Sox career.
#5 1-hitter VS Yankees
On September 10, 1999 Pedro came the closest you can get to a perfect game without actually throwing a perfect game. In the iconic Yankee Stadium against the eventual 1999 champion Yankees, he faced 28 batters, striking out 17 and walking none.
The only hit he allowed was to Chilli Davis, on a homerun in the second inning. This could be Pedro's most dominant day on the hill, and at Yankee Stadium no less.
#4 1999 ALCS
In Game 3 of the 1999 ALCS, was the pitching matchup of a lifetime, Roger Clemens VS Pedro Martinez. The Red Sox drew first blood, jumping out to a quick 2-0 lead. The Red Sox chased Clemens from the game after just 3 innings.
Pedro went on to pitch a gem, going 7 strong innings, and striking out 12 Yankee hitters and allowing just two hits along the way. The Sox went on to win the game 13-1 and hand the Yankees their only loss of the 1999 postseason.
#3 Martinez VS Zimmer
Also in Game 3 of the '99 ALCS, Martinez hit Yankee right fielder Karim Garcia near the shoulders, the Yankee bench was irate, thinking Pedro hit him intentionally.
Emotions boiled over in the bottom of the inning, which led off with Boston slugger Manny Ramirez being upset over a high strike call. Jorge Posada stepped in between Manny and the umpire and then both benches cleared.
During the brawl, Don Zimmer ran toward Martinez in an attempt to get him on the ground, Martinez sidestepped him and threw him to the ground by his head. Pedro stayed in the game and the Red Sox won 13-1.
#2 '99 All-Star Game
The '99 ASG was scheduled to be held at Fenway park, Pedro's home stadium. He was selected as the starting pitcher for the game, which was only appropriate in front of his home fans. He went on to strike out the side in the first inning consecutively.
Barry Larkin, Larry Walker, and Sammy Sosa. He struck out Mark McGwire to open the second inning, becoming the first pitcher to strike out four straight batters to start an All-Star Game.
#1 World Series debut
After a lackluster season by Pedro standards, (16-9 3.90 ERA) he got the win in Game 3 of the 2004 World Series, shutting out the St. Louis Cardinals through 7 innings and recording his final 14 outs consecutively in what would turn out to be his last game in a Red Sox uniform.